Why Young People inGhana Should HatePartisan PoliticsBy Gideon Marcel

This is the first note am writing on
politics since I started sharing my
thoughts on this platform some 3
years ago. I have stayed out of
politics for good reasons though I
keep very close and good friends
who are very political. My hope is
that this note doesn’t lose me
some friends and alienate people,
that is not the purpose of it and
above all, I’m not Simon Pegg.
This article serves to expose the
deep cracks of partisan politics
and why young people of this
country should denounce and
renounce it if we indeed believe
in hope for the future, and for
our children and grandchildren.
Historically speaking, our
governments, past and present
have proven to be only a
conveyor belt of misplaced
priorities, failure docked at the
harbor set for a journey of socio-
economic catastrophe, poverty
whose dress rehearsals is spelt in
capital letters of unforgivable
doom, systems whose thinking
were and is limited as the
shortness of their palsy breath.
The culprit- partisan politics.
Politics itself is good; it’s the
search of alternatives, the
‘exercise of conviction’ whereas
partisan politics is a beast and
looks like scrambled eggs gone
It takes real people to do real
politics, people who honestly
believe that things can change
and sincerely believe that there
are outcomes that are better than
others no matter their party
colors. Politics is about policies
and as such one cannot do it by
being a determinist or a nihilist,
the unfortunate flaws of partisan
politics that people hate to
discuss. Partisan politics is about
been bias, taking strong and firm
position and pushing self interests
regardless of what is the common
good. Selfish and greedy
leadership in Ghana and most
parts of Africa have been baked
on deep foundations of partisan
politics and party interests, while
ineffective institutions have thrived
on the lack of temerity and
effrontery to displace cronies and
allies in order to sustain systems
and agenda that feed off the
benefits of the status quo eternal
When the Woyome scandal was
unraveled, I maintained that if we
were very honest as a country
and understood politics inside
out, supporters and members of
the 2 leading political parties in
the country, NPP and NDC would
team up to demonstrate against
the government to pursue justice
based on common sense. What
more legal craft can justify why a
single person should have access
to millions of US dollars to
himself from state coffers when
patients in the nation’s ‘flagship’
hospital sleep on the floor in
corridors. It was a moral issue
here but partisan politics will cook
a legal porridge to daze
discernment in inevitable rhetoric
which will consider an opposite
and non partisan view uber-
If young people really care about
the future of this country and
would want to see a fundamental
change happen in our generation,
then there is no shifting of goal
posts that we must as a matter of
urgency dislodge from partisan
politics. I’m not saying young
people should not join political
parties or engage in politics; that
is a choice and a basic right to
association, but my cry is that if
we have gotten into a mess that
was created by a system, why
then is the same system attractive
to us? Can we show we care by
treading the path of insult-
politics, bask in half baked truths,
mendacious and dishonest
political analysis draped with
economic figures and statistics
whose relevance is a poster child
of cheap economic scarecrows? I
represent the naysayer in this
We should begin to carve a
destiny for ourselves based on
our convictions and selflessness;
it’s about time to redefine our
own democracy knowing that the
greatest threat to any form of
democracy is uninformed citizens.
It has been proven historically
that politicians and businesses
always follow where the public
leads but we need to understand
how to build our power and use
it. Many at times, the closest we
come to changing the running of
our country is through a brief
romance with the ballot box, but
after electing people into power,
we don’t demand transparency,
accountability and sustainability
by force, and rather we too
behave as businesses- ‘what is in
it for me’?
I believe things can change; there
is a better alternative than
partisan politics and the kind of
waterlogged democracy we
practice in this country. We can
build our movement, we can
build our power, we can
influence the messaging of the
media, we can affect policies of
parliament and we can have a
voice. If we believe we can, then
it’s time to stick together and act.
Shame unto partisan politics! Say
amen to that!
Gideon Marcel (Community
Organizer, Writer & Poet)


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