Editorial: The 'Silly Season' is here, but let it be issues based.
As the December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections draw closer, the various political parties have started their campaigns in earnest. This period is known as the 'Silly Season,' as it is characterised by frivolous news stories in the media, with accompanying exaggerated, outlandish, and bizarre promises.
There was an instance during this Fourth Republican Constitution when an aspiring parliamentary candidate promised to provide all persons in his constituency with employment when voted into power. Thank God the aspirant lost, because that feat would have become one of the officially recorded wonders of the world.
The Chronicle wants to caution the various political parties to engage in electoral campaigns and promises that are measured and achievable. Politicians should also have it at the back of their minds that voters are now sophisticated, and that we have long gone past the era of 'Bentoa' and 'Koobi' campaign promises.
We also support the efforts of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) towards peaceful elections in Ghana on the successes of their Language Monitoring Project to monitor, report, name and shame users of hate speech and indecent expressions on the various radio and TV stations across the country. We hope they will continue with the exercise this year too.
As a media house, and a stakeholder that has played a major role in the growth of this political dispensation, The Chronicle also promises to promote issue-based campaigns and not insults. We are, therefore, cautioning the politicians to up their game and engage in clean campaigns devoid of insults and vituperations.
As a result, we welcome the effort by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in analysing the 2016 manifesto promises of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Much as we disagree with the methodology for analysing the 2016 manifesto promises of the NPP by the biggest opposition party, we are, however, happy that the exercise was issues-based and devoid of mudslinging and rancor.
This is, indeed, the way to go. We vividly remember the 2016 campaign period, and how a certain Dr Mahamudu Bawumia introduced a new style of issues-based campaign, where he delivered lectures all around the nation, attacking the data, the figures and the facts. This was new to the electoral terrain, and it forced the then ruling NDC government to respond in similar fashion.
We hope this campaign mode has come to stay as we grow our democracy, which has become the beacon of hope in Africa.