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Opinions of Saturday, 31 December 2011

Columnist: Avornyo, Bright Selasie Yao

The Seat of Parliament – how many times should one contest it?

This is unarguably a question that has been running 100 metres through the veins of those who claim they could have done better if there were any chance. To them, if wishes were like horses at least every citizen of good political standing may become a country’s lawmaker for once in a life term. But for the current trend, I doubt if all those nurturing the ambition to stepping their cassava foots into the House of Parliament can ever get the chance. They may attempt to surface on the ballot papers but their efforts may adversely suffer the fate of one-man-one-parliamentarian-one-constituency syndrome.
Some people who find the chance of going into the house of lawmakers have presumably forever entrenched their self-germinated roots into the deepest grounds of parliament that it can only take miracle or death to uproot them. What! Well, these self-entrenched parliamentarians may not be blamed because on every four years they go to the people including the ghosts to renew their mandates. Of course, they do. And at the long run the number of ghosts that vote supersedes that of the number of the living beings. How possible?
Even in the Holy Bible, too much of everything is bad. Yea. But our men seem to have forgotten that unnecessarily representing the people either willingly or unwillingly is bad. For some constituencies, the name of the parliamentarian has automatically transformed into a household name. Really? But if you research well into how they get the nod and how they function – it’s a myth. You may have started looking for findings of how the self-entrenched parliamentarians get to parliament and how they deliver on their core mandates during the genesis of Adam and Eve but I may not be far from the truth that it will get to the second coming of Jesus and yet there will be no results. Hahahahaha...
Especially in the so-called World Banks of the various political parties the situation is worse. Getting into Parliament House is not so much a difficulty but how to just manage to tell some convincing lies and possibly fill the pocket of some party delegates and polling agents with dollars – that is all, you get to parliament. Once you get the nod from the party you belong you become an automatic MP whether you are of any good standing at all or not. Your problem is just about how to win the party’s consent at the primaries with lots of brown and green papers, but not red. Due to this and in most cases, competent people are never given the chance to represent or govern in all sectors. Well, a prophet is of course not accepted in his own hometown. A rejected stone will always become the building block. Or even if the competent person is chosen he may become corrupt because he has to work hard to repay himself back of his loses. Hehehehehehe...
Sometimes, when an observer gets into Parliament House the House is virtually empty. Meanwhile, businesses are expected to be ongoing. The only time that parliament somewhat seems full is when a governmental bill is expected to be passed into law. That is when we hear all sorts of English. If you (absentee parliamentarians) know you can’t have time for businesses in the House why then did you torpid someone’s golden chance of developing his constituency. And if it is time for elections the very people on the ground too will not find out how many times their MP has been to Parliament and how much meaningful contributions he has made to national developments. This is pathetic.
Now comrades, I will like to propose that the number of times a person should contest the Seat of Parliament should be limited to that of the number of terms for the President. The reasons are thus follows:
Firstly, it will ensure accountability. This is in the sense that, the parliamentarian will have at the back of his mind that he has a limited time to serve hence his determination to be diligent in his dealings. There will be nothing to hide for that short period. An election year will not come and the incumbent MP may hypocritically apologise that forces beyond his control including opposition factor are the hindrances to his or her developmental agendas hence his or her plea that the electorates give him or her another chance.
Secondly, equally or even more competent persons will have the chance to bring about innovations leading to the development of the country. If we really want excellent ideas for sustainable developments let’s just get onto the streets to solicit for ideas from those whom we claimed are the less privileged or illiterates in the country. Just give it a try! We may be tempted to scrap the existence of some state institutions, after results from the research. Please, no qualms. Many thanks!
Thirdly, it will reduce voting apathy because at least there is a new person to be tried for national development other than the long boring one person whose representation may have added less to nothing to the development of his or her constituents and to the country for that matter.
The last but not the least, it will also definitely encourage better democracy and mass participation in politics. Now, we see that there have been calls for a considerable number of women’s inclusions in politics. The open secret to these calls is that, some people have made their membership in parliament a family property and are adversely not making any contributions to the national cake; consequently, the need for change. The fact is not totally that women have been sidelined for far too long. If it is just for the sake that we should get women to represent us at all costs then the question is what about women that are not experienced and that the already existing MPs are tremendously doing well? So, you see?
There are many of these importances but I just limited my views to only the four mentioned thoughts but provoking points so far. On this note, come December 2012, let there be at least some major shakes up in Ghana’s House of Parliament. New Year with new things altogether! Afrishapa.

By: Selasie Yao Avornyo