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Editorial: An Overheated Political Engine   
 
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15-Feb-2010  
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If there is ever a description like an ‘overheated political system’, then Ghana passes for one, considering the rising incidence of vitriolic utterance all over the place.

Insults on the political turf are preferred options to informed debates or as someone dubbed them, “engagement of wits.”

A visitor landing on our shores for the first time would bet people here are constantly at each other’s throat and the country close to jumping off the cliff.

Such a visitor cannot be faulted for drawing a conclusion of this sort in a country where everything is politicized and every move clothed accordingly.

Ironically, we tend to consider the trend as symptomatic of growth and therefore positive.

We do not begrudge such a somewhat false elation because even though the prevailing feature is unacceptable, we have come a long way from dictator’s rule.

We are worried, as are other watchers of the political scene. However, even as we engage each other on national issues, there is an underlying opprobrium, hatred, bad blood and hubris, factors which are inimical to the progress of any given country where they prevail.

Just like an overheated engine would impair the efficiency of the automobile system, so can an excessive temperature of a political order affect the nation as a whole.

We are beginning to behold the negative repercussions of such an excessive temperature of the political system in motley forms.

A number of interventions have been made towards ameliorating the situation but these appear to have little or no impact at all.

The dangerous trend continues unabated even as we pretend that all is well and sweeping the danger signs under the carpet.

The cosmetic goodness which we deliberately allow to permeate the political turf is not good for us because it creates a false sense of ‘all-is-wellness’.

Our political parties, being critical components of the system, have absorbed so much of the heat that both inter and intra party squabbles prevail, with the media giving them the oxygen of survivability.

After all, the media feed on news, preferring bad news which germane bodies would rather were kept under the carpet.

The name-calling and insults, as they take centre-stage in the media, especially radio call-in segments, is stomach upsetting.

Attracting the heat themselves, media houses are often caught intermittently fighting each other on the turf these days, a new feature which could threaten our democratic culture whose ropes we are learning.

Last week, hell broke loose when a radio station journalist decided to embark on a one-man crusade against the Daily Guide.

The insinuations and outright damnation, not only to this newspaper but to others perceived to be unrelenting in their professional positions, were targets of deliberate libelous effusions.

Many were they who called in to dissuade us from joining him in the gutter where he has been for many years now.

We respected their good counsel and keep our cool, leaving the good people of this country to make their judgment.

Mark Twain, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1835-1910, American humorist, lamented the high incidence of lies in society and we associate ourselves with his concern even as ours has to do with contemporary times in which the lies are more voluminous than in his days we can bet- lies in politics, in the media, in business and almost everything.

It is lamentable that even the educated have found in such dishonourable enterprise a camp to sojourn in, shamefully and lamentably.
 
 
Source: Daily Guide
 
 

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