Rejoinder to People's Representative Bill Saturday 27 August 2005 (News in Ghana) I have just read your article in connection with the above-mention matter. On the whole it is an excellent article but I have the following observations to make with the same. Whilst I do no dispute the fact that the cost of extending voting rights to Ghanaians in the Diaspora will be phenomenal, I am of the opinion that there are other benefits, both monetary and social benefits which will accrue if the Bill is properly implemented.
Let us start with the monetary benefit. At the moment there are more than 100,000 legal and illegal Ghanaian immigrants living in London alone. There are many in the other cities in UK namely Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leicester, Northampton, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast Aberdine, Southampton, Leeds etc.
I understand that there are many in the North American cities. About 4 years ago, when I visited my younger brother in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, I was told that there were 11,000 Ghanaians living there. The British Guardian News Paper, recently published that there are more than 5000 Ghanaian Medical officers living in New York alone. I reckon that New York has more than 200,000 Ghanaians. Maryland and Washington may have more than 20,000 Ghanaians each. Holland and Germany have more than 200,000 Ghanaians living there. At least there are about 50,000 Ghanaian living in Spain, Italy and France. Assuming that each Ghanaian residing outside, who wants to vote for his or her party is made to contribute say £10 each(and a lot of people will be willing to do that) , can you imagine how much the government can raise in terms of revenue. The money that will be raised, compared with the cost of the ballot papers (which can be printed in Ghana in order to save money), will be very high. Apart from the above, there are other unquantifiable benefits which could be derived. One can not vote for a candidate, if one does not know what the candidate stands for. As a result those residing outside who will want to vote, will have to make a conscious effort to find out what the candidate stands for. This will keep them in touch with their roots. Not only that but there will be businesses that can spring out of this. Ghanaian papers can capitalise on this and sell their papers outside. If we stretch our imagination, we will find out that there are many benefits that can come out of this exercise. More often than not instead of doing a brain storm to find out the positive attributes of a particular policy, we only look at the negative side of it. I do not know whether the MPs have thought about some of the points that I have raised.
Do these MPs or the Government and the opposition members have research officers? It is their duty to research and market policies properly. If the MPs do not do that they will end up like Mugabe. His policy about land distribution was not properly thought through and marketed, that is why he got himself into trouble. Dr Kenneth Harrison Yanney. Submitted by Okyere Bonna. All questions must be directed to Kenneth Yanney Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.