Ethnicity As A Key Determinant Of Voting Behavior

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Hypothesis
While ethnicity is not mono-causal to determining voting behaviour, the focus of this study is the consistency of ethnicity as a key determinant of voting behaviour in Ghana, particularly, in the Volta and Ashanti Regions. This dissertation posits that ethnicity is a consistent key determinant of voting behaviour in Ghana, and this is because ethnicity is enshrined within the political arrangements of the country (Oelbaum, 2007, pp. 242-273). There are two main ethnic blocs which give rise under the essence of absolute majority electoral system, to a two dominant party system (Ayelazuno, 2011, pp. 22-48). These ethnic blocs are the Voltarians from the Volta Region, and the Ashantis from the Ashanti Region (Arthur, 2009, pp. 46-51).
In Ghana, there are nearly ninety ethnic groups, and language is the core ethnic marker (Arthur, 2009, p. 50). The electoral system provides a strong incentive to the two dominant parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to engage in crude ethnic politics to win, even when they have lost in the majority of the regions (Ayelazuno, 2011, p. 47). As this system has reified ethnicity, political parties that transcend ethnicity are doomed in a country where the ethnic groups are quite aware of their differences (Ayelazuno, 2011, pp. 22-36).
Research Aims
In order to arrive at a coherent conclusion, the principal aim is sub-divided into three aims: Research aim one (RA1) defines ethnicity, and
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