Dealing with Winner takes All Politics in Ghana : The Case of National Development Planning

"During 2011, the Constitution Review Commission (CRC), recommended a national development plan that should be entrenched in the constitution and binding on successive governments. While the government accepted the need for a long-term plan, the recommendation to make it binding on all regimes, was rejected. The positive side of the recommendation is examined in this paper. It argues that Ghana’s development planning process lacks broad participation. This heightens the feeling of marginalization usually associated with “Winner-Takes-All” politics and undermines inclusivity and policy continuity. The paper examines the current practice of development planning which is characterized by limited participation and also shows policy discontinuity resulting from abandoned plans and high cost of these in terms of development. It makes a case for an entrenched plan that can promote inclusive governance, policy continuity and accelerated national development. This paper examines the validity of the government’s arguments for the rejection of the recommendation from the CRC. A development planning process that includes experts across the political divide and culminates in an entrenched plan that is binding on all regimes could douse the flames of winner-takes-all and its attendant feeling of marginalization."