Beating 170 Years of Deception: Citizens Platform Set For Systemic Change in 2017


There are two deceptive questions Liberian politicians want to impress on the minds of voters in 2017.

First, who has the best platform or agenda? Second, who is the most experienced and qualified candidate academically?

Unless voters reject these deceptive questions Liberians will never experience a better quality of life, a bright new feature of hope, justice, and equal opportunities because Liberia’s current system of governance designed by politicians to enrich the political elites is corrupt, broken and beyond redemption! Deceptive questions distract voters attention away from what voters want and focus on the politicians’ agenda of endless exploitation.

We must focus on a new system designed by citizens to empower the citizens as masters who can set the salaries and benefits of public servants as well as make good laws and repeal bad laws without the permission or approval of the president or legislature! The old corrupt and broken system must go!

Now is the time that we, the people unite and abandon the 170-year-old broken system in order to start from scratch. Just as Liberians in 1847 abandoned the racist and corrupt system after decades of fruitless struggles in America, Liberians in 2017 must prioritize designing a new system of governance that is consistent with Article I of the Liberian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “All power is inherent in the people.

All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require…” Some may ask isn’t it too late-why now? “The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.

The second best time to plant a tree is now.” Liberia is going nowhere until we have systemic change-a new constitution and new institutions-not Presidents Doe’s or Sirleaf’s flawed constitution that empowers politicians!

Compared to Canada, which recently celebrated 150 years of progress as a country, Liberia’s 170 years of retrogression as the 4th poorest country in the world is not due to the lack of experience or academic qualifications of our past or present presidents. Liberia is backward because of our broken, deadly and corrupt system of governance that empowers politicians as masters and relegate citizens as slaves and mere voters.

Therefore, the most relevant and important question of 2017 isn’t who is going to lead Liberia but what’s the best system of governance that can unleash the God-given potentials and dreams of Liberians? It’s not the choice of self-serving candidates but our choice of a new system of governance that will determine where Liberia lands in the next fifty years.

With Liberians crumbling under the weight of economic woes, thousands graduating from colleges without jobs, endemic corruption, excessive salaries and benefits of politicians and diabolical human sacrifices and foreigners in control of our economy, the message to voters from the cohort of 2017 aspirants is short-sighted, self-serving and unanimous; “Just Put Me There!” Accordingly, no matter who is elected in 2017 on their platform-Broh, Boakai, Weah, Brumskine, Cummings, Urey…, it will be “business as usual” because Liberia’s broken and corrupt system will remain firmly in place.

After election day, the politicians will become the masters, not public servants.

They will set excessive salaries and benefits for themselves and lawmakers will continue to make bad laws with no regards to our future and interest of the people!

The voters will become powerless and must wait hopelessly for another election cycle. In fifty years, all the current career politicians and political novices seeking elective office in 2017 will be dead and gone.

Additionally, all the trees in our forests, all the iron ore, gold, diamonds and crude oil deposits underground will be depleted.

Countless young lives will be lost to barbaric human sacrifices and Liberia’s old, broken, deadly and corrupt system of governance designed by politicians to enrich politicians will continue to enrich politicians, to the detriments of the people.

 With “business as usual,” what sort of country are we leaving the future generations of Liberians?

Liberian politicians are not bad people. Like ordinary citizens, they are human beings-mere imperfect human beings, albeit, stuck for 170 years in a broken, deadly and corrupt system designed by politicians to enrich the political elites of the day.

To cure Liberia’s political woes, we need systemic change, not “business as usual”

For 170 years, Liberians have been deceived to think we can make progress with the right political leader running a corrupt and broken system of governance.

It hasn’t worked. Despite fielding four Harvard graduates in our last election cycle and electing a smart Harvard graduate at the helm for over a decade, Liberia, Africa’s 1st republic is still the 4rd poorest country on Earth, with barbaric uncontrollable human sacrifices, endemic corruption, widespread illiteracy, uncontrolled unemployment and a crumbling economy!

In a democratic system-the ordinary people, irrespective of their education, religion, ethnicity or social status are the only ones who can design new democratic systems of governance.

Citizen is the highest office in a republic-higher than the President.

That is why citizens must ensure we change from a broken system to participatory democracy- a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Instead of wasting your votes on politicians, use your votes to change your future by creating a new system that works for the people, not the politicians.

Join Citizens Independence Initiative and help create the citizens’ agenda and citizens prosperity platform for systemic change! Join today! Don’t delay!

About Author:

A pastor and human rights activist, Torli was instrumental in lobbying with US congressmen and policymakers to increase the quota of refugees from Africa being allowed into the US. He has also worked tirelessly in the New England region and beyond to champion the rights of refugees and immigrants. His organization, Universal Human Rights International, worked with thousands of immigrants from 38 different countries over the span of 20 years. He has been honored by the National Peace Corps Association and the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.