Thanks to technology, messages travel faster these days and so propaganda does not fly well.
If there is anything politicians need to take a critical look at when campaigning for power, then these are some of the few things they need to look at, because these are the things that influence the decision of Ghanaian voters.
Gone are the days when we didn’t have many TV stations and so most Ghanaians couldn’t study how the candidate a party is presenting behaves. These days, all eyes are on every candidate who sits on TV and the Ghanaian voter really takes a critical look and study the patterns of how he thinks of them, feel and behave.
There is also that kind of attractiveness or charm that inspire devotion towards the candidate and so we have voters who are influenced by the charisma of the candidate and nothing else.
Some years back, the economy could be pretty bad and yet the people will still retain the incumbent based on certain influences. This was because many did not understand the various economic indicators and fuel prices were their only measure so it was easy for government to play around it. But today, most voters are really good at studying economic factors and knows when the government is beating around the bush.
If a government is unable to control corruption in his governance, this can influence a lot of voters, because most Ghanaians have become watchdogs.
There are voters who are easily convinced by an infrastructure the government puts in place.
Ghanaians really love peace and so as a politician, you should be very careful about the message you put out there when campaigning. In 1996, Adu Boahen made a little derogatory statement towards the opponent by saying, “won se 3ye akatamanso, 3y3 akatabinso”, and that really affected a lot of his votes. In 2008, Nana Addo said, “All die be die”, and in 2015, Mahama said, “he’s a dead goat” and many other statements that contributed directly to his downfall.
Yes! Tribalism really plays a big role in Ghanaian politics and we have parties that will still vote for a bad government so far as they are from their tribe. There are voters who don’t care about how the country is moving and will still skew towards their tribe’s men no matter the situation.
How smart or intelligent a candidate is really influenced a lot of voters decision these days and this is studied based on how you talk and analyse situations.
There are voters who are influenced by what the family believes in and with such people, there’s nothing you can do to change their mind. They grew up seeing all their family members subscribing to a particular party and become guilty by association. They don’t study anything, so long as the family is going this way, he or she is part of it.
To some voters, an election is a time to make some big money and so they are easily influenced by money. The highest bidder always wins their vote.
If there is one thing any politician shouldn’t take for granted then it is respect towards the Ghanaian voter. Insulting the intelligence of the Ghanaian voter can easily influence their vote especially when you use derogatory words to describe them.
As we said, Ghanaians love peace and so the candidate who really preaches peace can win the heart of the voters. A strategy the NDC used in 2008 by portraying the late John Evans Atta Mills as a peaceful man.
Some voters are really influenced by the religion of the candidate, this is a strategy well understood by the political parties and hence there’s always a Muslim and a Christian ticket.
Some voters take a look at the achievements of the party from what they did and based on history decides to vote for them.