It is NOT the fault of our constitution that...

It is NOT the fault of our constitution that...
Source: Ghana| Dr Arthur Kobina-Kennedy
Date: 30-04-2018 Time: 03:04:34:pm

It seems that we blame the constitution for a lot of our challenges in governance. Let's get some things straight.

It is NOT the fault of our Constitution that we have too many Ministers and Presidential staffers.

It is NOT the fault of the Constitution that corruption is rampant and getting worse.

It is NOT the fault of the Constitution that we have high unemployment.

It is NOT the fault of the Constitution that we have a dirty environment.

This has been true for all our governments.

It seems that we are more comfortable blaming constitutions and inanimate things than people. The Constitution cannot punish but people can. It reminds me of a sermon I heard years ago. The priest reports coming across Lucifer in a church, weeping uncontrollably! When he asked Lucifer why he was weeping, he replied, " I know my reputation but I know nothing about most of the sins people blame me for and I think that is unfair".

Our constitution is about four times as long as that of the United States and Britain ruled the world without a written constitution quite effectively for a long time. Let's stop blaming our constitution for things men should fix.

Our constitution, of course, could use some improvement.

We should strengthen Parliament by separating it from the executive.

We should decentralize by electing MMDCEs and moving spending and personnel decisions to our districts and municipalities.

We should require the approval of Parliament for the appointment of EC Members.

While these changes would help, what is needed is active citizenship-- citizens actively demanding good governance.

Can private SHS students go to court to demand free SHS like their public SHS counterparts?

Can a group of sick people who cannot pay for hospital charges file a class-action suit for a declaration that they are entitled to care?

Can a group of JSS students from failing districts sue for more/equitable resources?

Can a coalition of NGOs marshall the public to besiege Parliament and demand passage of the freedom of information bill?

America's constitution is beautiful but without the civil rights movement and before it the civil war, most of the most profound rights would be just paper rights-- blacks would still be property and schools would still be segregated.

My fellow citizens, if we do not become the citizens the President asked us to be, we can never be the country we aspire to be even if our constitution gets as long as that of India, which has the longest constitution.

Have a happy constitution week and be a citizen, "not a spectator ".


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