Last week, the world was turned on its head as the majority of American voters picked Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Okay, they didn’t actually do that.
The majority of voters actually chose Hillary Clinton, but that’s not the way the American democratic process works. There’s an extra step in the process known as the Electoral College whereby the majority of voters in a state choose which way that state votes.
It’s a complicated system and one that even the Don rallied against (though he probably won’t have much to say about that now).
Considering this is right on the heels of Brexit, the American elections have added an extra nail to the instability felt around the world.
Many Americans are filled with the fear that a President Trump will bring, as evidenced by the protests held around the nation.
In Ghana, it appears the protests are happening ahead of the elections. Clashes occurred over the past weekend in front of Nano Akufo-Addo’s home. It started as a demonstration of support, but as more people joined the commotion, it transformed into something a little more dangerous.
Leaders have urged Ghanaians to proceed with caution; they’re after free and fair elections. And, they’re probably hoping for an election that’s not as closely drawn as the Americans. But, they’re probably not going to get that. As we draw closer to the 7 December polls, the top Ghanaian parties are as close as they’ve ever been in people’s minds.
That’s likely to fuel heated discussion, which can easily turn into problems as people gather together.
The irony about the Ghanaian elections is that the Americans have issued a warning. They’ve stated that any violence or disruptions will likely result in visa restrictions to the United States. The United Kingdom has issued a similar warning. And, although their latest change of leadership was peaceful, it did come about after the Brexit referendum.
But really, it does sting a bit that the Americans would speak about the respect for the democratic election process considering the issues that country has experienced in the wake of its own.
With less than a month to go to the Ghanaian elections, isn’t it time to spend some time thinking about the candidate you want – and making sure you’ve made time to get to the polls. After all, this could be the year that Ghana shows the United States what a smooth democratic election process looks like – no matter how close the parties are to each other.
Seriously though, make time to vote. It’s a lot easier than making time to protest before, during, or after.