In less than six months, registered Liberian voters will engage a final process of making collective decisions, and i.e, electing a group of people as their representatives to run the state of affairs. Since more than two years now, the process toward this has been unofficially and officially ongoing throughout the country almost to the extreme with very little control by the National Elections Commission or NEC.
‘Bad-mouthing’, insults, demonization, as well as negative categorization, ‘heavenly’ promises, impromptu favors which never were and the restoration of all of the cordialities which never or once existed continue to characterize political activities of Liberia’s electoral politicians.
Prominent among the foregoing electoral features are the ‘bad-mouthing’, insults, demonization and negative categorization among the aspirants and political game-players as reflected in the various news outlets, including the new media or internet-something we consider far from what politics actually is. Having closely followed the activities of our compatriots whose primary ambition is ‘state power’ for years now, we see politics among Liberian politicians-whether in roiling or opposition political parties as complete antagonism.
Politics, in Liberia, has been and is a dirty word at work, as elsewhere. We think of it as purely destructive, often distorting decisions and leading institutions in wrong directions. And sometimes, it does. Of course, Politics can be constructive, though, and we can help to make it so. We do see it as the process by which we resolve diverse and sometimes conflicting interests in a civilized and construct manner.
But it comes in many flavors — it needs not be destructive as we have had and continue to have it in our country today. Constructive politics gives us a way to make decisions together that take into account the needs and goals of diverse groups of Liberians. Practicing constructive politics is an art that must be imbedded with nothing, but the issues which center on the socio-economic and political well-being of our nation and its people.
What’s most unfortunate and frustrating about Liberian politics is the fact that those upon whom Liberians rely to provide political direction are the very ones creating the environment that “being in the opposition means being an enemy” or the other-way-around.
It is an open fact that in the wake of the 2011 general and presidential elections, those presently seeking elected positions from both the opposition and ruling parties see themselves as enemies in reality and will continue to thrive on this path even after the entire process until “Thy Kingdom Come”—that is just how bitter they are with each other.
Not that they are not abreast of American politics in which national interest supersedes personal interest, but choose to be ‘rapacious, unpatriotic, corrupt, nepotistic and politically uncivilized, drowning the rest of the population into abject poverty.
While it may be very difficult for our brothers and sisters who are so obsessed with the presidency and other elected positions as if there are no other jobs in Liberia, it is incumbent upon us all to be cognizant of their past and present impact-making achievements in the country before placing our trusteeship into their hands come October or November this year.
In so doing, we, too, the electorates must be very constructive in our interactions with them so that we, too, will not also fall into the ugly political situations in which they currently find themselves.
At the peak of this year’s electoral process, we may have tensions and other vices not in confirmative with practicing positive politics, but Liberia must be at the core of our political interactions. Practicing positive politics must be the way forward in determining the kind of Liberia we envisage for ourselves and our children’s children beyond 2011.