As we bring Election 2020 to a close, my mind goes back to something in Public Relations (PR) which I see as having been “adopted” by some of the electorates. It is the “show me and don’t tell me” posturing.
One of the strong pillars of PR, one of the most budding management functions in today’s world, is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Being the trump card for many successful companies and organisations sustainable CSR, a strong foundation in PR, has helped companies and organisations to invest in sustainable legacies in the communities where they take their most important resources from. Such resources include human capital, raw materials and of course part of their customers or consumers.
With communities becoming discerning by the day therefore, there are increasing demands by them for sustainable investments from the companies doing business in their catchment areas rather than continually telling them what they will do. Hence the show me rather than tell me mantra in CSR.
Taking that into partisan politics and elections, the electorate continues to ask politicians to show them what they have done rather than coming to them with promises. That, to some extent and as I have learnt, showed up in some areas of the country prior to and during Election 2020.
Going forward, voters are going to be even more demanding in terms of visible and sustainable investments in their constituencies before they vote.
Solid and confident Electoral Commission (EC) is my second lesson going forward. If it was in my power to give awards to any critical areas of Election 2020, I would give it to the EC Team headed by Jean Mensa. From all intents, they gave us a credible friendly process from registration of voters to the voting day itself, even in the midst of a deadly pandemic.
One needs to commend them for level-headedness, steadfastness and determination to present Ghana as the winner, one nation and not a Ghana in pieces. Kudos to them.
My third lesson comes from a critical observation of the winning party, the New Patriotic Party and how they portrayed themselves. By their name, they love their country and they support its interests.
That is why one expected a focused attention on the people who matter most at the bottom of the ladder and who vote in their masses for them across the country.
There is a saying that as one climbs up the ladder, one should not forget those at the bottom who supported and pushed them up to reach the top. The party is reported to have lost close to 40 percent of their sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
No doubt their study into the losses will advise the way forward for them. Suffice it to say, however, that in the build-up to the election, in some constituencies, there were some undertones down the ladder.
While some constituents complained of unfulfilled promises and lack of jobs, others said they lost touch with their MPs who they contended, had abandoned them.
A second term is time to make amends. Four more years to do more should also translate into carrying people along for, at the critical moment, they are the ones whose votes could become the anchor.
Nothing is permanent
Last but not the least lesson for me is taken from the saying that nothing is permanent. The MPs who lost their seats may never have envisaged that they were at the end of their term.
At the critical moments in their campaigns, they were confident of victory to return to Parliament in January 2021. Some may even have drawn up plans factoring in their return to Parliament. Alas, the people spoke last Monday and spoke loudly with their thumbs.
That is a lesson to all incoming MPs. Their continued presence in Parliament would be reviewed by the people at the end of four years. Staying in touch with the people who gave them the mandate is critical to their survival beyond four years for indeed no condition is permanent.
Like all things, we learn lessons as we move along. Let the lessons of Election 2020 be a guide to the winners and the losers but most especially, the winners. It is time to rejoice now because some people decided to make life sweeter for them. May they stay connected to these same people in this time of grace.