Two governance analysts have advised politicians bastardizing the September 2017 Afrobarometer report to analyse the survey in totality, instead of focusing the findings on Ghanaians’ likely voting pattern.
The latest edition of the non-partisan survey on public attitude, just like the in the previous years, sampled the views of Ghanaians on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and a myriad of other issues.
But political commentators, mostly from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have condemned findings that 49% of Ghanaians surveyed said they would vote for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) if elections were held today, while only 22% said they would vote for the NDC.
National Youth Organiser of the NDC, Kofi Adams, has said the researchers — the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) — have shown bias against the NDC in the past, arguing that elections will favour the NDC if they were held today.
However, speaking on current affairs programme, PM Express, on the Joy News channel on MultiTV, Governance Analyst, Frederick Oduro, said the posture of the NDC top executive was unfortunate.
“There are so many components to this report. Unfortunately, we seemed to have picked up one particular item…which unfortunately shouldn’t be the case.
“The problem is the fact that the political players seemed to not want Civil Society to have any role to play in the governance space,” he said.
Head of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Dr Bossman Asare, who also spoke on the same programme, urged political parties to be scientific in their approach to issues.
“I do expect political parties to have well-functioning research departments,” he said, arguing that they will be better placed to counter surveys by Civil Society if they also conduct their own credible surveys that will advance Ghana’s democracy.
“If you are a serious political party, this is not the time to condemn or accept hook, line and sinker [findings of the report],” he cautioned.
The 7th round of the Afrobarometer survey which among other things sought the opinions of Ghanaians as far as their confidence in some state institutions and political parties is concerned, revealed that 33% of Ghanaians trust the ruling NPP government ‘a lot’ as compared to the 14% who don’t, with 28% also indicating they ‘somewhat’ trust the NPP.
Confidence levels in the police as an institution were however low as a majority, represented by 34%, maintained that they do not trust the police ‘at all’ as against the 18% who do.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in countries across Africa.
Six rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2015, and Round 7 surveys were carried out in 2016-2017.
Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples of 1,200 or 2,400 respondents.
The number of respondents chosen for the Ghana survey was 2,400.