Memo to Liberia’s Collaborating Political Parties: Don’t Sell a Pig in a Bag
In 2005, UP media team used a slogan coined by Morris Dukuly and that said: “You can’t expect Liberian people to buy a pig in a bag.” This was targeting then CDC candidate George Weah who had refused to go on a debate against UP Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Of course. Weah never participated in any debate.
Now the same slogan can be applied to the those vying to be the CPP presidential candidate.
There is an assumption that only Mr. Alex B Cummings and Amb. Joe N Boakai are in the race. This assumption becomes a glass ceiling for every member of CPP who may want to contest the presidency.
A serious primary would allow everyone to be candidate and that the voters across the nation get to have a peak at the candidates.
The term political leader, that entered Liberian political narrative, does not allow competition at the top of the party. Under the present conditions, no one but the four “ political leaders” can aspire to contest.
Besides allowing everyone to contest, the primary process will open a national debate process. Candidates could hold town-hall meetings together, show unity of purpose while competing to be the nominee.
An un-democratic institution or process cannot produce a democratic governance.
CPP can organize group meetings with candidates in major cities around the country. The voters will see the candidates and make informed choice. This may bring the candidates closer as they discuss issues and therefore lower the level of suspicion.
CPP is mostly known by the political class. Its fundamentals and the conditions of collaboration are not known around the country. Going to elections with voters only informed about the rivalries between the candidates will not help.
It’s expensive. So is good governance in a democracy.
The current climate of campaign/no-campaign creates uncertainty.