The arrogance of power and its implications on democratic process

Feature Article The arrogance of power and its implications on democratic process
JUL 10, 2023 LISTEN

In any democratic society, the role of government is to serve the people and address their concerns. Government appointees, entrusted with positions of power and responsibility, have a duty to listen to and respect the voices of the citizens they represent. However, far too often these individuals display an alarming arrogance of power, dismissing legitimate concerns and insulting those who dare to question their decisions.

Government appointees, buoyed by their positions of authority, often develop a dismissive attitude towards the concerns of ordinary citizens. This arrogance blinds them to the fact that their decisions have real consequences for people's lives. Whether it's an environmental issue, healthcare policy, or economic decision, citizens have the right to express their legitimate concerns and expect a respectful response. Rather worryingly when well-meaning Ghanaians complain about the economic hardships they face, government communicators turn to rubbish their complains.

Rather than engaging in constructive dialogue, some government appointees resort to insulting and belittling those who voice dissenting opinions. This behavior not only undermines the democratic values of free speech and open debate but also creates a hostile environment where citizens feel discouraged from participating in public discourse. When government representatives stoop to personal attacks instead of addressing concerns, they erode public trust and widen the gap between the government and the governed. The scathing attacks by government officials on the Dormaahene and Prof Frimpong Boateng following the former's comments calling on the Attorney General to end the prosecution of the MP for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson and the latter's report on illegal mining.

The arrogance of power exhibited by government appointees can have far-reaching consequences for public trust in institutions and the democratic process. When citizens witness dismissive attitudes and insults from those in power, they become disillusioned and disengaged. This erosion of trust weakens the foundation of democracy, as citizens feel that their voices are unheard and their concerns are disregarded.

To address the issue of arrogance and insults from government appointees, a culture of accountability and transparency must be fostered. Government officials must be held to high ethical standards, ensuring that they respect and value the concerns of the people they serve. It is crucial to establish mechanisms for citizens to express their grievances without fear of retribution, and for officials to respond in a respectful and meaningful manner.

Encouraging dialogue and constructive engagement between government officials and the public is essential for building trust and strengthening democracy. Establishing platforms for open communication, such as town hall meetings, public consultations, and online forums, allows citizens to voice their concerns and offers government appointees the opportunity to listen, understand, and respond thoughtfully.

The arrogance of power exhibited by government appointees, along with their inclination to insult people with legitimate concerns, undermines the democratic ideals of transparency, accountability, and public trust. It is imperative that those in power recognize the importance of listening to the voices of the people and engage in respectful dialogue. Only by fostering a culture of open communication and constructive engagement can government appointees regain the trust of the citizens they serve and uphold the principles of a thriving democracy.