Over 160 years ago, in the midst of the most gruesome moment in the struggle of the African continent against colonial domination and slavery with the fundamental goal of establishing Liberia as an independent nation at stake, the Grebo, Mende, Mandingo, Bassa, Vai, Gola, Kissi, Kru, Gbande, Kpelle, Loma, Krahn, Mano, Gbandi, Gio, De, Belle, Congo, etc. converged through their representatives and agreed to write a constitution forming the basis for a democratic and republican form of government based on the Rule of Law.
The raison d’etre of that government was to guarantee and protect the inalienable rights of free and independent people. The essence, maintenance, and administration of that government was to secure the existence of the body politic; to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who composed it with the power of enjoying in safety and tranquility their natural rights, and the blessings of life; and whenever they can get those significant objects from their government, the people should have the right to alter the government, and to take measures necessary for their safety, prosperity, and happiness.
At public investiture ceremonies, elected officials took a solemn oath that they would preserve, protect, and defend that constitution.
Crucial to this Agreement, was the right of popular suffrage because people realized that without the power to vote political candidates in or out of public office elected officials entrusted with the mantle of the ship of state would become corrupt and fall foul of the organic law of the land.
The People’s Dream Smashes to Smithereens
Irrespective of years of disappointing in the integrity of government, the people would not stop being optimistic about the future. As the years went by, feudalism or domestic slavery was abhorred. Local custumes and internal regulations were jointly negotiated and agreed upon by and in respect of the indigenes. This partly ended mutual distrust, conflicting interest, or political rivalry. After the early 60s and despite the failure of the government to enforce the rudiment of democratic norms about the natives, Liberia built a free enterprise system unparalleled in African economic history. Only a few privileged people, however, achieved a middle-class life and better future. In other words, the country grew without development. And while the overwhelming majority gave the average of over 40 years of their lives with or without their consent to their employers both public and private, they stayed behind, and the future remained bleak for them and their families. And for generations, politicians and their collaborators had systematically torn the Liberian constitution to shreds.
Good Government Protects People It Represents
Any time the people assembled or decided to gather aimed to exercise their rights enshrined in the Liberian Constitution they were intimidated, harassed or imprisoned by the government in brazen violation of the law. When the government failed to be responsive to the needs of the people, they became complacent about their political system. That’s when government officials kept grabbing more and more for themselves and their families. And corruption and misuse of public office went out of control
The Liberian People deserve a better government
Liberian citizens deserve a better government. But this can only be possible if they galvanize and demand that Government and businesses enter a New Deal with the Liberian people.
The New Deal goes far beyond the pursuit of Perestroika, glasnost, open-door policy or passive détente. It’s the preparation of the country for real democratic and civic reforms. The worth of every man will be recognized regardless of ethnic, tribal or religious affiliation. The people, the inheritors of real sovereignty and political power, will decide the fate of the new Liberia. For every genuine citizen or resident, the new contract is a change of attitude, belief, and values. It’s about inspiring and revitalizing new Liberian leaders who will place public interest over individual agenda.
The ultimate success of the New Deal will depend, in large measures, on how honestly and genuinely the principle and institution of democracy will take root in the hearts and minds of all Liberians
The rules must be changed so that people enjoin a real enforceable right to form a union, community organization without interference by government or corporation; and to bargain collectively without fear of losing their jobs or going to prison.
The government must hold companies accountable when they eliminate jobs and destroy communities.
Economic Growth and Security
All able men and women should work and receive decent pays.
The Government must ensure that primary industries are rebuilt and expanded
The minimum wage should be raised to a level that can support a working family.
Liberians must have quality health care, and the people must know that they will not lose it if they change jobs
Taxes should be increased on large corporations and the very wealthy, with the money used to fund tax relief for working Liberians
Trade and the Global Economy
Exports should be encouraged, but Liberians should not trade with nations that do not enforce fair labor standards and human right conventions
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