Living The Lie: Politics of deception

It is a politics of patronage. In a democracy where all manner of people claim they are qualified to lead, the masses become guinea pigs of governance. These are some of the things I have realized about politics in Ghana, a highly indebted middle-income country.

Somebody once said politicians (and inept ones for that matter) are the problem of our nation.
I can't but agree with this assertion. Consider a member of parliament who sits on the legislative council without making any meaningful contribution to issues either on the floor of the house or at the committee level. He decides to either report to parliament or absent himself. This politician can't even express himself well in the language of English which is used to do business in the house. How can this make laws and scrutinize any bills or proposals that are introduced on the floor of the house?

However, this lazy and inept member of the house is entitled to a huge salary, luxury car, and extravagant living while his overall output to this nation is nothing to write dad about. And this scenario can pass for most of our members of parliament.

Lies And Deception
Politics is seen as a game of lies and deception these days. It used not to be so
in the past.
The Holy Book says 'God hates a lying tongue'. But this is one of the many things politicians in our motherland know how to do best. All manner of lies and deceitful promises are made especially during elections just to deceive people in order to get the votes they so much need. New projects get started and are abandoned after elections.

The contracts that were awarded during the previous elections get reactivated so that the false message can be created that they are working for the people. This deception gets to work because many of the messages are crafted targeted at the illiterate mass in our society who find it difficult to understand the political jargon these politicians continue to churn out every time. These illiterate ones can't differentiate between their rights and privileges. So, a borehole is sunk for the community and politics is made out of it. A three-unit classroom is built and they are happy about it without critically analyzing how much it cost to build it.

Development Mirage And Manifestos
During elections, almost all political parties put up manifestos to present to the electorate as their blueprint for turning around the fortunes of the ordinary man or woman. These are often crafted in such a way as to create a rosy picture in the minds of the electorate as to how the country would be run under them. The 'smart' ones who cannot put up a comprehensive string of words together abandon manifestos altogether and propagate verbal promises which they know people may not be able to hold them accountable to after the period of their stewardship comes to an end.

However, manifestos get relegated to the bookshelves after their party comes into power. The policies and programs promised the people don't see the light of day as the reality of governance downs on the government of the day. They begin to blame previous governments of fleecing the national purse. They later come to realize that a nation cannot be governed with sheer propaganda. They begin to appreciate the work of the previous administration but will never come out to confess.

Magic and Charms

Many politicians in our land have turned to traditional worship with the crosses on their necks. They roam from one shrine to another to perform rituals they believe would help them win elections. Due to shallow thinking, they don't believe good policies and programs formulated to help the people out of the quagmire of poverty and desolation can do the trick. They, therefore, resort to all manner of charms to help them get into the "money zone" of politics.

So What?
The development we so much need gets stagnant and eventually deteriorates. Taxes are increased and new ones are introduced. Utility tariffs also shoot up at will without a commensurate improvement in our living conditions. The next time these politicians come to seek your mandate, a blame game is a next resort.

Previous governments will take the flack for not doing their best to make Ghana a garden of Eden. These politicians think we are not enlightened and discerning enough to read between the lines of their ineptness. So they keep coming up with new and bogus excuses to cover up for their failures. And in the end, the development we so much need eludes us always.

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