Veteran social commentator and media guru Dr Julius Spencer was on radio yesterday morning pronouncing what this medium is describing as yet again another ‘master blaster’ milestone and critical path analysis laid for our social lives in Sierra Leone.
The learned doctor together with several well-meaning Sierra Leoneans are calling for a change in the political landscape of this country, which would perhaps coil down these marathons of social injustice that threaten to tear us apart. The call is for a Party Proportional Representation system to win a seat in the House of Parliament.
Never again does the Sierra Leonean wants to see his compatriot dragged to the roadside and murdered in cold blood. Never again do we want to be called ‘blood diamond dealers’, nor do we want to see our peoples’ limbs chopped off.
As if God did not do His part of the work to allow the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and the All People’s Congress Party (APC) to perform miracles that would grant them permission to extend the earth surface on which our country sits to be stretched as far as possible, maybe beyond the Republic of Mali to the north and Liberia to the south.
We practiced the parliamentary system of governance from 1961 to 1971, where, on the aggregate, the highest number of parliamentary seats won by a party automatically leads to a win for the Presidency.
We have witnessed, from 1972 to 199 between the late President Dr. Siaka Probyn Stevens and President Joseph Saidu Momoh, the one party system of governance for 20 years.
Indeed, we saw Dr Ahmad Tejan Kabba in 1996 practicing the Proportional Representation for eligibility to the House of Parliament, where each party selects a long list of names of electable party stalwarts against possible number of votes cast to be shared based on numerical percentage of the seats in the House.
In 2002, Tejan Kabba dragged us back to the Presidential and Parliamentary system of government.
Here, separate votes are cast for members in their constituencies and the candidate that pulls the highest votes is declared winner. On the other hand, a separate vote is cast for the single Presidential candidate and his running mate under the flagship of a political party. This type of system is very close to the American system of governance but slightly different, limiting winning to an aggregate of 55% to a flag bearer.
What has struck this medium to add its voice to that of our patriotic brothers is the attitude and political games that the SLPP and the APC are playing, subsequently driving the people mad.
The APC came in 2007 and by the time they left in 2018, we saw two districts and several constituencies added to the same ground surface of Sierra Leone that measured 28,000 square kilometres. This in fact gave them a numerical advantage on the seats in the House of Parliament. Many believed that the essence of conducting the 2015 census was all about that political gain.
The SLPP came in 2018, and now they want their Mid-Term census. Why? I am not going to answer that question, but leave it up to your judgment.
So why not agree with me that the SLPP and APC are not GOOD for themselves? Surprisingly though, no third force could ever uproot that Mahogany tree standing in the middle of FREETOWN as long as these two giants are at each other’s throat.
This is why we need to change the goal posts either by widening it in length or in breadth. Because the APC has already set all political pundits baffling, gnashing their teeth as to whether there is anything left between these rivals’ tit for tat, the revenge syndrome, bad law making, BAD HEART, cheap propaganda, Tifi tifi.
Although the Proportional Representation of Parties (PRP) has faced various criticisms such as neglect for constituency commitment and inadequate knowledge in choosing party officials on the list, there should be a high degree of internal party arrangement and competition among aspirants. These wrangling and election “yarbis” may be mitigated. PRP may be customised to befit a particular system and challenges, depending upon how the people in that community see it.
This medium remains firmly convinced that the present parliament has been blotted for no good reason and wish to call on all to see that we cut it down to 60 Members of Parliament who could thoroughly maintain a more robust posture. THE MORE THE MERRIER, BUT THE LESSER THE QUALITY.