Interesting Admission Mr Speaker! What Next?
I did not hear it from the third person. I heard him addressing the Parliamentary Press Corps. And I think his admission was interesting. So I ask: What next, Mr Speaker?
He spoke about the fact that Ghanaian politics has been monetized to the extent that electorates demand money before voting for their members of Parliament.
The Speaker of Ghana's Parliament also said that the constituents have been making so much demand of them thereby putting so much financial constraints on them (MPs). Na who cause am?
In fact I do not expect this to be coming from the Speaker, not even from an MP. Why do you create a situation only to turn around and complain about it.
The electorate cannot be blamed for any of the things the Speaker had complained about. The MPs (politicians) are to blame in any case. The politicians have taken voters for granted for far too long. They know they have constituents only when elections are coming.
Politicians often mount platforms shouting on roof tops and making astronomical promises that will never be met. It has been promise after promise any real substance. And this thing has gone on for far too long, leaving the the voter with no choice than to demand money in order to vote for a particular candidate. In most cases, as it has become a bid, the candidate with the largest offer gains the majority of the vote. This is a clear case of perversion of corruption!
But even that did not begin with the voter. It is the politician that has devised that means to entice voter to vote for him. So if they go promising the constituents, they must be prepared for demands being made of them. They shouldn't complain at all!
But let me be quick to add that I happened to be part of a campaign team of a friend who was running for MP. Instead of giving the delegates money, we chose to enter into contract with them. In that contract,we asked each delegate to name three things he/she would want done for him/her should the aspirant win the slot. In fact, it was received well. So we ended up signing well documented contract with the delegates. However, on the eve of the election, we decided to lay ambush in our car near the incumbent MP's office. We saw delegates trooping in and out of the office. We later learned that each selected delegate was given two thousand Ghana cedis. Now in the end, the incumbent MP worn the election. That is how serious the issue of monetizing of our politics has become.
From that time, I got the impression that delegates and for that matter, voters are much more interested in the immediate benefit instead of the long term benefit.
This problem of bribing voters, I believe strongly, has come to stay. Politics is not a game of sincerity. It is give and take; a game of money and lies.
Yes, it is good to identify this phenomenon as a problem. But how come it has been identified all these while? We know about it. It has been with us for so long. Civil society organizations have always raised it but the politicians have often down played it.
That notwithstanding, let me ask, Mr Speaker, what are you going to do about this admission as the leader of the Ghana's Parliament? We want to know the concrete steps that you will admonish your members to take to nip this canker warm in the bud.
I thought you would have done a good job and receive applause if you had provided tangible solutions to this problem, going forward. But you have failed in doing so. Yes, we like rhetoric! That is it! Rhetoric!
Next time, don't only talk to us about the problem which we already know, but tell us the solution instead.