Presidential Candidates, Where Are the Platforms?

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Presidential Candidates, Where Are the Platforms? All ye who are running for president of Liberia, do you realize that there are only 39 days to elections? Yet until now, we have only seen one party platform, that of a minor political movement, the United People’s Party (UPP). Where are the platforms? We are compelled to ask. Only two presidential candidates, Kennedy Sandy of the Liberia Transformation Party (LTP) and Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party (ALP), several months ago promised to send us their platforms, but until now neither has kept his promise. So far, only the United People’s Party has released its platform.

We are constrained, then, to ask three questions: first, do those seeking the nation’s highest office, the presidency, not think that the people deserve to know in the printed word where they stand on issues and what are their plans for Liberia? Second, how do these candidates expect the people to make up their minds who to vote for? As a follow-up, are these presidential hopefuls only waiting for the last minute to dish out bags of rice and money in order to win votes? Would this not be an attempt at manipulation? Third question: why are you hiding your platforms? If indeed you are hiding them, what are you afraid of?

We the media and the public have heard many of your speeches promising Liberians the moon. But why are you hesitating to commit yourselves in print? Do you doubt yourselves, that you might not be able to deliver on your precise promises? If you doubt yourselves, why do you want to be our president? Who, may we ask, needs a self-doubter for president? For if indeed our presidential candidates are unwilling to tell the Liberian people in precise, written form what they (the candidates) intend to accomplish as president, and HOW, how do they expect the people to make up their minds as to whom to vote for?

It is true that Liberia is about 60% or more illiterate, meaning that at least 60% of Liberians can neither read nor write. Yet, we are bold to say that the 40% who are literate would be only too willing to share with their illiterate brothers and sisters what the presidential candidates have written. More besides, all of the radio stations would willingly and readily read on air each platform and invite thinking citizens to discuss it. So all of us, the literate and the non-lettered, will have opportunities to hear, listen and understand what each candidate is saying about what he will do and how to lift Liberia and move her forward.

At this eleventh hour in the campaign, with only 39 days to these historic elections, we fervently appeal, once again, to all presidential candidates to bring forth, by this weekend, their platforms in printed form, so that the media may publish them for the benefit of the reading public. As earlier stated, we have no doubt that the finally released platforms will be widely shared with all the people, the literate and the non-lettered, so that they may begin to decipher (decode, interpret, make sense out of) what each candidate’s plans are for Liberia.

We await the responses of all candidates to this urgent plea so that the people may begin to discuss in earnest what each candidate plans to do as he or she seeks this highest office in our land. We think it is only fair to us to tell us in the printed word what your plans are for the country and people and how you intend to execute them. Please email your platforms to [email protected].

Authors

6 COMMENTS

  1. Kenneth Best, you are simply lokking for means to have your papers sold; just as those organizing that nonesense they called debate objective was to make themselves appear important or relevant, as if the Liberian people have not passed that stage. Jut forget it. Find another means. Probably showeing unmerited praises on Ellen will boost your sale. Don´t you think so?? Everyone of you in this art of falsehood to make money.

    Here again after witnessing the unbecoming conduct of the Supreme Court, we are now embarrased with another unbecoming conduct …this time from the Legislature, because the Minster of Education did not extoll their candidate´s Joseph Boakai´s promises to build bridges where there are no Waters.

  2. Webmaster, aren’t you satisfy with the debate? Why should anyone give you a printed copy of their platform? It is your duty to record the debates and all other speeches,(video and audio) of the candidates wherever they go so that you may be able to make reference to in the future. Keep the pressure on by asking them questions and documenting those responses (audio and video). I will not give you mine if I was running, for fear of other unprepared candidates stealing my ideas and repeating it or you publishing it for other candidates to see.

  3. Running for such noble office without a platform? No surprise here. This is how we’ve always treated ourselves as a country; take ourselves for granted just like everything Liberia 🇱🇷 has been since its founding. First we ran a government that only benefited a small segment of the country, then came years of destruction in a civil war on the heels of naked mismanagement and rampant corruption. Against this backdrop of attitude that left Liberia stifled in more than a century of economic doldrums, people are running to be president but don’t care to provide the populace with any kind of platform. How very Liberian! However, all of this only points to the dire to need educate our people in the importance of their civic responsibilities. This is a national imperative if we must reverse the tide of mediocrity in our politics. The likelihood of people being elected only because they are able to provide a beg of rice in exchange for a vote is a risk Liberia 🇱🇷 cannot continue to afford.

  4. To the Daily Observer:

    I don’t know why the other guys won’t submit their platform to you, but here’s mine:

    My fellow Liberians:

    I know I’m late in declaring my candidacy for the presidency, but I think 6 weeks is enough time to run an effective campaign. So, let’s kick off my campaign with a heart-to-heart talk–shall we?

    Look, I know you and I don’t agree on everything, but I’m sure we share the same vision for our country….right??

    1) You and I want the born rogues, in our government, behind bars…

    2) You and I want poor parents to have school choice…

    3) You and I want poor taxpayers to keep most of their hard earned money instead of giving it to the born rogues in our government…

    4) You and I want poor market women and yanna boys to sell their goods and services at whatever price the market will bear…

    5) You and I want to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizens to solve our youth unemployment crisis…

    But to make our shared vision come true, we need someone with common sense to lead us. The book people in our country have failed us!

    That’s why I’m running to be the President of Liberia!

    And please– I hold your foot– I don’t want you to go looking for any skeleton in my closet, okay? Please.

    Why? Because not only will you find skeletons, you will find a whole grave yard full of youthful indiscretions, fail marriages, and academic failures—dating all the way back to my elementary school (St. Patrick’s, now Cathedral) days! I used to chase “water police” in West Point!

    But look. I’m running to be your president and not be canonized as your Saint, okay? So please chill out… on digging up dirt on me.

    Now, let’s look at my platform::

    No need for you to panic about my platform. Once you see what platform is all about, you will understand why you are voting for me and not my opponent, Jalopy Boakai.

    As your elected president, the first thing I would do is, abolish the Ministry of Education! Ok, ok, I know the Partnership Schools of Liberia (PSL) is step in the right direction, but we need to make some radical changes in our education system.

    Since J.J. Roberts, our government schools, under the Ministry of Education, have been an epic failure!. Most government schools are poorly run!! and these poorly-run government schools have contributed to low test scores on WAEC exams and have helped established a set of values alien to high moral standards, hard work and achievement.

    Our Ministry of Education has got to go! After abolishing it (Ministry of Education), we will use that money to give each child, through his parents, a specified sum (school vouchers) to be used solely in paying for his primary education; the parents would be free to spend this sum at a school of their own choice (Milton Friedman’s idea)!

    By using the power of the parent’s choice, we can improve the quality of our children’s education immensely.

    I plan to use the building (Ministry of Education) as a public Library and a fitness center for Jewel Howard and Alex Tyler!

    Second, to stop wasting your hard earned money (taxes) on buying tainted SUV’s and renting fancy building, I plan to abolish the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). My campaign slogan is “Get Rid of it”!

    As it stands now, half of LRA’s budget is spent on Elfred Tamba’s hairdresser and pay rent. And the other half is used to pay useless government employees to harass our job creators (small business.owners)!

    Many small business owners cannot find a way to escape poverty because their way is being blocked by stifling regulations enforced by the stupid book people at LRA! They are killing our small businesses left and right!

    Finally, on the same day I’m sworn in, I will send out pink slips to the Minister of Commerce and his employees!

    Look. These are same people who prohibit ordinary Liberians, like you and myself, from buying cheap ice cream and Viagra from foreigners. Why? Because of an unenforceable and economically disastrous policy called Liberianization.

    To make matters worse, these same economically illiterates misuse the power of government to set prices of other people’s private property (rice, pepper, bitter balls, okra, taxi fares, etc) in order to make it AFFORDABLE!

    Do you think anyone would miss these economically illiterate clowns at Ministry of Commerce? Please..

    Because of time and space, I’ve to stop here. But over next few weeks, I’ll be campaigning all over the country, talking about the rest of my platform, and giving out free bags of rice to registered voters!

    When I come to your village, I will kill a whole cow for you! So please stop by and have lunch with me, and get your free bag of rice!
    And remember to vote for the Common Sense Candidate in October!

    Martin Scott
    Write-in Candidate

  5. Elections platforms or manifestos contain the visions, agendas, and policies political parties promise to implement should they be elected to form a government. Daily Observer isn’t the only Liberian newspaper demanding them. An August 14th 2017 editorial of widely – read Diaspora journal theperspective.org was headlined, Unity Party Campaign “Dream Team”: Where Is The Platform?

    And in the June 2017 general elections in the UK, Conservative Party candidate and her country’s prime minister Theresa May flatly rejected the repeated requests of Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn for debates, reminding him that her party’s elections’ political platform speaks for itself, and should be evaluated on its merits and dismerits by voters. Mind you, she was Minister of Education in the cabinet of former Prime minister David Cameron; so no one said she couldn’t articulate the burning issues facing the UK.

    Moreover, debates didn’t determine the outcome of the presidential race in the US, and, tellingly, many are still waiting for fulfillment of “verbal promises” of massive infrastructure developments that were going to bring “great well – paying jobs” to unemployed Americans. Simply put, presidential debates aren’t substitutes for written political platforms or manifestos.

    As we have said earlier, the Liberian presidency is a job, not path to be a godhead, hence, those seeking it must show evidence what they would do with its omniscient imperial “power. More so, in a country where the various political leaderships have wickedly betrayed the trust of the vast majority Country and Congua poor for such a long long time.

    To end here, in his entertaining yet insightful book entitled “out of my mind”, Mr. Andy Rooney of the CBS’s “60 Minutes” fame observes: “The public” someone once said “is an idiot”. It doesn’t really know what it thinks and there’s no guarantee the people it elects will do what they promise to do anyway”.

    Well, wise Andy was talking about a better informed American “public” – voters – having “no guarantee” whether candidates would fulfill their promises. If that’s not an overriding argument for well – written comprehensive platforms from our presidential candidates, I don’t know what is. Don’t joke with the suffering of the vast majority, folks; and thanks to Daily Observer, once again for uncommon public service.

  6. We don’t know how “dismerits” in the second para evaded the censors for “demerits”, but it got there: typo.

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