The vision and preparedness of a political party is hidden in their manifestos.Every manifesto should contain what I refer to as SMA promise,Each promise should be Specific,Measurable and Achievable.Any manifesto which fails to address the SMA is SAKAWA or 419 manifesto.
Some political parties are only interested in making gargantuan promises without taking SMA into consideration.This happens mainly in the developing countries ,because most people are illiterate and the literates don't like reading.
There is a saying that 'if you want to hide something from a black man put it in a book'.A survey I conducted recently confirmed this notion.As of 100 Ghanaians interviewed after the launching of NDC and NPP manifestos,only 5 people said they had read them.Only 20 out of 100 politicians interviewed had read both manifestos.35 out of 100 had read their own i.e one manifesto.
This is worrying because those who are meant to prepare these manifestos don't even read them.This shows that only few people prepare these manifestos(vision/job description) of the leader for the political parties.
The implication is that, they don't take this supposedly working document serious.In developed countries,they take their manifestos serious because the electorates will hold them accountable.It is in this same spirit that I have decided to analyse the manifestos of these two political parties and highlight the key differences for Ghanaians who could not read the entire manifestos so that they can decide on who(Mahama or Addo) is better prepared to lead Ghana not who has 'vuvuzela mouth' to blow deceptive horns to convince Ghanaians.As an 'analyst', I have identified the following:
1.Chapter 1 page 28 of NPP manifesto,Under quality health and matter,subtitle, health infrastructure,it states that 'NPP will upgrade the existing clinics and hospitals.NDC on the other hand stated under Theme one health for all,subtitle health infrastructure page 21,that 'we will upgrade central and Volta regional hospitals to a teaching hospital to serve the health universities in cape coast and Volta. One should decide which meets the SMA criteria.
2.According to NPP,they will work with the private sector to have 3 more first class hospitals,the venues were not specified,however,NDC stated that they will establish regional hospitals at Koforidua,Wa and Bolgatanga.The Chiefs and residents of these regions will hold NDC accountable should they refuse to deliver,an example of SMA I have been talking about.
NPP have indicated in their manifesto to construct health centres,community health training school and Nursing and Midwifery training schools as well as 2 new schools of hygiene.NDC made similar promise to establish 1600 community based health planning and services,establish polyclinics in each of the 10 regions,expand the existing midwifery and nurses training colleges and establish new colleges in under-served areas.
3.According to the NPP manifesto page 28,it states that malaria alone takes 43% of all hospital appearances in Ghana,NPP's solution is that 'we are going to refocus on tackling the causes of this and thereby significantly reduce the impact malaria. NDC in response to this serious national crisis states that,we will extend the ongoing free insecticide treated Nets distribution programme to attain the 2005 Abuja target of 60% of children sleeping under the insecticide treated nets.
> 4.NHIS had its fair share in both manifestos,NPP on the one hand emphasised that they will revive the implementation of the original Kufour policy of free maternal health care and free healthcare for less than 18 years old(please note that this section has been contested by NHIS official,Sylvester that these category of people are already having free NHIS).
NDC on the other hand stated that they will make NHIS truly national by phasing out the district mutual health insurance scheme,Moreover, NHIS will cover family planning,Mental health,prostrate cancer,physically challenged.Furthermore, they will introduce instant issuance of card.
In conclusion,I think Ghanaians deserve to know what is in these manifestos and also what NPP and NDC are promising us.More importantly to find out if these promises are Specific(S)[i.e. identify exactly what they will do or where they will do what]. Measurable(M),[Could they be held accountable because we could either see,feel or touch what had been promised]. Achievable(A),[is it something they could do or achieve within the 4 years of their mandate?Could these promises be realised based on our current economy?
Could the economy support these promises without adverse effect on the nation as a whole, not based on projections?Could we achieve them as a nation without excuses?
Debate these questions and ask more.Please cast your vote based on SMA to prevent unachievable,sakawa or 419 promises in our politics.This is what I refer to as 'POLYTRICKS', the play of many tricks just to win votes and elections.