As a patriotic citizen of Ghana, I have been following the governance of this great nation, Ghana with key interest looking back at our history and juxtaposing with our current democratic dispensation. We have experienced several systems of governance dating back to pre-colonial days up to present day Ghana. And we as a country have come to accept democracy as our system of governance having seen its benefits by countries such as USA, UK, France, etc. that adopted it before us. The gains are enormous in countries where they really understand it.
However, in Africa, in my candid opinion, it is an enslavement of the African people in contemporary times. Nevertheless, we have made some gains as a country but the gains are far less than the harm done us ever since we adopted this system of governance. What is democracy? In my own words: Democracy is a system of governance which gives power to the people. This is what is practiced in the western countries like USA, France and UK. Do we really practice this in Africa? In Ghana, this definition has been mutilated and rebranded by some social elite to mean a system of governance which gives power to a small group of people- the elite, at the blind side of the ordinary people. This kind of system is Oligarchy but not democracy as our leaders would want us to believe. Democracy has been misconstrued by our leaders. Real power no longer belongs to the ordinary people but a small group of the elite in our society. This is not democracy. Democracy exists in theory but not in practical terms in Ghana. We talk democracy in Ghana but we do not practice it.
It is a shame that we always copy but copy wrongly without thinking of crafting our own system of governance. I would therefore wish to suggest a new system of governance for consideration and possible adoption where real power would be given to the ordinary people. I call it the probabilistic system of governance where the President of Ghana, Members of Parliament, ministers, and local government representatives would be selected by drawing of lots. One would ask; what is the logic behind this system and how will it be done? This is very simple and straight forward. Ghana is made up of ten regions, and the regions are divided into districts and constituencies. This system would operate such that each district would select a group of competent leaders from which one of them is selected to represent the district at the regional level for further contest to elect a regional representative for final contest for the presidency at the national level. Whoever the lot falls on becomes the president of Ghana. The lots would be drawn by themselves without anyone voting for them. Should there be a tie at any level of the contest, it could be broken by further drawing of the lots by the representatives concerned. The remaining competent leaders from the various levels would further undergo a similar contest to be elected as members of parliament, ministers and local government representatives. These gallant men and women would now put into action the national development plan drafted and adopted by Ghanaians through a referendum to be organized. This system cannot work effectively without a national development plan. This system will require a well thought through and effectively crafted national development plan with the full backing of the constitution of Ghana- which is the working document of the people of Ghana. There would be nothing like manifesto of Party A or Party B. If anything at all, we will only have a manifesto of Ghana; which is the national development plan but not a manifesto of Party A or Party B. The team of competent leaders led by the President would roll out the national development plan as planned and adopted by Ghanaians through a referendum. Without a national development plan, we will go nowhere as a country because we will be circumnavigating without ever marching forward as a country. Again, without a national development plan couple with probabilistic governance, we could be likened to a geographer in an unknown land without his compass. I do not think this is how we want to be seen, as a country.
Historically, the Athens practiced a similar system where their leaders were always chosen by drawing of lots in order to share democratic power effectively without bias. Fifty were selected at village level by each of the ten tribes which made up the Athenian society. The system faded because democracy was perceived to be the best way of giving power to the people. But this is to a small extent because it is only correct in theory but a misconception in real terms. The perception that faded out this system cannot be true today. The future of democracy is bleak in the near future. In Ghana, democracy is short- changed for oligarchy where small group of people are entitled to rule for four years and perpetrate all kinds of malfeasance and hardships on the hoi polloi. Is this the path we still want to tread? If democracy is not abandoned now, the consequences would be severe to bear as a country. The only way to salvage Ghana from permanent distraction is to adopt the probabilistic system of governance. The probabilistic system of governance would be a panacea for realizing the collective needs of people of Ghana rather than a selected few. The benefits of this system are numerous.
To start with, this system of governance eliminates bias in selecting leaders and stamp out bias in media discussions. In Ghana, we practice multi-party democracy which allows the formation of political parties for a heated political contest to win power. This has led to the proliferation of political parties in this country. Ideally, as a result of this every Ghanaian is identified with a political party in Ghana based on the ideology and the ethnic origin of the political party. People join political parties not because the party has the best of ideas and ideologies but because of the ethnic history of the party. If the founding fathers of the political party belong to a particular ethnic group, majority of the people belonging to that particular ethnic group would automatically be members of that political party. When it comes to matters concerning the nation, they argue in tribal lines without discussing the issue objectively. Also, some people prefer to defend their parties at the expense of the nation. They always wear political lenses, and always view everything with a political lens. Anytime one defends the party, he or she is rewarded handsomely if the party wins political power. Majority of the people of Ghana do not vote base on ideas but along tribal lines or the ethnic affiliation of the party. Are we happy with this kind of behaviour? Absolutely not!! Democracy has done a lot of harm than good. Hence, the need to abandon it now and adopt probabilistic system of governance. With probabilistic system of governance, no one identifies himself or herself with a political party. And this is good for objective discussions.
Furthermore, this system of governance will prevent wastage of our hard-earned monies and resources on frivolities. Ghana is blessed with all kinds of resources such as Gold, manganese, diamond, bauxite, Timber, salt, kaolin, cocoa etc. We earn foreign exchange from these resources. The returns from these resources are not channelled into socio-economic needs of the country rather, they are spent largely on shaping a hopeless democratic system of governance- building of democratic institutions, resourcing of these institutions, conducting of elections, sponsoring of political parties campaigns and advocacy by corrupt civil society organisations. With all these spending, the gains of democracy in this country are not commiserate with the amounts of resources spent in building and sustaining democracy. This calls for an alternative and prudent system of governance: the probabilistic system of governance. Probabilistic approach will put back the returns of these resources into meaningful use; by providing the socio-economic needs to help alleviate the current situation of the Ghanaian. This is the only system that can salvage Ghana from the dominion of darkness brought onto us by democracy.
Also, it brings national cohesion without any apprehension and treacherous political commentary on our airwaves. This system brings all tribes under one umbrella without any segregation and discrimination. Ghana is one of the countries with several ethnic groups or tribes in Africa. And this is a blessing in disguised. Instead of taking advantage of this ethnic diversity to develop our country, people spend a lot of energy and time arguing along political lines or tribal lines to sow seeds of deceit which is polarizing this great nation. The polarization is so serious to the extent that Ghana is now divided into two zones: northern Ghana and southern Ghana. Where anything coming from the other divide is not considered good. What is evident with this kind of polarization is petty name calling; Pepefua, Akanfua and Egbefua. These are all seeds of democracy. Do we still want to entertain the system that created all these cracks? I hope not. If the probabilistic system of governance is considered and adopted by all Ghanaians, it will re-invoke the sense of patriotism in Ghanaians; the patriotism that existed in the days of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. So that we can rally together as a formidable force to salvage our country from the egocentric politicians who think of their wellbeing first before the nation. It is only when that sense of patriotism is awaken again, that we can suffocate bribery and corruption which are seeds of democracy. Unwholesome politics, which is a tool of misconstrued democracy, has divided this country beyond permissible limits. This cannot no longer be tolerated by responsible citizens of this great nation, Ghana. We must rise up now!! How long must we continue to allow people to spur all kinds of venom on our airwaves for the sake of hopeless democracy? What path are we charting for the future generation of mother Ghana? Oh! Ghana! Your children are wailing for effective system of governance.
Again, democracy is a recipe for moral decadence in our society today. Every now and then, democracy provides a platform for veteran politicians, some energetic men and women to spend productive time to pour out insults on each other, discredit each other, level all kinds of unsubstantiated allegations against each other without discussing the issues; just to win power. It is only in a democratic country that a child and an elderly person can openly insult each other, and it will not be problem because the more he or she insults the more he/she is rewarded. Again, Ghanaians have a culture of always rewarding politicians who make most reckless statements in the media. One should take a look at the current leaders in the various political parties and in those in government and you will see the evidence starring at you in your face. Do you need a rocket scientist to tell you this before you accept it? We cannot develop as a country if there is no respect between elders and the young ones. Oh! Ghana! Where are we heading? We must abandon democracy now and accept probabilistic system of governance. This is a better alternative which will make the youth respect the elders in our society.
Another reason why we should abandon democracy and accept probabilistic system of governance is to prevent decrease in productivity associated with democratic governance. Democracy is a very expensive system of governance looking at the resources, the time, and the institutions required to grow and sustain it. One significant elements of democracy is election. During elections, a lot of time is spent in training election officials to ensure that we have problem-free elections. But the question is; have we ever had problem free elections since the existence of democracy in this country? The answer is obvious for every discerning Ghanaian. The more damning issue with this system is that it affects productivity. During elections, majority of Teachers who have the duty to impact knowledge so that our children can get better future, spend their productive ours in helping in carrying out election activities such as registering of voters and conducting of elections to the detriment of the students. Also, some tertiary students skip lectures and go to represent their parties as polling agents instead of learning to become better people tomorrow. In a similar vein, during elections, people form long queues to cast their vote while their public duties or private duties are on hold till they finish voting. After this exercise, the leaders, the people spend productive time to vote for will turn around and lord it over them. To further make things worse, the apprehensions associated with elections, always make investors withdraw their investments out of this country for safety in case there is any political turmoil, which is hampering our progress in this country. How can we continue to spend productive time to elect incompetent and self-centered leaders in every four years? The Ghanaian has been fooled for a very long time now, and we must, wake up as a country now and accept probabilistic governance.
In conclusion, the merits of the probabilistic system of governance are not exhausted in this write-up but the few that have been expounded could be looked at by all discerning Ghanaians and make their input. We live in a society where wisdom is not in the possession of one person but in many individuals. So, the views expressed here, are my views or opinion, and anyone can disagree with me. But our disagreement should not be that of rancour but a constructive one, to aid our discuss.
Author: Dayir-Der Justine
Profession: Geomatic Engineer
MORE TO COME!! WAKE UP!! GHANA!!