Governance Commission Holds Civic Education Forum on Electoral Environment
Monrovia – The Governance Commission, as part of its Civic Education Forum on the electoral environment on Thursday, September 14 organized a stakeholder forum under the theme: Education and Health Care Delivery in support of national discourse on the role of electorate, their expectations and challenges during elections.
Report by Henry Karmo – [email protected]
The forum provided an opportunity where politicians, citizens and experts on electoral matters provided information that ensures political education of citizens’ understanding of the difficulties the country faces during this transition.
The forum is the first of a series of forums expected to take place at the same venue for three-days and will bring together participants from national government, the private sector, the media, academic institutions and civil society Organizations.
Don’t make unrealistic promises
At the start of the forum a commissioner of the Governance Commission, Elisabeth Mulbah, warned politicians against making unrealistic promises to the voting population.
She made specific reference to the use of the word ‘free’ which she said is often used by politicians in fetching votes.
At a daylong civic education forum on the electoral environment the, Commissioner Mulbah cautioned aspirants to make promises that are deliverable and sustainable.
“Don’t make promises about free education; free health care when you know free is not free when you know that getting free health care is unrealistic.”
The commencement of Liberia’s campaign period started with candidates vying for the support of electorate a campaign style that is partly driven by the electorate’s expectations and candidates’ calculations of political gains.
In political culture, democracy is often understood as a right (and opportunity) to demand certain deliverables from political leaders, rather than right to participate in making decisions and searching for solutions to collective challenges.
To commissioner Mulbah, this mind set is an incentive for candidates to make unrealistic promises and undermine the reputation of political rivals.
According to her, unrealistic promises are bound to produce disappointment later, and feed mistrust of grassroots to political elites and the state.
“Democracy is more than making demands on politicians. It invites citizens to define the issues they consider important and take part in the search or solutions,” commissioner Mulbah said.