I followed critically the last national conference of the ruling National Democratic Congress; and the subsequent elections. I had followed, in like manner, their regional conferences too. Before then I had followed, also critically, the national conference of the largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party.
I had carefully followed their regional conferences and elections. And if there is one thing that both political parties have in common, it is this; money played a penetrating influence. In simple terms, it signified the persistent intrusion of money into political environments; money from sources that are not all that honourable.
Before both the NDC and NPP conferences, stories of corruption were bandied about within and without the parties. Within the parties, members were screaming allegations of corruptible influences. The usual election campaigning goodies such as rice, oil, flour, sugar were reported to be in smooth, easy, lubricating flow.
Political office for sale
There were cases of hardware stuff such as flat screen television sets, corn mills, outboard motors, sewing machines, bicycles, tricycles and motor bicycles, pick-up trucks, salon cars and so on. And of course there were unabashed cases of hard cash in open arrogant distribution. It was as if politics had become a bell-ringing ‘Donkomi’ commodity for sale.
And note, very pertinently, that all these were intra-party political shenanigans. If you throw this into the perspective of national inter-party politics, then you can calculate the bumpy perilous and subterfugeous way we are marking the political route.
Put these aside and consider the other dirty aspects of our politics, even at the intra-political level. The level of abuse, insults, vilification, demonisation and violence between contenders can be amazing. Maybe you can excuse political opponents across our irrational polarised situation trading destructive mudslinging.
But at the intra-party level, this is extremely ominous for the future. Why would politicians in the same party go to that crazy extent of destroying themselves and their own party? To the extent that they would resort to bloody violence that would require the presence of riot squad police on their premises! Then you are compelled to ask the question: What the hell is going on? And what the hell is our fractional politicking speeding to? Safety or destruction?
Oftentimes when I hear corruption being condemned by some politicians, I wonder whether they can listen to themselves, their consciences and their God, if they are godly.
Over the years, I have been appalled at the tons of corruption allegations levelled against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) political actors. And of course I have been equally appalled at the volumes of corruption charges hurled by NDC political actors against the NPP; often cataloging the corruption that went on under the NPP government of President Kufuor.
All have sinned
So is it just that obnoxious political evil of political equalisation or are both opposing parties right in their own virulent condemnation of each other? On assessment and evaluation, intelligence analysts think both are right in their own, even skewed way.
The stench of corruption smells within and across them both. And I must say the ridiculous attempt for political actors to jump to the moral high ground and condemn corruption on a partisan pedestal annoys and irritates, especially political actors who over the years have attracted public notoriety for corruption and shenanigans, and who must shut up and enjoy their ill-gotten cash made through politics.
Because then it establishes the dangerous basis that all the other people are blind and daft fools to be constantly deceived. But the people are not.
But then why all that? The crucial point is this: Politics has become a lucrative business. It is the short route for money, property, fame and dubious eminence.
So for many political actors, it is cash and of course it is political power that they want as a first step.
But what do they want the power for? If it is not the power to enrich themselves, why would they go to all that crazy extent? All that obsessive compulsion to capture power by all means and at all cost? If it is to serve the people, then is that crazy effort rational?
Instead of spending efforts at unproductive political acrimonies, we should rather concentrate on how to take the money craze out of our politics.
How do we demotivate the money craze in politics? How do we disband the political industry that fuels the crazy determination for power at all cost?
And of course you have to recognise that the industry spawns corruption on such a massive scale. Now, how can we deal with national corruption if we do not dismantle the political industry?
But how can that industry be destroyed when political actors need that in their craze for power?
It seems to me that we have not yet realised the political mess we are in. Our democracy is under serious siege.
So long as money, hard cash, has become inseparable from the craze for power by all means and at all cost, we could be merely tinkering with red-herring trivialities and inconsequents; until our short memories succeed in drowning us in the corruption threatening our democratic survival. That’s the hard truth.
Source: Kofi Bentum Quantson
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