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Feature Article of Saturday, 15 September 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Why Not End The Creation of More Parliamentary Constituencies Altogether?

By Kofi Thompson

Under present laws, the fact that it is incumbent on the Electoral Commission (EC) to create new constituencies, once new Districts come into being, is not disputed by any of our nation's political parties.

Yet, somehow, the decision by the EC to create 45 new constituencies following the creation of new Districts, has wrought really strong emotions across Ghana. That EC decision, results from the legal requirement that constituency borders should not lie outside those of Districts.

The question is: Should we not do some lateral thinking, in trying to diffuse the tension resulting from the EC's decision to create those new constituencies - and fashion a more sensible arrangement to ensure that every Ghanaian citizen resident in a District has a representative in our nation's Parliament?

Why continue piling on more costs on already overburdened taxpayers - by adding yet more members of Parliament to the existing 230?

As it is, ordinary Ghanaians get virtually no value from the vast sums expended on our ruling elites - who deliver precious little in return for their endless perks and huge retirement packages.

Perhaps as a nation, we ought to seize the opportunity this storm-in-a-tea-cup of a mini-crisis presents us, to come to a national consensus that a cap should be put on the number of Parliamentarians the Republic of Ghana has.

Why not simply withdraw electoral boundaries inside constituencies as and when needed - if warranted by either the creation of a new district, or occasioned by population density changes, in each constituency, after the results of a national population census are released and published?

An excessive number of Parliamentarians will only end up costing hapless taxpayers yet more money - an intolerable and unfair burden to pile on hard-working individuals in an overtaxed society.

Rather than the endless confrontation and questioning the motives of the EC, members of our political class and the media must rather focus on bringing about a change in the law that will bring an end to the creation of more parliamentary constituencies altogether.

Perhaps if we focused on that, we will then come to realise just how pointless not setting a cap on the number of Parliamentarians Ghana has, actually is.

Put simply, dear reader, the time has come for us to consider ending the creation of more parliamentary constituencies in Ghana, altogether. A word to the wise...

Tel: 027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

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