Thursday, 22 April 2010

Foreign Policy TV Leaders Debate - Ghana Speaks Out

Sitting huddled around the internet is how I find myself listening to the UK election candidate leaders TV debate. Myself with a dozen plus Ghanaians listening attentively to the issues being discussed in the second round of debates that focus on foreign policy. The burrowed eyebrows and serious expressions, the rolling eyes and deafening silence illustrates how serious these Ghanaians take the issues being discussed. They know more than anyone that the policies being outlined will if implemented have a profound impact on their lives, after all developing countries will be at the forefront of what is being discussed tonight.

Gordon Brown remarks that Europe should work together with America and the G20 to tackle climate change, but know mention of working with Africa or other developing countries like Bangladesh whom are at the forefront of climate change. This lack of regard for developing countries characterizes the mood of the debate. It becomes even more obvious how big the democratic deficiency is on the global level.

"David Cameron is the same person who wants to cut immigration and tighten borders yet UK citizens have literally a free reign to settle or 'emigrate' to developing countries. Which African can enter into Europe and walk freely before collecting a visa, yet UK citizens can pick up their visa's at most airports when they've arrived in the country but I do not hear them complain about that" Kojo Prah Annan remarks. Francis, another Ghanaian spectator adds in response to the expenses and corruption discussions that 'they should be able to fight the corruption in their country before coming to help us because corruption in the UK directly impacts us here in Africa. For example, Vodafone and Mabey and Johnson are cases that highlight how UK corruption is spilling over onto our doorsteps'.

For these Ghanaians the debate fell short on giving tangible solutions to the problems that they are directly experiencing as a result of UK foreign policy. Issues surrounding trade, climate change, environmental justice and British companies exploiting Africa are still issues they feel were neglected in the leaders TV debate. The debate may prove a PR success for the polls, but the real people at the forefront of British foreign policy still need answers.

1 comment:

  1. What you are saying is amaxingly true! We only vote for the immediate effects the elections bring to us but we never really think about how those decisions effect others! What you are doing is fantastic sweetheart...I know how I am voting!


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