The New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Emmanuel Kwabena Agyarko, has renewed calls for the need to compose members of parliament based on proportional representation.
He explained this would ensure that the political party with the most popular votes from the various constituencies would have majority members of parliament.
According to him, though the NPP is a minority in the current parliament, the total individual votes of the 122 NPP members are more than the 148 National Democratic Congress (NDC) members of parliament.
“The number of voters who voted for the 122 NPP members of parliament are more than those who voted for the 144 NDC members of parliament. If we have proportional representation, the party with the most votes should have had majority in parliament,” he said.
In an interview with Onua FM during a programme held by the Political Science Students Association (POSSA) of the University of Ghana, the MP said “the current system where political parties with lower popular votes manage the win majority in parliament is not the best.”
Proportional representation characterizes electoral systems by which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body or parliament.
In this system, a particular political party is allocated a number of parliamentary seats that correlates with the percentage of electorates that support that political party in a general election.
This system is practiced by about 89 countries in the world with varying methodologies with regards to allocation of parliamentary seats; some of the countries include Germany, Australia, Brazil and South Africa.
Meanwhile, a political science expert, Dr Ransford Gyampoh, has called for the need for political tolerance and accommodation of divergent political views ahead of the 2016 General Elections.
This, according to the expert, would help consolidate the gains the country has made since the onset of the fourth democratic dispensation.
Dr Gyampoh was speaking at the launch of the week celebration of the Political Science Students Association (POOSA) held at the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, which was held on the theme “political tolerance; an ideal recipe for democracy.”
He said the notion that opposing political parties are enemies was detrimental to development and cohesion in a multi party democracy.
“We must also recognize that the concept of enemy is a negative and corrosive factor in multi party politics and the political parties contesting for the mandate of the people are citizens offering their services to the nations, not enemies fighting,” he maintained.
He, therefore called for the establishment of more avenues where groups and political with opposing views can dialogue, stating that “there should be the institutionalization of inter-party dialogue to ensure free communication and interaction such as the platforms created by the Institute of Economic Affairs Ghana Political Parties Programme (IEA-GPPP) and the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).”
He said politicians must have the capacity to cope with offensive and embarrassing criticisms once they are based on facts and can be proven.
“There should be the appreciation that governments are human institutions and can make mistakes. Such mistakes, when pointed out through attacks and criticisms must elicit proper response from government and not propaganda and the bogus practice of political equalization,” he said.
Dr Gyampoh advised that government must respond to criticisms with genuine acceptance and the show of effort to rectify the mistakes.
By Nii Okai Tetteh|3news.com]]>