Pollster Ben Ephson says that political manifestoes are meant to satisfy the media and academics.
Ben Ephson told host of Angel FM’s ‘Anᴐpa Bᴐfoᴐ’ morning show, Captain Smart, that “if you see someone reading the manifesto of a political party, then that person is either an academic studying it or the person is a journalist…therefore, the word manifesto is to satisfy the media, academics and lecturers.”
The pollster, who doubles as the editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, justified that just a negligible part of the population is interested in reading manifestoes.
He maintained that, out of a sampled population of 10,000 only a few academics and journalists would be studying the contents of a manifesto.
He further said that, should an NPP supporter be questioned on the contents of the recently launched NPP manifesto at Cape Coast, they wouldn’t remember.
He attributed this to political parties using the highlights of a manifesto for campaigns.
According to Ben Ephson, political parties compile manifestoes to avoid being mocked by their opponents.
“Your political opponents would tease you for failure to have a manifesto. You will be tagged ‘unserious’ or ‘not being forward-looking’”, he stated in the local parlance.
He added that there is no need to have a long or wordy manifesto.
He was of the view that, “you can the president have a ten-point or twenty-point manifesto…you can take a three-page summary of a 100-page manifesto”.
To Mr. Ephson, manifestoes have become lengthy because it is now a political culture.
Do Ghanaians understand a manifesto?
Ben Ephson’s remarks are in sync with Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Kingsley Adjei, who opined [on Anopa Bofo on August 24, 2020] that manifestoes are for elites in society.
Dr. Adjei argued yesterday that his mother at Sikaneasem and many Ghanaians don’t know what a manifesto is.
“In Ghana’s democracy, what the president, his vice and ministers say is what we know [as a manifesto]. Many people don’t know the contents of a manifesto. What we, who haven’t gone far in academia, know as a manifesto are what the president and the party promise to do”, he stated in Twi.