The Arabians believe strongly that lying and stealing are next door neighbours but if you want some lies to be believed, wrap them up in truths.
It is traditionally considered an important attribute in our elected officers yet they often make misleading statements and such speeches can shape policies and beliefs for years to come but to what extent will lies affect the outcome of the 2020 polls?
In his commencement address at Yale University on June, 11, 1962, the 35th President of the United States said, “the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie but the myth persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”
Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. John F. Kennedy, perhaps saw a new approach of voter reaction to lies and how popular it will soon become in modern democracy.
With exactly a week to polls, the prevalence of political misinformation undermines the public’s capacity to make informed political choices but is truth a determining factor as to who Ghanaians will vote for in the upcoming election?
If Ghana will win the fight against corruption, then perhaps, we must pay critical attention to the utterances of our politicians.
How effectively does fact- checking the NPP’s message against the NDC’s promise change belief in the truth of these messages? How does repeated evidence of a politician making false statements affect support for that politician this December 7?
It cannot be ignored that information affects beliefs but is the average Ghanaian voter’s attitude generic in viewpoint regarding specific issues of corruption, unfulfilled promises and abusive borrowing with our natural resources as collateral?
Misinformation that has been corrected often continues to affect people’s memories, beliefs and inferential reasoning, even if those people remember the correction and believe it to be accurate.
A story is told of a fictitious news report about a robbery at a liquor store in the Ashanti region, the report first stated that police suspected the perpetrators were members of the major opposition party in Ghana but later retracted this information, clarifying that police no longer suspected the robbers were members of the NDC.
However, some citizens in the region still continue to rely on corrected misinformation as basis for which party to endorse.
On December 7, when you are given a ballot paper, what would you remember?
It is fascinating, to know that when lies are told correction will often reduce it but not eliminate the influence of misinformation on reasoning. This continued influence of misinformation despite correction is often strongest when the misinformation is congruent with a person’s pre- existing worldview, whereas the correction is not.
Will honesty be an option for you on December 7? Who you vote for must reflect this virtue because if Philip Gbeho’s prophecy in the national anthem will be fulfilled, then truth matter.