Accounting for the Major Communication Frames Deployed by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) & the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Ahead of Elections 2016 & 2020 - The Elephant vs The Umbrella

The Fourth Republic has seen Ghana become a duopolized democracy due to the alternation of political power between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Prior to elections, parties deploy heightened and superior strategies in disseminating policies, messages and debates arising. They deploy frames in these communications efforts in their quest of establishing an advantage over their opponents. This study advances knowledge on how similar or different, predictive and possibly new trends in the frames used by an incumbent party and an opposition party. It reveals among many that, whilst both the NPP and NDC deployed offensive strategic frames in the lead-up to the 2016 polls; the NDC tightened this offensive approach even more prior to the 2020 elections. The NDC was relatively used to deploying evidence-based communication strategies whereas the NPP deployed the Bawumia-frame in the years under review. Both parties however deployed corruption frames in the lead-up to both elections but later abandoned it as would have the dispersion principle explain. Continuity versus Change frames was equally a trend with respect to opposition or incumbency politics. Among others, the study advocated for more thematic and resonating framing strategies in Ghana’s body politic.