Most of our Parliaments in the 4th republic had been accused of being lackadaisical in their functions or works.
Parliament is the citadel of democracy. It is the fulcrum when it comes to the institutionalization of democratic culture in every democratic environment.
It is the most ‘disliked’ and ‘battered’ arm of the state. Anytime the Constitution is overthrown, other arms will continue to function. For instance, Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Fasso in the West African sub-region had their constitutions or grundnorms truncated.
Interestingly, the Executive and the Judiciary of the countries are at work. Sadly, Parliaments that represent the people are in abeyance or dustbin.
Most Parliaments perform the following functions of lawmaking or legislation, representation, deliberations, financial oversight, investigative and another mandate of vetting and approval of nominees of the President, budgeting et al.
The current 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic is very unique.

John Mahama

It has four main unique features from my perspective. These include the head of the arm, (House) the Speaker, comes from the opposition stock. He was a former leader of the House, arguably the most experienced Member of the House in the 4th republic during his ‘MPship.’The 2nd unique feature of the House is the equality of the number of seats by the two main political parties:the New Patriotic Party(137) and the National Democratic Congress(137) and the availability of one independent Member of Parliament representing the people of Fomena in the Ashanti Region.
He is also a 2nd Deputy Speaker of the House.
Another cynosure of the House is the presence of two blood and direct brothers representing different parties and different constituencies, but the same region. Then the sitting Vice President’s brother-in-law is also on the opposite side of the divide.
To satisfy the curiosity of my Catholic readers, the Speaker, and his two Deputies are Catholics. They are also members of the learned profession. (lawyers).
Back to the matter on the table, the rubber stamp is when Parliament decides to approve any business of the Executive without doing any thorough assessment or research. It is also when the approval of the decision of the Executive is done with political/partisan lenses.
Such actions are not appreciated by the electorate, political watchers, and governance persons or analysts.
The trend is changing under this 8th Parliament, as we hardly see such culture happening.
Ghanaian voters should be applauded for changing the structure, form, shape, and behavior of the House.
Consensus building should be the watchword.
Members of Parliament should be seen working for the nation not satisfying their partisan or parochial ambition. Partisan politics is allowed in Parliament but not to the extreme level that can affect the fiber of the country.
The rubber stamp should be a buried function as it negatively affects the ‘purity’ of Parliament.
Our elected representatives should consider the interest of the country as paramount and work for its development and growth.
There is hope for our nascent democracy.
The current Parliament is showing the way by declining to be described as a rubber stamp house in its functions.
The diction ‘rubber stamp’ is gradually decimating in our Parliamentary Democratic lexicon.
I applaud the current House.
Keep it up, House.
Ahmed Osumanu Halid
Nima 441

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