Posted on September 15, 2014


Apparently, every September 15 the world celebrates International Day of Democracy. This is the first year I’ve mentioned it on this blog that makes a big deal over certain days like World Tourism Day, International Women’s Day, and International Noise Awareness Day to name three. Actually, I wasn’t aware there was a day celebrating democracy. But I guess things aren’t going so hot in the world politically these days, so time to put democracy in the spotlight.
Imagine Democracy
Here, I am with another book, Imagine Democracy by Judy Rebick. Imagine! It’s about Canada which, believe it or not my Ghanaian friends, has governance issues, big time governance issues in fact…Not too up to date on Canada, but recently  in Ghana, where I have lived for the past fifteen years, there has been a real awakening of activism by a small segment of the society through social media.
red 1
A movement called RED FRIDAY or occupy ghana started in response to a lot of discontent in the country: high inflation and unemployment, power and water shortages/interruptions, the devaluation of the cedi and numerous corruption scandals including lots revolving around Ghana’s participation at the World Cup. Rallying around the two hashtags #RedFriday and #OccupyGhana, Ghanaians started to take to the streets, unheard of really…
At the root of the protest though is the ‘winner-take-all’ nature of Ghanaian politics. It has always seemed that political party in power abuses that power. And yet, Ghana is celebrated in the international community as a rare example of an African country following democratic principles. Heralded is the fact that there have been many peaceful elections and there has even been a peaceful transition of power between the two main opposing political parties.
democracy-kofi annan
Well, yes, free and fair elections are important, but they provide no foundation for good governance. It’s what happens between elections that’s most important. And that’s where things all go wrong. Frankly, I believe that there are too few Kofi Annans left in Ghana, too few brains..the exodus of the educated over the years has been mammoth and may have just left the bullies in charge…

But, thankfully, there is tolerance for diverse opinion within Ghana. However, for the most part, there is a total lack of response on the part of the power elite. The occupy movement unfortunately is but a mere memory….and the almost daily protestations of the think-tank Imani led by tireless campaigner Franklin Cudjoe fall on deaf ears…