According to the Rt. Honourable Speaker of Parliament, Alban S.K. Bagbin, democracy has evolved from a representational model to an inclusive system. As a result, dispassionate and indifferent people who choose not to engage and contribute to democratic governance risk being marginalised, because politics remains at the centre of all affairs.
Speaking on the state of Ghana’s current hung parliament, Mr. Speaker said, “If you choose to sit on the fence and decide that politics is not for you, I can assure you that those who choose to toe the line of politics will implement policies that will directly and indirectly affect your way of life.”
According to Speaker Bagbin, whoever chooses to be the piper chooses the tune to be played.
He was speaking to a delegation from the Tanzanian parliament who had visited Ghana to study the welfare and conditions of service of Ghanaian Members of Parliament, as well as to explore new ways to improve parliamentary business in Tanzania.
Hon. Ombeni Sefue (Ambassador), the delegation’s leader, expressed gratitude to Ghana’s Parliament for the prompt response in extending a welcoming hand to their delegation and commended Mr. Speaker for his untiring and altruistic service to Ghana’s Legislature and, by extension, the nation of Ghana.
Hon. Ombeni Sefue asked in his address how members of Ghana’s parliament were evaluated and measured based on their performance of functions in Ghana. Speaker Bagbin explained that in the performance of functions such as Bill examination and policy adoption, Parliament as an institution should be measured.
However, the Rt. Hon. Speaker clarified that MPs can only be evaluated in the performance of their duties and responsibilities, and that evaluation can only be done by the constituents they represent. As a result, a member of parliament from constituency “A” may be measured differently from a member of parliament belonging to constituency “B.”
Speaker Bagbin emphasised the importance of Africa cherishing and preserving its identity, culture, and heritage by implementing the adoption of common languages that will be included in the curriculum of all African educational institutions. He said “No African country has ever developed using the language of another country. Africa can adopt a lingua franca(e).”
Rt. Hon. Speaker S. K. Bagbin wished the delegation well and encouraged them to visit Ghana’s tourist attractions.