Democracy must work for Ghanaians – Ivor Greenstreet

The 2016 presidential candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, has said the 1992 Constitution stood the risk of giving Ghanaians an illusion that their lives can be improved by its contents.

He made the comments recently while speaking on the fundamental meaning of constitutionalism and related issues in Ghana.

Speaking on the significance of the Constitution Day, which was observed on January 7,  Mr. Greenstreet argued that the Constitution was meant to be a vehicle for institutionalising democracy in real lives.

“Democracy must work for the people,” he stressed.

Mr Greenstreet said that it is only when the constitution becomes so deeply connected to “Waakye and Kenkey issues that it can be properly and popularly protected”.

He agreed with the previous Constitution Review Commission (CRC) that the constitution must be developmental.

He, however, lamented the expensive CRC process and called on the government to clearly state its position, even if it meant issuing its own White Paper on the report of the CRC.

Mr Greenstreet added, “Like Ghana Beyond Aid and Beyond the Return, the nation had to go beyond the successful seven elections it has held.”

“There is little attachment to the system which is not reflecting results in people’s daily lives and politicians are seen as a group of individuals serving their own self-interests,” he said.

Presenting further arguments for a stronger democracy, Mr Greenstreet quoted Adolf Hitler’s famous 1934 Nuremberg dictum, “The state does not command us, we command the state.”

He said, “When properly understood, as J. B. Danquah did in the liberty of the subject, and as Nkrumah supremely carried out in the famous Positive Action campaign, which is also being commemorated now, the people’s interest must rule.

What we have done with the constitution is to set limits to, not to negate, the people’s positive action for their relentless welfare. This is what the CPP is about – the relentless pursuit of the people’s welfare within our liberal settlement.”

Mr Greenstreet noted that these practical ideological matters were the outcome of the ongoing Strategic Conversations for reclaiming Ghana and promised further future interactions on its more specific economic implications, including for a more nationalistic approach to the governance of Ghana’s resources.

The ‘Strategic Conversations’ also proposes strategies for translating macro-economic discipline into micro-welfare.

He ended by noting that the “NDC and NPP sat in Parliament to pass stability laws for Newmont and Anglo Gold Ashanti to pay Ghana only 1.5% from our gold!! This is shocking and unacceptable and must be changed”.

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