For the 4th Republic of Ghana, perhaps with the exception of the 2nd Parliament, nearly all other Parliaments have been accused of not asserting their independence plenty of by standing up to the Executive.
This require for Parliamentary independence and assertiveness has been reechoed by notable Parliamentarians such as Hon. Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin and Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the existing 2nd Deputy Speaker and The vast majority Chief respectively. In fact, some have even absent a action even further in describing Parliament as a rubber stamp where by the Minority generally has its say and the Greater part has its way when it comes to choices in the household, even though some conclusions in the home are based mostly on consensus making across the aisle.
But how can we make our Parliament far more independent and assertive as true independence of the household will translate into high quality rules, excellent of representation and much better oversight of plan implementation by the Executive arm of governing administration?
For answers, we need to as a state agree on the form of Parliament we want. International locations do figure out the variety of legislatures they want or aspire to. “Many of the world’s representative bodies only signify – that is, their governmental capabilities only consist of affirming and legitimizing the national leadership’s conclusions.
The only countrywide consultant that truly possesses powers of governance is the U. S. Congress which never accedes to the President’s spending plan proposals without building alterations. Both the British House of Commons and the Japanese Diet regime always acknowledge the funds just as proposed by the government” ( Lowi, Ginsberg, Shepsle & Ansolabehere, 2010:166). Like our Structure, we in Ghana can concur to go the way of hybrid thus giving some latitudes to our Parliament to make much reaching inputs to Executive spending plan appropriations, payments and motions the place members deem it fit devoid of overbearing affect of occasion command and whipping in line.
As we ponder about this, I have in thoughts a utopian Ghana and Parliament. I am no Prophet or a soothsayer. I have no timelines as to when this can materialize in Ghana. It is a variety of utopia that will be interesting to working experience. It is a utopia that we will have to avert our minds to even if the likelihood of its incidence is this kind of miniscule. That utopia is to have the Executive and the Legislative arms of federal government controlled by two distinctive political events.
Have we critically thought of this state of affairs enjoying out one day in this Republic? This utopia does have a ton of ramifications on our governance method. For starters, this utopia will see Parliament managed and led by an Opposition Speaker and The greater part Leader who will also be in cost of Parliamentary company. The Chief and the Speaker will make a decision to a massive extent which governing administration small business, bill, settlement and movement get showcased on the Get Paper for a supplied working day. It will make a Business Committee with the greater part from the opposition social gathering. This will generate a circumstance of getting Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who will not be a Leader of the household.
That utopia will develop the greater part of the Standing Committees that have the greater part of their customers becoming non-members of the ruling get together. These types of committees with opposition occasion chairs will decide the extent of amendments to costs and appropriations from the Govt. They will make a decision on what represent certificate of urgency and whether or not to grant tax waivers to folks or organizations as shall be proposed by the Executive.
That Parliament led by opposition parliamentarians will choose on when constitutional devices in particular those people that will be despatched by the Electoral Fee get laid in the dwelling and when they get experienced. It will impression on the EC’s spending budget, programme and timing of occasions. And perhaps, it will inspire compromises remaining made by the EC and Parliament and advertise a much more welcoming relationship in between the two bodies.
Further, this utopia need to direct us rethink the provision in our constitution that would make the Speaker of Parliament the computerized Performing President each time equally the President and her/ his vice are out of the jurisdiction. It should guide us to present a delimitation to the extent of his/her functions if we are however likely to keep on to the apply whose relevance some have questioned versus the backdrop of the internet and social media which can make our Presidents provide their guidance ubiquitously. It will also test Parliament’s constitutional mandate of controlling govt appropriations and expenditure because the Chairman of the General public Accounts Committee will be a member of the ruling get together.
Far more severely, it will be a exam scenario of our perception in the principles of rule of law and a check of the character of the Government arm of governing administration. For instance, will the President rule largely by issuing Executive Devices or obtain a way of by passing Parliament?
For individuals who have not averted their minds to this utopia, I remind us that this will have a considerably achieving affect on how speedy new governments are composed, which Ministers get authorized by the Parliament’s Appointment Committee. It will be an attention-grabbing payback time for some nominees who may possibly be a ache in the neck of the opposition celebration or who may possibly have insulted or forged a slur on some opposition figures in the course of the campaign. But it will also make chiefs, Imams and the prelate influential lobbyists on the facet of some of these nominees. This will be so really serious as to establish which Supreme Courtroom nominee receives to sit on the apex court docket regardless of their expertise, working experience and skills.
Meanwhile, it will make the Govt arm additional accountable to the Legislature as the Legislature will have the possibility of requesting of the Govt to make total disclosures of its intents on appropriations and agreements. It will also influence on the high quality of expenses passed and agreements entered into taking into consideration that there will be more scrutiny and thoroughness on the element of the Legislature. For Ministers of Point out who are fond of offering excuses every time motions pertaining to their ministries are filed, they will have to transform their mind-set.
For us the public, we should brace ourselves to dwell with two parallel governments – 1 at the Jubilee Residence and the other at the Opposition Party’s Headquarters. It will have considerably achieving outcome on government’s appropriation bill which may get turned down or authorized with sizeable alterations and amendments. Such situations will have dire effects on public provider shipping and delivery and running of government company. But in this utopia, I am jealous of the enviable position of the Committee Chairperson of the Finance Committee. He/She will pull strings and there will be all eyes on her/him.
But it will also be a examination of the integrity of Opposition Parliamentarians. Will they regard their whips and the bash headquarters or they will crack ranks with their get together in Parliament? But for what ever they do, they should not eliminate sight of the up coming election.
So, for people who clamour for a legitimate separation of powers, genuine independence of the Legislature, and bipartisanship in our governance method, this utopia is really worth our pondering more than. But let’s try to remember that amid other points, it will generate avoidable delays, conflicts, polarization and party jingoism. Followers of the American Congress which often see an opposing party control either of the houses will completely enjoy the correct ramifications of this utopia in Ghana.
That is why thoughts of this utopia should let us think of the appropriate constitutional improvements that can give us with an insurance coverage against the negative repercussions of this state of affairs. And as it is mentioned, when two elephants struggle, it is the grass that suffers, we the general public will have to brace ourselves for the enormous penalties of this utopia one working day.
The writer, Gborse Nicholas Mawunyah, is a writer and meeting speaker on topical troubles in education and learning, political-historical past, faculty leadership and innovations. Speak to him through: firstname.lastname@example.org