Opinion

Is the Pen mightier than the Vote?

“Which came First, The Chicken or the Egg”,is the CLASSICAL (not Afari-Gyan’s definition) entry point question to the philosophical studies of “The Meaning of Life”.

At aged 60 and over, I find myself stuck pondering the answer in the same way that the Supreme Court could not agree on what was meant by over-voting. The Jury, as they say, is out on the Chicken or Egg matter, even as our Supreme Court did not have the benefit of Jury assistance.

My handicap is compounded by quite a lot of the advice I am getting for Every Ghanaian Living Everywhere as to how to extend my divined “three score and ten” tenure on this already dying planet.

Every doctor – quack, genuine, witch and herbal – is telling me that at my age, eggs are bad for me but I must eat as much chicken as often as possible. Hmmm, “As3m b3ba Da bi”.

Fortunately, the other JSS philosophical [lesson] I learnt very early in my life was a statement rather than a question. “The pen is mightier than the sword” was drummed into our ears incessantly to promote the idea that persuasion and consent were more powerful and durable than resort to brute force. Hmmm. Again, as we have found in the 56 years of Oman Ghana, brute force has presided over us more often than the pen.

After 21 years of uninterrupted counting of heads instead of cutting heads as our preferred mode of deciding who should govern in our name and on our behalf, we almost got ourselves overtaken by an unexpected calamity of our freely expressed will being upturned by the very instrument that we have all been taught to be the fount of rationality and civilised conduct.

We have just been through nine gruelling months of tense and exciting (sweet & sour) legal tussle to decide whether the pen must have the final say in who was duly elected as our President on December 07/08 2012.

“On the face of the pink sheets” was the mantra and the key evidential tactic that defined the Petition of Nana Akufo Addo and two others to challenge not just the outcome but more daringly, to overturn the declared will of the people.

Whichever way one looks at it, at the core of the recent Supreme Court Case was whether a form, the pink sheet, had been filled in properly with all of the strictures of the laws governing elections, or as imputed without vocalizing, been subjected to deliberate obfuscation.

Whether done honestly or improperly, the actions and inactions of those who used the pen to sum up the operations and outcomes of the Presidential Elections were being used as the final arbiter of the winner of the Elections for which biometrically – verified votes (not yet a Chief, oohhh) had cast in long hot queues and “fiili fiili” conducted polls.

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