Towards Sustainable National Development: The Role of the Intelligent Ghanaian Voter

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Since her independence in 1957, Ghana regards her economic development as a matter of prime concern. Ghana’s aim to achieve a green economy has been mainly hinged on achieving the SDG1, which aim at eradicating poverty.

Ample evidence suggests that achieving the SDGs requires an authentic leadership style. Although the 1992 constitution of Ghana and her democratic system affords citizens, 18 years and above, suffrage, in choosing a president and parliamentarians (MPs) to represent them every four (4) years, it is unclear whether Ghanaians have elected potential leaders to match the sustainable development goals or if the electorates vote for representatives who have a shared notion of an MP’s job description or otherwise.

It is worth noting that, when voters become partisan or tribal, their judgment to elect authentic leaders objectively diminishes, making it difficult to understand who is considered an intelligent voter. The behavior and attitude of the voter in electing authentic leaders are examined in this article using the Eisenhower decision model and the public choice theory.

An Intelligent Voter defined

Someone who approaches the voting process thoughtfully and with an eye toward the greater good is considered an intelligent voter. A voter who is intelligent bases their voting decisions on a number of important factors, including participation and responsibility, critical thinking, comprehension of the issues, and informed decision-making. To be more exact, a knowledgeable voter looks for information about the issues, the candidates, and their policies. Instead of making snap decisions, they conduct thorough research and critical evaluation of sources to make well-informed decisions.

They also take society’s long-term effects into account when casting their vote. An informed voter is one who keeps up to date on a variety of subjects, including foreign policy, healthcare, education, and the economy. They are aware of how various policies impact people’s daily lives.

To keep informed, they participate in conversations, go to debates, and read reputable news sources. Once more, a discerning voter examines campaign pledges, verifies assertions, and looks past slogans. They assess applicants according to their qualifications, morals, and performance history. They resist giving in to persuasive stories or emotional appeals. Furthermore, they consider how their vote affects society as a whole, thinking beyond their own interests.

Policies that advance equality, justice, and fairness are given top priority. Finally, they actively participate in local, national, and international elections because they understand that voting is a civic duty. They are aware that their vote has an impact on how their nation and community will develop in the future.

The Eisenhower Decision Model

According to Eisenhower, making an informed decision for development and a green economy depends on four key elements in the selection process, videlicet; important & urgent; important but not urgent; not important but urgent; and not important & not urgent.

The Eisenhower decision model is a process that former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower used to make important decisions and it has gained popularity and voters’ attention in recent times. It involves categorizing decisions into four quadrants based on their level of urgency and importance. The first quadrant contains important and urgent decisions, while the second quadrant covers decisions that are important but not urgent. The third quadrant includes decisions that are urgent but not important, and the fourth quadrant covers decisions that are neither urgent nor important.

Applying this model to the decision of electing leaders, voters should focus on candidates who have a track record of addressing urgent and important issues, such as poverty reduction, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. While it may be tempting to vote for a candidate who promises quick fixes to seemingly urgent but less important issues, such as certain road constructions or market development, these promises may not lead to sustainable long-term development.

Public choice theory, on the other hand, explains why voters may choose to elect candidates who do not prioritize sustainable development goals. The theory argues that voters are rational actors who make decisions based on their self-interest rather than the common good. Therefore, if a candidate promises to create more job opportunities or provide more government subsidies, voters may be more likely to support them even if their policies are not aligned with sustainable development goals.

Achieving sustainable development goals requires the election of authentic leaders who prioritize the common good over short-term gains. Voters should use the Eisenhower decision model to assess candidates’ priorities and elect those who have a track record of addressing urgent and important issues.

At the same time, policymakers should employ public choice theory to understand why voters may not always support sustainable development goals and design policies that align with voters’ self-interest while also promoting the long-term well-being of the country. The role of parliamentarians is also crucial in achieving sustainable development in Ghana. Ultimately, voters should use the Eisenhower model to effectively choose their representatives and contribute to Ghana’s sustainable development and green economy. It is essential to note that Ghana’s pursuit of sustainable development and a green economy requires authentic leadership that is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The behavior and attitude of voters play a crucial role in electing leaders who can achieve these goals. The Eisenhower matrix provides a logical approach for prioritizing developmental goals and selecting the best candidate for the job.

Encourage Intelligent Voting & Media Literacy

Promoting informed voting encompasses various tactics aimed at enabling individuals and augmenting their involvement in the political process.

This includes offering modern voting systems, emphasizing important issues, and assisting with voter education and registration. Given that early voting and digital registration have the potential to add millions of new voters to the rolls, stakeholders must modernize voter registration by making it more effective and accessible.

Moreover, promoting media literacy to aid in fact-checking and the identification of trustworthy sources, community campaigns, and the celebration of civic engagement are all important ways to promote informed voting. Furthermore, media literacy is essential for making informed voting decisions. Voters who possess media literacy are better able to make informed decisions, manage an abundance of information, and engage actively in democratic processes.

Voters who possess media literacy are better able to evaluate the facts. They learn to examine sources, biases, and credibility as well as distinguish between false information and reputable news sources. Fact-checking is encouraged by media literacy as it allows one to examine the veracity and accuracy of claims made by candidates. Verifying facts stops misleading information from spreading and guarantees that decisions are made with knowledge.

Voters can learn how to use online platforms, recognize bots, and steer clear of echo chambers by utilizing media literacy in the digital age. Since misinformation propagates quickly on the internet, today’s voters must be digitally literate. The importance of media literacy education in schools and community programs should not be understated, as informed voters are those who possess these skills.

The Way Forward As Ghana prepares for its upcoming elections in December 2024, the electorate faces a critical junction in selecting leaders who will steer the nation towards sustainable development and a green economy. While the president is the head of state and government, the invaluable role of an MP includes but is not limited to, assisting constituents with a wide variety of casework, such as questions about employment, helping constituents benefit from federal programs or legislation, and fulfilling a representative role by attending social occasions or other commemorative events. Recent studies have revealed that the Ghanaian parliament has some excellent lawmakers with excellent track records, despite the dissatisfaction expressed by some Ghanaians over the current hardships in the system.

For the first time in the history of the nation, the December 2024 presidential election will present two northern stalwarts with distinct economic agendas to represent both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP), the two main political parties in Ghana. Thus far, the masses are of the opinion that Mr. John Dramani Mahama of the NDC campaign primarily hinges on a 24-hour economy while the masses are of the view that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia of the NPP focuses on digitization. While both economic visions aim to bolster Ghana’s economic landscape, divergent opinions exist among voters regarding the optimal path to prosperity.

While some believe that a 24-hour economy will bring more employment and reduce hardship, some voters are of the view that a digitalized economy will make Ghana more competitive. The forthcoming election provides an opportunity for voters to reaffirm their commitment to sustainable development by electing leaders who prioritize the common good over partisan interests. By leveraging the Eisenhower model to assess candidate’s track records and policy agendas, voters can propel Ghana toward a future characterized by inclusive growth and environmental stewardship.

Ultimately, the choice between a 24-hour economy and digitalization hinges on the electorate’s ability to discern the economic strategies most conducive to sustainable development, underscoring the pivotal role of informed and intelligent voting in shaping Ghana’s future trajectory.

About the author

Eugene Abrokwah holds a Ph.D. in Management Science. He has published a substantive number of scientific articles in renowned journals mostly on business and organizational development. He is currently a reviewer and a business consultant. He is the chairman of Take Ghana Far (TGF), a non-governmental organization located in Accra Ghana. Email:


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