Dr Kobby Mensah, a Political Marketing Strategist has stated that the position of political parties on the ballot paper for elections has a campaign effect for the parties since it gives them momentum.
According to him, the position of a political party on a ballot paper does not necessarily make an impact on electoral successes.
He explained that if the position of the political party on the ballot paper fits the campaign narrative of a particular party, it gives the party some momentum.
“In this case, the NDC [is] talking about the second coming of the former President Mahama, in that case, it gives them momentum and gives some oomph to the grassroots or the party’s base and gives them some beliefs,” Kobby Mensah told Bernard Avle on the ‘Point of View’ show.
He stated further that the incumbent NPP, on the other hand, are using their number one position on the ballot paper in their socio-cultural conversations indicating that “if somebody is actually first, it means they are the preferred choice”.
Dr Kobby Mensah noted that people have created so many definitions about the ballot paper positions in order to create momentum for their campaign.
Recalling a conversation he had with the late Jake Lantei Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, the stalwart NPP campaign manager, about the NPP 2000 ‘Asee Ho’ narrative for his PhD thesis, Dr Mensah said that the NPP in 2000 felt former President Kufuor’s position on the bottom of the ballot paper could actually implications on his success.
He explained that in marketing, a product seller must display their product on the top shelf for a consumer who is not familiar with the product or a consumer to know about it.
This enables those who know the product but do not know the brand to choose immediately when they enter a shop. Typically the consumers will look at the brands on the top shelf in making their choice.
“So, in instances where voters are not really sure who to vote for, the choice-making has to be simplified…where the person will not spend too much time going through the lot… So [the NPP] created ‘Asee Ho’ which tells the votes to go straight to the bottom and cast their vote.”
Dr Mensah added that those who cannot differentiate between colours may struggle to identify a party in the middle of the pile which could lead to damaged ballot papers if that person also has issues with finger movement.
Positions on a ballot paper for elections in Ghana are very crucial as they can lead to memorable slogans being conjured through accidental or occasional music.
For real, a candidate’s position on a ballot paper can be easily remembered if the pundits conjure the right interpretation, and get the electorate to accept such interpretations as credible.