THE KIND OF M.P. I WOULD BE LOOKING FOR

Posted on October 19, 2012

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Vicky Wireko


Actually the title of this post is the title of Daily Graphic writer Vicky Wireko’s Reality Zone latest weekly column that appeared on Wednesday, October 17, and I want to comment on Vicky’s perceptive observations.

First, unfortunately, the title does NOT read “The Kind of M.P. I am looking for”

Second the title might have read better as “The Kind of M.P. I would be looking for if I lived outside Ghana….”

I enter the murky waters of politics at this sensitive time because this column really captured my thinking and reflects the reality of my life since 2004 when the newly created constituency I live in was supposedly legally formed and my representative went to parliament with a whopping majority of 77% of the vote. And then in 2008, the same gentleman won again – no contest.

Comment: Democracy truly is weakened when other criteria is used in voting for a particular candidate and not the qualities and values that the candidates display and Vicky describes.

And what might those qualities be. Vicky Wireko time and again refers to presence, being there. Like Woody Allen says, “80% of success is showing up!” Wireko mentions that the only time she sees her candidate is at election time on street lamps and poles… True here too, Vicky. In the last eight years I have never seen our representative and you know me I am here and I participate in civil society. Once and I did blog this. I thought I would meet him at a function to outdoor a website and development fund for the constituency. But alas, no member of parliament!

Related to presence in the riding, Vicky twice makes reference to the lack of constituency offices. Yes, where do you go if you need your M.P.’s support on a local issue. All kinds of election promises are being thrust at the voters at this time. One that would truly impress me would be a non-partisan “And to promote democracy in Ghana, I promise to release funds from the exchequer to enable every member of parliament to establish a riding office and employ a full-time member of staff to represent him or her while they are sitting in parliament.”

And the second quality Vicky values is a candidate that has voice, who is capable of engaging the parliament on development issues and, probably more importantly in Vicky’s mind, given the space devoted to it in the article, representing constituents on local issues. And there I read, twice no less, about noise pollution in residential neighbourhood caused by churches and spots. Needless to say, madinghana went bug-eyed-you too Vicky!….If you are familiar with this blog then you know I am preoccupied with noise pollution having gone to war with various so-called neighbours pursuing their own agendas with impunity. Well, with a law-maker, your representative, on your side surely you would have more chance getting situations resolved. Let me tell you alone there is little recourse with one municipal department passing the buck off to another.

But let me leave you with a question: why haven’t M.P.s set up offices in their constituencies even if they were in a basement, a garage, a back room? I’ve got my theories, but I sure would like to have your take on this breakdown of democracy.

P.S. And to conclude, you can never accuse blogger madinghana suffering from the Rhodesia Syndrome….

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