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African Social Science Review

Abstract

Although Ghana has made significant progress in the establishment and consolidation of democratic politics since 1992, the vexatious issue of the use of scarce public resources to support political party activities remained unresolved. Using quantitative data an attempt is made in this study to examine the views of Ghanaians on the arguments for and against state funding of political parties. The data for the study was obtained through survey of 1600 self-declared card-holding and 200 self-declared non-card holding members of the seven political parties that contested the 2012 general elections. Convenience and stratified sampling procedures were deployed for the selection of the respondents. The study results indicated that rich individuals with a mean score of 4.41 and standard deviation (SD) of 0.77 form the most predominant funding source for political parties in Ghana. Again, the least funding sources were the state or government funds and dues from ordinary party members which obtained a mean score of 2.71 and SD of 1.71; and a mean of 2.93 and SD of 1.38, respectively. The study conclusions were that, in Ghana, few rich individuals are the major financiers of political parties. Ghanaians are divided and ambivalent on the question of state funding and, those who oppose across-the-board state funding policy outnumber those who support the idea. Likewise, support for state funding of political parties in Ghana is predominant and strongest among party executives and the smaller political parties. It is recommended that funding from both private and state sources require strong and effective regulation regime by the establishment and implementation of disclosure and transparency policies and laws.

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