The Youth and Party Manifestos in Ghanain Politics: The Case of the 2012 General Elections

In the run-up to Ghana’s 2012 general elections ‘gutter politics’, the kind
of politicking that focuses on mudslinging, vituperation, personal attacks
and character assassination, which usually characterises the nation’s
election campaigns, gave way to issue-based politics. The contents of the
manifestos of the two main political parties, the National Democratic
Congress and the New Patriotic Party, were brought into sharp focus. Indeed,
through the activities of civil society organisations such as the Institute of
Economic Affairs and state bodies like the National Commission for Civic
Education, politicians campaigned vigorously by articulating the key policy
prescriptions encapsulated in their manifestos. The contents of the manifestos
of the two main political parties were virtually the same apart from their
policies on senior high school education. Given that the youth constitute
the majority of the nation’s voting population they were the main target of
the various campaign messages, particularly those concerning education,
with a view to capturing their support. Through interviews with some 200
respondents aged between 18 and 35 and drawn from a cross section of young
people, this study investigates the relevance of party manifesto contents in
shaping the voter behaviour of young Ghanaians.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Ghana, National Democratic Congress, NDC, New Patriotic Party, NPP, youth in politics 2012 Ghana general elections
journal of african elections vol12 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa