Elected Senators: Adopting Radical Steps and making Them Practical for Lawmakers to be more Accountable
The first post war Special Senatorial Elections will now be part of Liberian history. Saturday, December 20, 2014, Liberians went to the poll across the country to elect fifteen senators in consonance with a mandate from the 1986 Constitution of Liberia. Though indications are that the voting process was relatively free and peaceful, voter’s apathy was visibly very high as evidenced by the very poor turn-out almost at all polling centers across the country.
Other than the high fear of the deadly Ebola virus disease among potential voters as an attributing factor, neglect and misrepresentation by the current Legislators, especially Senators were responsible for the very, very poor voter’s turn-out across the country amounting to less than fifty-percent. Even though voting, generally, may have been done on the basis fame, sentiments and cash influence as opposed to substance, at least those destined to have won, made it through, with majority of incumbent senators bidding farewell to the Capitol Building.
Whether or not the incoming Senators will perform in accordance with the aspirations of the people who have elected them, is something that is little too far from assuming now. But judging from our past and current experience- factors responsible for the high voter’s apathy, not much difference may be anticipated.
But again, it is incumbent upon us, the electorates, to compare these lawmakers to be accountable. These Senators and Representatives have behaved and continue to do so because of the weaknesses in the population, including our inability to effect steps that must compare them to perform because of the cash influence exercised over us during elections.
If and only if we, as a people, can rise above such complacency devoid of all sentiments and cash influence in our relationships with our Senators and Representatives, there should be no reason(s) for any neglect and misrepresentation on their part. There is doubt that power lies in our hands as enshrined in Article I of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, but the limitations of the majority of us attribute to the bad attitudes of those we elect as Lawmakers.
We can only hope that as we welcome the fifteen elected Senators, we must also begin to make practical Article I of our Constitution to compare all of our Lawmakers to adhere to the social contracts signed with us. In other words, as a people, we must also adopt and make practical stringent measures, even if it means the radical approach, so that they will not serve their personal interests as they are currently doing, but us– the ones for whom they are at the Capitol.