Our democracy is wobbling on its head… (Part I)

Mon, 16 Mar 2015 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Folks, I am poised to touch raw nerves, having sat back all this while to critically observe and analyze issues pertaining to Ghana's developmental challenges to conclude that the kind of democracy being practised is sham and shameful.

And there is always a fad to drive it in full throttle. Many negative happenings at all levels attest to the fact that this kind of democracy is not designed to solve problems but to compound existing ones, even as it creates new ones to confound Ghanaians and create fertile grounds for those walking the corridors of power to exploit.

Here are some niggling aspects:

• Why is the Executive arm still so powerful as to become "untouchable" even when it errs?

• Why is Parliament so useless as to be reduced to a circus with the NPP minority enacting its "Concert Party" episodes and sustaining the spirit of "rally ground talks" (as they have just done to the Finance Minister Terkper) while the NDC Majority stumble and fail to use the clout for enhancing governance?

• Why is the Council of State so dumb and irrelevant, even when many happenings demand that it should be on its toes to get the Executive going in the right direction for Ghana's good? Of course, this Council of State itself is woefully redundant, a drain on our resources!!

• Why are the institutions of state still under-tooled, intimidated, co-opted, and rendered unproductive (or counter-productive) in this (warped) democracy?

• Why has the Right to Information Bill not seen the light of day despite all the noise about its movement from the Executive to the Legislature?

• Why is it that the activities of the Constitutional Reform Commission have ground to a painful halt despite the millions of Dollars spent on it? And the government is panhandling again before the IMF for more Dollars to do what?

• Why is there no reform at the various levels of local government (for instance, structures for the election of Chief Executive Officers for the Assemblies or Mayors for the major cities; proper and workable decentralization of institutions of state, especially the Police Service, Fire Service, Prisons Service, etc.) to support what goes on at the regional and national levels?

• Why is the Judiciary still an underdog, trodden upon by the Executive and the Legislature to serve parochial political interests?

• Why are the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies still serving as "glorified messengers" and appendages of the government's political machinery instead of doing what will reflect the express will of the people whose mandate is sought at general elections? And seeking that mandate involves the expenditure of millions of Dollars, not Ghana Cedis?

• In effect, why is this kind of democracy more potent at the level of stultifying the citizens than galvanizing them for "positive action" to move their country forward?

• Why is it that this kind of democracy that supported Rawlings' "reign of terror" (one-man show?) would further sustain Kufuor's Akanization project of governance and move on to give us that John Mahama has up his sleeves that is neither here nor there?

• In the end, where will it all send Ghana?

I am very much interested in plotting all these issues to help us determine how to place this kind of "Ghanaian democracy". I have all along said that any democracy that doesn't ensure a better living condition for the citizens is sham and shameful. It is a mere ruse, a damaging smokescreen behind which unscrupulous manipulators of the system hide to exploit the country.

I shall return…

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.