We trusted you to go and represent us in the House which is a crime in no way. We left our busy schedule to go and register to vote to tell you that we want to be part of the decision making of this country.
Some of us had to go back and forth due to technical problems on the part of NEC just to be registered.
Some of those issues were; camera is not functioning so you have to go and come back later or you have to wait for another person to come before printing because they don’t want to waste materials etc., but we still endured patience because we know how important this is for us.
On the voting day, we woke up early to go and stand in queues to make sure that our voices are heard. Some of us had to walk extremely long distances to make sure that we are part of the process.
Those sacrifices were not made for you to pass bills or sign contracts that are not in our interest. We know it is not possible to have everyone’s one view before signing a contract or passing a bill, but we can make the process in a way the masses will feel part of the decision making. It’s Possible!
These are three (3) simple recommendations that can turn things around in a split second:
Sessions should be live broadcasted on National Television and Radio Stations
One of the paramount reasons for which national radio and television stations are established is to inform the public about daily happenings. Because most of the bills and contracts are signed behind closed doors, they don’t tend to interest the masses. Example is the recent turning over of the LEC to ESBI, a company that was chased out of Ghana because of their unrealistic demands.
This contract will do more harm than good to Liberia especially in the case where they are bringing about 25 low level managers which Liberians can serve effectively in those capacities. If this contact was brought to the public’s attention, under no circumstances it was going to be honored.
Another reason for this live broadcast is to exposed ill minded politicians. The masses will be watching them live so if a lawmaker introduces a bill that will not be in the interest of the masses; he will have his people to contend with.
This process will also help to reduce the passage of bogus bills or signing of bogus contracts because their integrity will be on the line thereby reducing brown envelopes locomotion. The voting process will also be monitor so we will be able to differentiate between those who are representing us and those who are representing their pockets.
Districts Forum (Consultation)
You are representing a group of people who constitutes the districts. Therefore their opinions are needed especially in relating to matters that will affect them. The good part of this is that every decision made in the house will affect everyone.
So it is prudent to have a district consultation forum to have the views of the women, youths and elders. At some point, let them reach a decision and then you can buttress it to the house. In so doing, they will not feel overlooked.
In fact, it during these forums they will feel some level of attachment to their lawmakers and the lawmakers in return the lawmakers will know the things that are affecting the people they represent and adequate bills can be introduced and passed to address the situation. If this is achieved, we can now say that we have a government by the people and for the people.
Live Social Media Broadcast
Live social media broadcast is a buttress to point one. This will give access to working people in their offices to monitor the process on their phones while at work and they can make their inputs by commenting their views. Liberians in the diaspora will also be able to contribute.
It is my hope that our lawmakers will see reasons to extend the decision making to the people they represent. This is also a means of fighting corruption and fostering national developments.
With developed minds, we can have a developed nation.
Lassana M. Dorley, II