45 seats drama………. BRITAIN’S SETS MARK FOR BLUNDERING EC
News Desk Report
At a time the political map of Ghana is being re-drawn in an exercise that many have criticised as a clear case of gerrymandering with the inclusion of 45 additional seats in Parliament barely two months to elections, Her majesty’s Great Britain has served notice that it intends to reduce the number of Parliamentary seats in the nation. The people would vote on it in two years time, before becoming operational.
Unlike the obvious abuse of the Parliamentary process currently taking place in Ghana, where Members of Parliament have been called from their constituency duties just to while away in the house, and ensure that there is a semblance of Parliamentary duties for 21 days in order for the Constitutional instrument to mature, in Britain, the Boundary Commission, the independent body in charge of drawing the political map of Britain, has given a two-year notice before the vote on reducing the number of seats takes place.
Britain has a population of 62,641,000 and a total of 650 seats in Parliament, popularly referred to as the House of Commons. The Times of London published a report on Tuesday, September 13, about a new political map of Great Britain.
“The exercise is being carried out by the Boundary Commission, and aims to equalise the size of constituencies. It will also reduce the number of MPs across Britain by 50.” Every constituency, apart from two specified exceptions, will have an electorate that is no smaller than 72,810, and no larger than 80,473.
In Ghana, where there is no quota for the electorate of constituencies, some members of Parliament represent less than 20,000 electorates, while others have huge numbers to cater for.
In Britain, the Boundary Commission’s blue-print, according to the ‘Times’ newspaper, has generated a number of complaints from MPs, including Cabinet Ministers such as George Osborne, the Chancellor of Exchequer (Finance Minister), Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary, and Ian Duncan Smith, Work and Pension Secretary, who would be forced to oust MPs from their parties to save their careers. Judging by the proposal, their constituencies would split up.
These landmark proposals were published on Monday September 12, 2011, and are scheduled to be voted upon in two years time.
This is a far cry from the Ghanaian experience, which is to add 45 seats, to bring the total representation of in Parliament to 275, for a population of 24 million. The rush, with which the exercise is being undertaken in Ghana, political analysts have warned, could be a recipe for disaster.
It is almost certain that the maturity of the CI.78, in whatever version, would be too late for the Electoral Commission to capture all candidates accurately for the 2012 vote on December 7. The District Assembly elections of 2010 had many problems, because the Legislative Instrument was late to Parliament and was passed late.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=47615