The difficult art of reaching consensus in a democracy

The difficult art of reaching consensus in a democracy
The difficult art of reaching consensus in a democracy

A Constitution might be composed on “pieces of paper”, yet in the event that it is treated as though what is written in it is equivalent in incentive to the material that replicates and harbors it, the individuals who live under it might endure outcomes which they can’t promptly envision.

At the point when the British previously drew for us during the 1950s, the Constitutions under which Ghana was to get autonomous in 1957, a portion of the arrangements were so “unwieldy” to the head of our freedom development, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that he is accounted for to have shouted with disturbance that he would “drive a mentor and ponies” through some of them.


As “Head of Government Business” and later Prime Minister, Dr Nkrumah utilized his gathering’s dominant part in Parliament to do correctly that. He was judicious enough to initially import a Constitutional Adviser called Geoffrey Bing, ex-Member of the British House of Commons that composed our Constitutions, to prompt him on the most proficient method to do things that conflicted with “the soul of the Constitution” intrinsically (that is, without encroaching the letter of the report.

Hence, Dr Nkrumah had the option to furrow his way through the Constitution(s) handed down to Ghana without a lawful hitch. Either the courts deciphered the Constitution to concur with him, or, in one case, he excused the appointed authorities and put in new ones in their place who concurred with him.

Dr Nkrumah originally tossed out the Regional Assemblies (which had been joined into the Constitution to mollify the National Liberation Movement (NLM) and its partners, who had pursued a severe and fierce political mission somewhere in the range of 1954 and 1956, to make free Ghana a government state.


A few infringement of the Constitution were, as prior noted, a greater amount of the idea of ridiculing its soul: for example, the death of an Indemnity Act under a Certificate of Urgency, in Parliament, to keep a courtroom from rebuffing individuals from the leader who had acted to appropriate a court choosing whether two “Nigerian” money managers could be extradited from Ghana, in spite of the fact that they professed to have been conceived in Ghana. The way that the courts should be free of the chief was delivered an “unsettled issue” in that specific case by the two men being expelled under the steady gaze of the court could articulate judgment. Also, the “Repayment Act”, thus, pre-absolved individuals from the leader from disdain procedures in regard of the offended parties’ removal before judgment. 9The leader individuals reimburse by Parliament were the Minister of the Interior, Mr Krobo Edusei and his Commissioner of Police, Mr E. R. T. Madjitey.)

Next, a Preventive Detention Act (PDA) was passed by the Ghana Parliament, making it workable for residents of Ghana to be kept without preliminary, for times of five years each – despite the fact that the Constitution should contain arrangements that ensured singular basic freedoms, including habeas corpus and the subsequential option to open and reasonable preliminary.

A 66% larger part in the Ghanaian Parliament could make the vast majority of the arrangements identifying with basic freedoms incapable. Dr J B Danquah and different attorneys battled in the courts against a portion of the new, “hostile to vote based” bits of enactment. Yet, the legal counselors, as referenced prior, got no help from the courts.

At long last came the proper assertion of Ghana as a “One-party state”, after a choice had affirmed the thought. The submission happened, obviously, after the death of the PDA, thus open discussion on such a genuine policy driven issue was impossible for everything except the most fearless of Ghanaian residents.

When the one-party state was initiated, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) Government, which, at one time (1951 to 1956) was an archive of mainstream political wants in the nation, turned out to be generally protected from authentic popular feeling. It committed rudimentary errors that disgraced its devotees; for example, it permitted a lack to happen in the gracefully of numerous customer products. What’s more, debasement happened in the conceding of import licenses.

This is the reason, on his oust by the military in 1966, Dr Kwame Nkrumah was accounted for to have asked logically: “They needed milk, sugar and cleanser”? How could the head of the “Red Cockerel” party, that should uncover things of alcoves and corners, not have known the rudimentary actuality that Ghanaians were utilized to a daily existence that was genuinely open to, being, all things considered, net workers of unfamiliar trade, through their creation of cocoa?

Indeed, even interior majority rule government inside the CPP itself declined so much that after the Party was ousted, one of its Ministers depicted the Cabinet of which he was a part, as a lot of “expanding puppets” who permitted Dr Kwame Nkrumah to do anything he desired.

Inevitably, “things self-destructed”. After Nkrumah’s topple, Ghana experienced a progression of military juntas that were regularly more awful than the “undemocratic” systems they had persuasively supplanted. A “culture of quiet” in the long run plummeted indeed upon the Ghanaian people, particularly somewhere in the range of 1982 and 1992, and accounts of torment, murder and the discretionary capture of property coursed broadly through the land, scaring the individuals who were covetous of watching majority rule standards in the nation.


Nobody who was a grown-up with psychological resources flawless during that pitiful period would wish to experience that time again, ever. Our present established courses of action may not be the best or generally helpful on the planet. Yet, they were to a great extent advanced to forestall the maltreatments of the ongoing past. That ought to never be overlooked by the individuals who view the current allotment as excessively disappointing as in it again and again hurls circumstances that effectively test the majority rule qualifications of the individuals who hold the reins of intensity.

Presently, it must be conceded that our present Constitution is a significant peculiar creature, no doubt. For instance: it accommodates a President who, to all goals and designs, is a “leader president”. However, generally, our Parliament transforms the president into a “Head administrator”, while denying him a seat in Parliament.

Enactment he needs to go must experience a parliamentary cycle of which he doesn’t frame a functioning part. He needs to pass his proposed enactment through a Minister for Parliamentary Affairs. In any case, even in a Parliament of which the Prime Minister is a part, erosion can and emerges. In the UK, for instance, there can be struggle between Downing Street (the Prime Minister’s office) and the workplace of the Leader of the House. Or then again between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer (this was the situation between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and prior, between Margaret Thatcher and Geoffrey Howe.) Under a Tory Government, there is even a third focus of intensity that can muddle matters further: it’s designated “The 1922 Committee” and a British Conservative Prime Minister overlooks it at his hazard.

In Ghana, the hostile discussion we’ve been seeing over the “Agyapa” Royalties Company issue is a side-effect of our “recognition of things past”; how bad things have been done in the body politic in the ongoing past. Exorbitant activities that influence the funds of the nation have been known to be introduced to Parliament in a rushed, aimless and amateurish way, with almost no open planning before arriving at the House. Regularly, it shows up as though proposition, fit for enhancing organizations (both neighborhood and unfamiliar) to the detriment of the State, are intended to get away from full open examination and be smashed down the throats of the general population as a fait accompli.

That is to say, was it not gullible that FOUR MONTHS BEFORE AN ELECTION, anybody could anticipate that a proposition should pass easily that contained the words “unique reason vehicle”, “fused in Jersey” and “exclusion from charge”? to ring alerts everywhere? Particularly, given the scarcity of days distributed in Parliament for the exhaustive examination of such a perplexing and novel budgetary issue, including as it does, (a) the irregular collecting of cash from mineral resources; (b) benefits gathering to a yet-to-be-framed organization that are to be held “in interminability”; and (c) enacting rather quickly to support the foundation of an organization whose outline has not been drawn up yet, not to mention having been completely scrutinized and consented to?

Other cloudy inquiries should be replied in an authentic way. For Instance has the Attorney-General’s office consented to the arrangement or not? Is it genuine that the division portrayed pieces of the “Agyapa” arrangement as “unreasonable”?

We catch wind of various letters from that office concerning “Agyapa!” But regardless of the turmoil, there has been NO OFFICIAL public statement clearing up the issue! Isn’t such supercilious conduct an advertising bad dream? Is this the best that an ideological group with the family of the NPP can do?

Let me remind the NPP that it didn’t stomach theNDC’s “Ameri” deal,although that arrangement was significantly more significant for Ghana than “Agyapa”, as in it was pointed toward dispensing with a genuine and real crisis, to be specific, the unpleasant force starvation (dums?r) that the nation was encountering at that point?

In the event that “Ameri” couldn’t pass since it was so severely mishandled, how could anybody expect as convoluted a proposition as “Agyapa” to be given a free section – and four months to a political race, at that?

In the Ameri case, those responsible for acquiring power for us accepted that on the grounds that the need was so plainly critical, they could ride the tempest that would blast out over it. They weren’t right. Their kindred residents wouldn’t be coerced into tolerating whatever had all the earmarks of being a potential “fix” for the terrible dumsor issue.. Legislative issues is the craft of the conceivable and exercises ought to have been gained from the “Ameri” scene and applied to “Agyapa”. Not to have done so was truly unprofessional, I am apprehensive.

Those introducing “Agyapa” to Ghanaians ought not have presented