Ideology is less influential in electing leaders – Report

Accra, A research report commissioned by the Centre for Social Democracy, (CSD-Ghana), a not-for-profit independent think tank, has reveal that ideology is less influential in the determination of choices for the electorate especially among the youth.

The report said 49 per cent of the electorate sampled said they voted based on party manifesto.

Dr Seidu Alidu, a Lecturer at the Political Science Department, University of Ghana presenting the findings and recommendation of the report, said though some respondents were disappointed in some of the actions of their political parties and its leadership, they still voted for them.

He said the report show that majority of the employed youth population voted for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the unemployed for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Dr Alidu said the findings from the report indicated that the respondents, who voted in the 2016 election believed the NPP was more effective in the prosecution of its campaign as compared to the NDC.

About 61 per cent said the NPP had a better campaign message compared 28.7 per cent that thought same for the NDC, he said.

Dr Alidu said majority of respondents agreed that the NPP was more effective in its campaign because, its messages were simple, catchy and clear and on the other hand respondents thought that the NDC campaign message was same.

He said the youth have become more sophisticated, clearly close to 50 per cent of young voters were more rational in their choice of parties or candidates in elections.

Dr Alidu said they rely more on their manifestos and campaign messages rather than party affiliation, ethnicity or any other factor and political parties must, therefore, strategize in response to this finding.

Employment remains a major concern for the youth hence to attract the youth there’s the need to pay particular attention to job creation, he said.

The Lecturer said political parties must, therefore, demonstrate their ability to develop and implement policies and programmes that address unemployment among the youth.

Political parties should create more opportunities for the youth to participate in decision making in their parties, Dr Alidu said adding it may be useful if political parties structure programme and activities to awaken the ideological consciousness of their youth.

He recommended that the Electoral Commission publish data on the number of youth, who contest various elections and the number of youth, who vote in elections.

Mr Prosper Hoetu, the Executive Director, CSD-Ghana said the report was conducted to help appreciate the perspectives of the youth about Ghana’s democratic system and their expectations.

He said the findings are expected to help political parties and policy makers address the key concerns and expectations of the youth.

Mr Hoetu said on the one hand, when appropriate policies are put in place to ensure that the youth were healthy, educated and skilled, they would be able to contribute meaningfully to economic development.

Source: Ghana News Agency