The little I understood from my introduction to Political Science, when we dissected, analyzed, and critically examined the different party systems, a single party system exists when one political party has the veracity to form and control the government and this situation commonly exists when it is centered on constitutionality or based on authoritarianism. In this system, all other parties are barred by the constitution or prohibited by bullying from participating in the political process of a defined territory. From my studies, most countries with single party system subscribe to the Marxist-Leninist Ideology.
The Communist Party of Cuba is the only party by law to participate in elections in the People’s Republic of Cuba. They believe that the party is the vanguard of the masses of the people and no one has the right to question its legitimacy to rule without limitation. China is another example of a country that ascribed to a single party structured as its model of politics. Vietnam, the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, and Eritrea are all presently champions of single party system in the political world order. The former Soviet Union, Italy under Benito Mussolini, the former People’s Republic of Poland, etc. were also territories in the pre Cold War era that practiced single party political ideal.
According to the Liberian History Study - the True Whig Ascendency, which was published by the Global Security, the True Whig Party of Liberia is regarded as the founder of the first single party state in World’s history. Although this was not legitimized by the 1847 Constitution of the West African state, black American settlers and their offspring dominated the political landscape of Liberia and scared away opposition through intimidation, repression and brutality from 1878-1980. Almost all countries of Sub-Sahara Africa had single party system after independence, but presently they all except Eritrea have converted into de jure multi-party system.
Within the context of our own history of party system, Liberia transitioned from a single party system to upholding and protecting multi-party democracy when the Progressive Alliance of Liberia- an interest articulating group headed by Gabriel Baccus Matthews metamorphosed into a political party named and styled the Progressive People Party (PPP). Unfortunately their preparation to participate in the 1983 election was stalled by the 1980 Coup which saw the ousting of the 102year True Whig Party rule and the establishing of the People’s Redemption Councilwhich was headed by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe. Despite all of its turbulence period (1980- 2003), since the overthrow of the kleptocratic oligarchy, the West African country has been a land that embraced multi-partism.
In the 1985 Elections, history witnessed the participation of Samuel K. Doe’s National Democratic Party of Liberia, Jackson Doe’s Liberian Action Party, Gabriel Kpolleh’s Liberia Unification Party and Edward Kesselly’s Unity Party. It is also written in the annals of the political history of my motherland that more than ten political parties participated in Liberia’s 1997 Election that brought in Charles G. Taylor as president of the Republic of Liberia after the First Civil War.Again in 2005, in accordance with the Accra’s Comprehensive Peace Accord that ended the macabre war, I witnessed at the age of twelve (12) the participation of twenty-two (22) political parties in the 2005 Presidential Elections here in Liberia. The participation of sixteen (16) political parties in the 2011 Presidential Election is unarguable.
All these electoral records are authentication of multi-partism in Liberia. Going forward to the 2017 Elections, the record of the National Elections Commission shows that there are presently over twenty-two (22) registered political parties in the democratic landscape of Liberia. This means that Liberia is a country with a multi-party system and with no records of the ruling Unity Party intimidating, harassing and repressing opposition political parties from participating in any political process. It is obvious that multi political parties will contest the electoral process in 2017. Despite the Unity Party winning the last two elections, winning the 2017 Elections will not lead to Liberia being a one party state. This will amount to just one party dominance, maybe because of the lack of the proper alternative, or the electorates are satisfied with the works of the ruling Unity Party.
For the Chairman of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change to have asserted that our country will dive back into being a one party state if the Unity Party wins the 2017 Election is weak, lazy and the showcase of intellectual bankruptcy. The CDC should not distort intellectualism to provide means for which the Liberian people should not vote the UP in 2017. Nathaniel McGill and his cohorts should understand that our society is becoming conscious and gone are those days when Liberians were carried away by misrepresented and disjointed logic.
The Liberia people are going into 2017 with a conscious, determined and united attitude. They will give way to a platform that will allow them to scrutinize the economic and political ideologies of the various political parties to enable them make informed decisions. The Liberian people want to know the ideal of parties toward mitigating the excesses of the status quo. They want to know those parties’ strategies and methods toward improving health, education, infrastructure, security, employment, the devolution of power and wealth in the rural areas, etc.
They will be asking the CDC, “How can you disassociate yourself from the pillaging of this regime when you had more than 18 members of your party in the 52nd National Legislature that ratified over sixty (60) bogus concession agreements that have kept the masses of the people at the bottom of the economic ladder”? They will be questioning the CDC, “How will you electrify Montserrado County within three years when you could not erect fifteen sub-offices in the political subdivisions of the Republic after you collected resources from your own supporters about a year ago for such purpose”? What has the CDC done or is doing to deal with their members who are at the National Legislature and going against the ethics and ethos of their institution?
The masses of the people are going into the 2017 process with critical minds. They will be searching for a leader with national consciousness- a leader who will not consider Liberia as a plantation where he would come to amass hurried affluence. This time around, our people will not settle for mediocrity.They will be looking with eagle eye at people who masquerade under the banner of protecting the mass of our repressed majority who are consistently and persistently longing for liberation. Therefore, instead of the Chairman of CDC going on Radio Talk shows and spreading falsehoods in his analysis with the intention of brainwashing the electorates, the CDC and its executives should focus more on playing the roles of a responsible opposition political party in such a democratic landscape. As a government in waiting, I caution the CDC to go all out and honestly question the status quo and hold them accountable to the public. As an alternate government, you should prioritize challenging the sham policies and programs of government and at the same time propose people centered alternatives in order for the people to find seriousness in your institutional framework. This is because the people take earnestly into account the attitude of the opposition.
The CDC should also concentrate on pertinent issues that matter most. What is their take on dual citizenship, the Christianization of Liberia, protectionist and interventionist policies, free trade, foreign relations, etc.? When was the last time you ever debated legislation or the national budget? These are issues when engage; some of us will regard you as a serious alternative. But if you continue to spew out innuendos and expect the people to always support you, you are nothing but a Utopian.
I THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
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