In a Post by Prof. Kwaku Azar sighted, he is still not had enough of the national discourse on emoluments and identifies the root cause of the terminal dashing of huge monies and benefits to the Article 71 Office Holders in the country. He writes that:
"Article 71 is not the problem. The problem is that Ghanafuo allow Article 71 to be abused and paradoxically blame Article 71 for allowing their leaders to abuse it. Yet, Article 71 is a mere emolument clause. As with almost everything else, our leaders can do only as much as the public allows. That is, there are political constraints on our leaders’ power to determine their emolument.
Most constitutions have an emolument clause. The worst emolument clause can be found in the US Constitution at Article 1 section 6, which allows its legislators to determine their own compensation. Yet, the US legislators have not been able to exploit their emolument clause. Not because they are supra-legislators or super humans.
In fact, as far back as 1816, they raised their compensation of $6 per sitting day to $1,500 a year. As one observer puts the citizens reaction to this Salary Grab Act, “the thunder-clouds of national indignation roared above. The storm broke. The whole nation seemed to tremble in the convulsive spasms of political hysteria.
Every Congressman, who had voted for the bill was attacked with the venom of personal hatred. “Pirates," "looters of the Treasury," "thieves," " traitors to the people" were the epithets bandied about the country. Private robbery and public plunder "was the favorite characterization; denunciation and retort, violence, abuse and clamor filled the whole country.”
But it was not just indignation and condemnation. Almost everyone who voted for the Salary Grab Act was defeated, in the next election and the next Congress unsurprisingly repealed the Salary Grab Act. Congressional salaries were not addressed for four decades.
Today, even though the law theoretically allows an annual cost-of-living adjustment, the lawmakers usually vote to decline the raise. The US voters do not blame their Article 71. They act as a constraint on the abuse of their Article 71 by exercising their political power.
Ghanafuo must stop blaming Article 71 and start using their political power to shield Article 71 from abuse. #SALL is the cardinal sin of the 8th Parliament. Not because the EC can sin but because Ghanafuo will let the EC get away with it.
Da Yie!" he wrote.
Commentary following his post have included the following comments:
Kwame Panyin Bansah writes "You make a very valid point as always. But you are failing to notice one thing, it took years before the US citizens collectively came together, to fight certain injustices in their constitution. The political awareness/maturity took time. In 1816 Ghana hadn't been conceived mpo. Someone commented "passive citizens", yes, the time hasn't come. We shall get there. The current US system has been over 500 years in the making.
Why do we expect Ghanaians to be like the US when we are less than 70 years old? Why don't we want to grow organically, but always looking at older matured people and wish to be like them when we are TODDLERS? When the time comes, the spontaneous and collective action will result. First, I agree, we shouldn't blame the constitution, we should change it, and change we shall, when we are ready. Anokwa
Seth Taskwa Ansah writes "What really can Ghanafuo do ? Can’t we rely on our legislators to do the right thing just as their colleagues in the US? What really can the “ordinary” Ghanaian do ?
Manu Enoch writes "Prof. You have said it all. The people are the problem and not the leaders. Here those who steal more are those we vote for."
Emanuels Amponsah writes "How many Ghanaians would read and even understand this script? You enlighten us everyday but the coverage and the impact are too low for my liking though. As I share this on my wall, I hope and wish my fellow Ghanaians who have access to this thread would for same to enhance the education. Good work Prof!
Kwasi Ackah writes "What we lack is that nationwide spontaneous indignation. That has been missing for close to three decades."
Osei Emmanuel writes "A great point. I always say it's because Ghanafuo allow all these things to happen. SALL allowed itself to even be counted by Ghana Population and Census, whiles being denied representation in parliament. It just shows how weak we are as a people...As Kofi Bentil has put it- Ghanaians must vote for a party that is ready to relook at Article 71 in the 2024 elections!!"
Tijani Maikano writes "This needs to be posted once every week till Ghanafuo understands it and act on it. The way forward."
Michael Kyene Odoi writes "We sometimes believe the USA are where they are by chance"
Tutu Faculty writes "Passive citizens."
Seth Tsatsu writes "Our problem is ethnicity and hatred."
Daaviba Selassie writes "The hatred and tribal politics wont allow us to right this"
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