The 2016 Presidential Candidate of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, has been speaking on the fundamental meaning of constitutionalism and related issues in Ghana.
In an interview with DGN Online on the significance of Constitution Day, he said the Ghana Constitution stood the risk of being reduced to a complex Ananse Story which has given us an illusion that our lives would improve.
Mr Greenstreet argued that the Constitution was meant to be a vehicle for institutionalizing democracy in real lives, “democracy must work for the people.”
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 sad career of the expensive CRC process and called on the government to more clearly state its position, even if it means issuing its own White Paper on the long, studied report of the CRC.
“As a lawyer I see nothing wrong with that”, he added.
“A Constitutional Commission of Enquiry reports to a government as a manifestation of the state not as a representative of a particular regime…” he continued.
Mr Greenstreet added, “like Beyond Aid and Beyond the Year of 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.
He added that “…Elections are a necessary but insufficient basis for democracy…”
In arguing 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.
“No be Constitution we go chop but the Constitution for make chop”, he added colloquially.
Mr Greenstreet noted that these practical ideological matters were the outcome of the ongoing Strategic Conversations for Reclaiming Ghana and promised this paper further interactions on its more specific economic implications including for a more nationalistic approach to the governance of our resources and for meso strategies for translating macro-economic discipline into micro-welfare.
He ended by saying 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!”