My two weeks of extensive research had not produced enough literature to explain that a political party’s tradition is all about those who once participated in its formative years.
In Richard Hofstadter’s 1948 thriller – “The American Political Tradition And The Men Who Made It”, he defined political tradition as a “long-standing way of life, founded on certain key principles, beliefs, ideologies, culture, and values, which are consciously or subconsciously regarded as essential components that are expected to shape the daily lives of a people within a political grouping.”
To juxtapose, it is said that the NPP as a political establishment had long held the view that it is the home to all those who also believe in the political philosophy as espoused by Joseph Boakye Danquah, S.D Dombo, and Kofi Abrefa Busia.
The tradition was central to the formation of the NPP, the main creed of individual freedoms in a liberal democratic state where the development of the individual, and society are embedded in free political engagements under the rule of law. Those were the principles of the State that the New Patriotic Party believed in and kept.
This tradition of liberal democracy explains how its proponents committed themselves to the spirit and letter of free enterprise, fundamental human rights, and the vigorous pursuit of private initiatives. These are the source of our motivations.
This is the crux of the NPP tradition, non-discriminatory, which cannot form the basis for tribal attachments. There are no monarchical prescriptions of who becomes a running mate in our great political party, and it must be explained that our party’s leadership contest is open to competitive elections and that whoever emerges victorious leads the party. There are no other considerations that surpass our electoral processes and their competitive value. The late Prof. Albert Aduboahen was challenged by ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor for our party’s flagbearership slot. Aduboahen was Bono, and Kufour was Ashanti, but that did not attract any debate. It didn’t matter where they came from.
The selection of a northerner as a vice presidential candidate of our party in the past was meant to create regional balance, provide winning mechanisms, and introduce competent people to leadership. It has nothing to do with our party’s tradition. It’s just coincidentally refreshing and fits a political requirement.
The rantings associated with and justifying traditions of our party must stop, and give reason a path to our political survival and inclusiveness.
We remain a formidable and all-embracing political force, and any attempt to change the narratives must be dislodged.
We are a peaceful political party and those trying to sow seeds of disunity must watch their utterances so that we don’t create enemies for ourselves.
Let us bury some of these unnecessary and massaged political antecedents, and develop structures that will help us maintain power for the benefit of all Ghanaians. That must preoccupy our attention.
“For those who have ears, let them hear, and be good ambassadors of our party”, a clarion call that we must not ignore.
We have come a long way as a strong political party with impeccable traditions, and things should be maintained that way for our common good.
Good political parties operate based on that collective model.