October 10, 2017: The Day Liberian Voters Must Avoid Misusing Power Vested in Them
THE DUST IS FINALLY about to settle and the day for Liberians to determine what path the country should tread for the half decade is now hours away. Africa’s oldest republic is lagging behind in almost every aspect of modernity, and it’s plagued by the ignobility of corruption and a dire economy.
THE OCTOBER 10 POLLS WOULD NOT be the penultimate showdown but expected to set the stage for a peaceful transfer of power in more than seven decades of Liberia’s history. Everyone considers the election critical because through all of the thrilling rivalries amongst 20 Presidential and 986 representative candidates, the world is expected to witness a collective democratic decision by more than 2 million voters. A pending decision that would either improve or crumble our fragile democracy; and at the same, alleviate the challenges or compound them.
REPLACING PRESIDENT ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF is no easy feat. Under Africa’s first female head of state, politics in Liberia is more polarized with several front-runners showing strength. But Sirleaf’s governance, over her two terms, amplified debates about power of the chief executive.
IT IS AN OPEN SECRET that the President of Liberia is the ‘puppet master’ of the government regardless what the constitution says about balance of power and separate coordinated branches of government blah blah blah. He/she controls the economy and budget, makes appointments, and dismisses appointed officials at will. The others, mainly the legislature, have proven that they possess just a rubber stamp authority.
THE REALITY OF LIBERIA’S POLITICS, as ridiculous as it seems, justifies why voting for the right person as President is extraordinarily important for the development of the country. Indisputably, once he/she upholds high esteem of patriotism and nationalism, we’ll get on the right track but the opposite is the MISUSE OF POWER leading our nation further down destitution and backwardness.
WHEN YOU ARE GIVEN THE TWO BALLOT papers on Tuesday take a moment, reflect on Liberia’s many challenges and all that have shackled our progress regardless being the oldest African republic.
IT WOULD BE THE MOMENT TO EXHIBIT the power as a Liberian – that you (voter) are truly the boss to decide the fate of a politician. All of the politicians have had chances to pitch their plans. You have listened, probably danced to their propaganda songs, disagree with a neighbor or workmate’s political views or maybe commented on a Facebook post about a candidate. All what that matters are reflecting on the long-term impact your decision would have.
CAMPAIGNING HAS BEEN RELATIVELY peaceful and calls are echoing to keep the situation calm. Politicians and their bedfellows are still bragging about who pulled the largest crowd, won debates and have the most experience. Meanwhile, some irrelevant allegations were also overwhelmingly noisy and created distractions, negating the core issues beleaguering Liberia and its people.
BUT THE NARCISSISTIC ATTRIBUTES of these politicians – Presidential or representative candidates – are meaningless without your one vote and that is the superiority you would have on October 10, 2017.
ONE OF THE AWULFUL TRAIT of power is its tendency of manipulation. It is easily misuse if not properly utilized. Over the years, the world has witnessed many powerful people who ‘misused power’ were dragged down the mud – some failed, some jailed, others executed disgracefully.
A CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR HORRIBLE FATE was the misused of power! As simple as it sounds, misusing power is detrimental to an entire society. For example, we often decry or regret decision to elect a certain candidate, a year after election we are desperate to reverse that ‘MISUSED OF POWER’. Some opt for a protest vote. It sometimes ends up as another terrible move once again.
YOUR DECISION TO VOTE FOR the right candidate on Tuesday is the right step to avoid misusing power and all the ramifications that would continuously plague Liberia. We are all living through the overwhelming development challenges, something we generally blame on the MISUSED OF POWER that might come in the form of corruption, nepotism or other misdeeds.
EVERYONE BLAMES THE GOVERNMENT for these challenges, but not everyone recalls the decision they made at the polling station ELECTION DAY. As a voter, when you had all the power in your hands and you decided to MISUSE YOUR POWER like the politician you voted.
WE CAN BLAME THE PRESIDENT, SENATORS OR REPRESENTAIVE all you want but when our decision to vote the wrong person comes back hunting at least we must carry part of the blame.
YOUR VOTE IS BY all means a fundamental right preserve for you alone while marking the ballot paper but if its use to elect corrupt power-seekers or those with tinted or bloody past, you are also culpable of dragging Liberia down.
WE ARE IN NO WAY QUESTIONING Liberia saneness of exercising his/her democratic franchise; what is more important is the aftermath of a decision that would most likely have deteriorating impact on a country we all love that is already enduring some of the worse situations in the world.
THE GOVERNMENT IS FAILING to curb corruption, fix the roads, supply drugs at the hospitals, fix the ‘messy’ education, or regulate policies to stabilize the economy etc., but you would also be a failure when you elect an incompetent government.