Some people say there is too much talk in Ghana. They reckon more action and less talk is the economic elixir we require. I agree that too many people pretend to be political, economic and social experts in the media (including online social media). I disagree, however, that Ghanaians talk too much. The basic meaning of democracy – as I understand it – is the sounding of all views before choosing the most popular.
If TV, radio, print and online media are filled with the ‘voice of the people’, there is a good chance that decisions would be the choice of the people, and failure would be viewed philosophically and not vi et armis. I shift my position a little. The inexpert experts should hush and let the vox populi be broadcast.
Having said that talk is good, talk is not enough. It would be a catastrophe if we did not talk at all. It would be a shame if we talked and talked and nothing happened. A child in primary school, I read a story of a world of creatures resident in a ball of animal fur or something like that. This world was unseen to the ‘normal’ world and condemned to be destroyed. A campaign team was sent around this tiny world to urge the creatures to make an almighty racket. Maybe it could be saved if they could prove that life existed in the ball of fur. Voice and cymbal, drum and hands – they made the din with anything they found. But the animals were not convinced that life resided in the ball of fur. Things got critical. Then the creatures saw the tiniest of their kind. It was hiding behind a flake of dandruff. It would not join in the noise. It did not believe it could make a difference. At the end, it was convinced to shout at the top of its voice, and the animals heard the din. Their world was saved.
It would be a senseless shame if we all spoke up but failed to do the one most important policy-affecting act. VOTE! And it would be sadder still if one could not vote because they did not register. We all know the shortfall of votes that took Ghana to a second round in the 2008 elections, and the number that made the difference finally. How many did not register? How many did not vote? Could they have made a difference for one party or another? Imagine the cost to you (as a taxpayer) that we had two (some say three) elections, instead of one, to choose a leader!
I will not say that the abstaining wise deserve the rule of the foolish but civic. But what a bummer it would be if two abstainers out of every ten could sway the elections by doing nothing beyond the civic right to speak. Many do not feel too patriotic, and I understand their reasons. But when you vote, you vote, first, for yourself; not for Ghana.
The voters registration is on. It is only of secondary importance that the process is biometric rather than something else. Be responsible for your future (and maybe Ghana’s). If I have convinced you – if I needed to – please go out and register. If I failed, then we will fail.