Political Economy Analysis of Elections in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992 To 2016)

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ABSTRACT

This study analysed the determinants of participation in voting and electoral choices by citizens, and established the relationship between national presidential elections and the performance of the economy in Ghana's Fourth Republican era from 1992 to 2016. The study proceeds within the theoretical framework of political economy which looks at the interplay between economics and politics using macro-micro approach. The study conceptualised political economy as an approach focusing on the application of economic tools of analysis to the study of economy and electoral behaviour within the multi-party democratic framework of Ghana‟s Fourth Republic. The study utilises macro-level data (secondary district-level data) to establish the determinants of voter participation, impairment of voter participation through the incidence of spoilt ballots, and actual voter choices using the 2000 and 2012 national presidential elections results synchronised with the 2000 and 2010 population and housing censuses respectively, and involving all 216 districts. The study also analysed the determinants of voter participation and electoral choices based on micro-level data (survey data) from a random sample of 600 respondents in four electorally-swing districts in the Brong Ahafo and Central regions to examine several hypotheses concerning electoral behaviour within the multi-party democratic framework where ethnicity was not a dominant factor influencing voter choice in order to unravel the other key factors influencing voter choices beyond the ethnicity factor. Based on the macro-level and district-level data, the analysis of the determinants of voting participation revealed that the locality factor (urban-rural) was a significant factor. However, the results were mixed with increasing urban share of the population in a district leading to increasing turnout rate of voters for the 2000 Presidential election, iii while the opposite result held for the 2012 Presidential election. Voter turnout tended to decrease with increasing proportion of age dependency ratio in a district. This suggested that districts with higher age dependency ratios tended to participate less in voting, a plausible outcome which also suggested that increasing poverty burden discouraged participation in voting. Voter turnout tended to increase with increasing proportion of Asantes in a district in Ghana and decreased with increasing proportion of Ewes in a district in the 2012 Presidential election; but did not produce clear results for the 2000 election. On spoilt ballots, the study found that for both 2000 and 2012 Presidential elections, the relative intensity of spoilt ballots was its literacy level with increasing levels linked with reduced spoilt ballots. Also, the regression analysis of voter choices for both the 2012 and 2000 national presidential elections clearly showed that ethnicity, with regards to these two dominant groups in Ghana, was a major determinant of electoral outcomes. Asantes and Ewes vote largely on ethnic lines for the respective parties that they dominate, that is the NPP for Asantes and NDC for Ewes. This particular phenomenon in the Fourth Republican era in Ghana of Asante-Ewe countervailing voting patterns is a manifestation of the countervailing power struggle paradigm. Further, Brong Ahafo and Central Regions are two closest swing regions where ethnic identification is not a major factor in the choice of national presidential candidates. The random survey of 600 respondents in the four electorally-swing districts in the Brong Ahafo and Central regions allowed for deeper investigation into reasons why individuals participate and vote in an election in ways that could not be easily captured by aggregate district-level data ascribed to the "average district voter". The single most important motivating factor that would attract people to vote for a presidential candidate was his/her articulation of development-oriented issues. Other factors influencing the iv choice of presidential candidates by voters included the perception of the ability of the candidate to develop and improve the economy, political party affiliation and the orientation and likeability of the candidate. On the links between elections and development, the study found that their participation in the elections brought about increased levels of improved electricity supply, improved water supply and expanded road infrastructure. However, for individual and household economic welfare related to personal income, personal employment opportunities, personal and household educational opportunities and personal and household health status, the results of the analysis of voting participation and its links to these four measures of economic welfare were varied. With regards to the effect of elections on macro-economic performance, using annual data the study found that there were no statistically significant differences between economic growth rates in election years and those in non-election years in Ghana‟s Fourth Republic (1992 to 2016). However, there were significant increases in the government budget deficits in election years compared to those of non-election years, largely as a result of excessive government spending during election years. Using quarterly data and statistical autoregressive models, it was clearly established that elections in Ghana from, 1992 to 2016 led to increased inflation and increased Treasury bill rates. A major conclusion of this study is that the enhancement of democracy through participation in the voting process would need to emphasize increased inclusive access of citizens to income and employment opportunities in the country. The study recommended that the growth of Ghana's Fourth Republican Constitutional Democracy must be linked to economic prospects, guarantee development and equity for all citizens in the country

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APA

Frontiers, E. & BUKARI, G (2022). Political Economy Analysis of Elections in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992 To 2016). Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/political-economy-analysis-of-elections-in-ghana-s-fourth-republic-1992-to-2016

MLA 8th

Frontiers, Edu, and GBENSUGLO BUKARI "Political Economy Analysis of Elections in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992 To 2016)" Afribary. Afribary, 17 Jun. 2022, https://afribary.com/works/political-economy-analysis-of-elections-in-ghana-s-fourth-republic-1992-to-2016. Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

MLA7

Frontiers, Edu, and GBENSUGLO BUKARI . "Political Economy Analysis of Elections in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992 To 2016)". Afribary, Afribary, 17 Jun. 2022. Web. 29 Jun. 2022. < https://afribary.com/works/political-economy-analysis-of-elections-in-ghana-s-fourth-republic-1992-to-2016 >.

Chicago

Frontiers, Edu and BUKARI, GBENSUGLO . "Political Economy Analysis of Elections in Ghana's Fourth Republic (1992 To 2016)" Afribary (2022). Accessed June 29, 2022. https://afribary.com/works/political-economy-analysis-of-elections-in-ghana-s-fourth-republic-1992-to-2016