Keep this Parliament Chamber

Feature Article Keep this Parliament Chamber
APR 4, 2021 LISTEN

Dear Honorable MPs,
Please, in the name of fairness, proper governance, regard for your constituencies, nation, yourselves and God, I plead with you to shelve the proposal for a bigger/modern parliamentary chamber for a long time. As important as your work is in democratic governance, the physical structures of parliament cannot override your attitude to work for efficiency. Neither can it compete with the welfare of your constituents.

I am attaching pictures of the British Parliament (both House of Commons and House of Lords) for comparison even to your present chamber.

It is worth noting that this is the same Britain that is so developed that Ghana, other African and developing countries go to for budgetary support. Is a big or posh parliamentary chamber the requirement for national development?

Ghanaians have been complaining about the high expenditure on governance which has been around two-thirds of our GDP for some years now. Requesting more from the national purse is unfair and almost wicked, more so when the covid pandemic has imposed hardships on Ghanaians already prompting the government's call for belt-tightening. Anyway, it won't be a bad idea if the article 71 workers themselves proposed some cuts in their remunerations to demonstrate solidarity with Ghanaians.

Interestingly the attendance of MPs to the parliament chamber is not that regular (something which successive Speakers have openly been complaining about). So the chamber is rarely filled. The occasional attendance is not what can push for its expansion now, and if it becomes necessary our Ghanaian engineers and the knowledgeable MPS could be trusted to rearrange the present chamber to accommodate the addition as we also reconsider the increase in the number of MPs through the increase in constituencies.

Even though the old Cocoa Affairs court building is a bad situation that is not expected in this modern era it is to show that it is not the gargantuan and plush accommodation that ensures quality results as courts were able to use even this place for justice delivery.

Also, my short experience as an assistant examiner in the late 90s informed my knowledge about where WAEC/WASSCE are marked. The dusty school tables and classrooms, as expected during long vacations, did not deter examiners from assessing the important exam that begins the career opportunities of students. The parliamentarians also can work well in the present chamber, more so when their conditions of service still remain untouched.

Democracy is a people's government but the empowerment of the "people" in Ghana has been poor so far, so do something about this more than looking after yourselves, Parliamentarians

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