It is an undeniable fact that there is no way democracy can survive, without an effective Legislature. But the multimillion question that Ghanaians need to ask is, does Ghana really need 275 or more law makers, to make laws for Ghana, which has a population of about thirty-five million people?
If indeed, the constitutional functions of the Legislature, are nothing else, but making laws, investigating, and inquiring into the activities and administration of ministries and departments; then there is no need at all having 140 law makers in Parliament.
I strongly think, it is not even necessary for members of Parliament to become agents of infrastructural development in their constituencies, simply because, our metropolitan, municipal and district councils or assemblies, can easily take up this role in the constituencies, without any serious problem.
Then also, it is not necessary at all for parliamentarians to represent any of the constituencies, because at least, the constituencies basic necessities of life, can be taken care of by the said assemblies.
I think parliamentarians should rather concentrate on their constitutional mandate and hand over to the assemblies, the developmental projects, that they decided to take upon themselves, in other to win the votes of the electorates.
I know very well that, the various constituencies, with the needed assistance from the assemblies, can survive and do better, in their developmental activities, without the direct interference of the members of Parliament.
The parliamentarian involvement, in the developmental activities of the constituencies, is the major cause of so much absenteeism in parliament.
Indeed, if parliamentarians limit themselves to their constitutional mandate, they will be able to perform better than what we see today.
I also think, parliamentarians need not present themselves to be voted for, if indeed, they need not represent the constituencies in Parliament. If the assemblies can take care of the developmental activities of the constituencies, why should we go to the polls to vote for parliamentarians?
Parliamentarians can easily be obtained without the usual vote buying (that leads to spending huge sums of money) and the unnecessary destructive conflicts generated by political campaigns.
The following procedures can be used to obtain our law makers:
- Allowing the Judicial Council, to give Parliament, a certain number of competent lawyers to facilitate law making in Parliament.
- Allowing the various recognized bodies, like Civil Engineers' Association of Ghana, Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, The Ghana Fire Service, Ghana Navy, Ghana Customs and Preventive Act, Statistical Service, Audit Service, Prison Service, Trade Union Congress, National Commission for Civic Education, National House of Chiefs, Lands and Natural Resources, Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and Ghana Education Service.
All the above-mentioned bodies can be asked to present two people to Parliament. All the people selected to form the Legislature, should be made to understand that their primarily loyalty goes to Ghana and nothing else.
I am very sure that such a non-partisan Legislature, will do far better than what we have now, since there will be no political party, to whip people in line to do the unthinkable.
I am also sure that when all the Civil Society Organisations, as well as Ghana Journalists Association, are given the needed freedom to monitor and report activities of the three arms of government and also build strong public opinion against bribery and corruption that may surface from any of the three arms of government, there will be financial discipline in all our State institutions and there will be equitable distribution of the national cake.
I strongly think that this new paradigm, when adopted, can bring about proper check and balances, needed to promote effective leadership, for the rapid socio- economic development of Ghana.
Rev. Fr. Ignatius James Yaw Amponsah