Lone-star at cross roads (II).
Solomon Myers (May 2004)
We must learn to crawl, before we walk...
From 1878 up until the coup d'etat of 1980, Liberia was essentially a one party state. Today Liberia has a whopping sixteen political parties and counting.
Liberia's one party state system created resentment and animosity among the electorate; however, the current presidential race, appears to be a chaotic Olympic race, where individuals are attempting to run for their personal gold medals.
This is alarming because, a presidential race should not be a race for individual benefit, but should be a race for the betterment of a nation and its peoples. Diverse minds should integrate to build two solid political parties, with the interest of Liberia and Liberians as a focus.
The electoral process in the United States, for example, has been dominated by two political parties since the administration of George Washington. The two party system provides the opportunity for diverging views to compromise and integrate to form strong parties. The two major parties in the United State have become broad coalitions that represent a diverging diversity of views.
A two-party system can provide a strong opposition to maintain some balance.
Liberia should follow the 1797 United States model, where the candidate receiving the largest vote, providing it was majority, was declared president, and the candidate with the second largest vote was declared Vice President.
Liberia is emerging out of a brutal civil war; and is in a state of political and social emergency. It is, therefore, essential that there be a coalition of minds and ideas in the form of two parties; as opposed to the 50 meter-sixteen man dash we now have.
New elections should be called every three years, and the maximum term for the presidency should be six years. This will bring swift progress to Liberia and restore some sanity to the political process in Liberia. This method should be applied until Liberia becomes a stable society.
Liberians must not forget the mistakes made in the past. The Liberianisation policy should be reinstituted to reduce unemployment, the use of the U.S dollar should be considered because it helps to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, the Liberian coast guards should be given proper tools to assist them in fighting the smuggling of illegal drugs, and the illegal extraction of petroleum in Liberia must be stopped.
Liberia is in dire need of a president who will work for the interest of Liberia and Liberians, promote human rights of Liberians and respect democracy. Liberia needs a president who can create improved relations with Washington; Liberia does not need a renegade president.
There should be a concerted effort for all to work together. Putting all hands on deck will create a win-win situation for all.
From where I sit....
Solomon Myers hails from Buchanan, Liberia. He is a Political Scientist/Historian, currently based in Ottawa, Canada.
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