Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DO THE RIGHT THING: PASS THE THRESHOLD BILL

Written by: Abraham Hoff, Chief Community Organizer
LEAD Organizing For Liberia @ 077384990 and/or leadliberia@yahoo.com

Today in Liberia, it is absurd that the Liberian Legislators are seeking to increase their numbers in the Threshold Bill. However, these same legislators have not done anything for their respective communities; not talking about the people that got them elected. If the current representatives and senators could not do anything for the Liberian people and their respective communities why should the people elect new representatives and senators? Today our elected officials are seeking to increase the number of Representatives from 64 to 86, with a combine total of 116 legislators in the post 2011 elected government of Liberia. To our elected officials, the Liberian people want to know how the increased number of Representatives will benefit their communities and the national interest of our beloved country. The Liberian people want to know how the increased number of Representatives will provide quality education for their children. The Liberian people want to know how the increased number of Representatives will provide accessible healthcare and put food on their tables.

LEAD stands for “Liberian Empowerment, Advancement & Development” We believe the people must be empowered. We believe they must be given an avenue for advancement because when they are empowered and given an avenue for advancement they become the backbone that builds the country. LEAD stands on these three pillar structures (Empowerment, Advancement and Development) to engage, educate and empower the Liberian people.

The Liberian National Elections Commission in keeping with its constitutional obligation submitted the electoral bill after preliminary results of the March 2008 National Housing and population census in Liberia, proposing a threshold of 45,000 per constituency, but the House reduced the number by 5,000 thereby creating rooms for more representation in the legislature. In 2009, the 52nd National Legislature set the population threshold at 40,000. With the threshold set at 40,000, it means that every 40,000 Liberians will be represented by one legislator in the 53rd legislature.

This indicates that a population of approximately 3,476,608 divided by 40,000 will result into producing 86 lawmakers in the House of Representatives and 30 senators (two each representing senior and junior) would come from the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia, which could lead to a combine total of 116 legislators in the post 2011 elected government of Liberia. The Least populated counties including River Gee, Grand Kru and Bomi will lose seats while Montserrado (that carries nearly half of the country's population), Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties will get more representations. Montserrado County is expected to get additional 14 seats in the House of Representatives meaning that the county will now have 28 Representatives in total beginning 2011 according to Mr. Kaihenneh Sengbeh.

The 52nd National Legislature is basing their decisions on Article 80(d) and 80(e) of the Liberian Constitution and the universal suffrage law which requires that every qualified voter be given equal rights and that each man/woman's vote weighs the same, irrespective of sex, religion, status and locale. While these representatives and senators may be right, it may cause the Liberian government serious financial implications. The most ridicule thing is our elected officials are not doing anything for their respective communities—not talking about the people that got them elected. Yet they want to increase the number of “DO NOTHING LEGISLATORS” from 94 to 116 WHILE THEIR RESPECTIVE COMMUNITIES REMAIN UNDEVELOPED AND THE PEOPLE CANNOT PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES—NOT TALKING ABOUT PROVIDING FOR THEIR CHILDREN OR SENDING LIBERIA FUTURE (The YOUTH) TO SCHHOL. Our seniors do not have anyone to care for them but their representatives and senators are demanding additional Representatives.

Today in Liberia, LEAD Liberia stands with the Liberian people. Instead of putting a huge percentage of the budget into the 53rd Legislature thereby providing additional office spaces and salaries for those that would occupy the new room created by the threshold. Our Government, including the National Legislature must provide quality education, accessible healthcare and investment that would empower the Liberian people—instead of engaging in bellicose politics over the Threshold Bill—they should be fighting and championing the concerns of the Liberian people and the national interest of our beloved country (Liberia) and not politics of partisan division and personal greed.

Thank you and May God Bless the Republic of Liberia.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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