Last week, some smaller political parties went berserk over the decision of the Electoral Commission (EC) to charge Gh¢50,000 and Gh¢10,000 as filing fees for both presidential and parliamentary candidates, willing to take part in this year’s elections.
Since 1992, when we ushered in the new democratic dispensation, the EC, has been treating political parties with kids gloves.
A simple requirements of having a certain number of offices, have been violated, submitting yearly statements of account to the EC, are not been followed, yet the EC, still entertain and keep these political parties on their books.
Democracy is expensive and any individual or political party, not in the position to pay the amount demanded by the EC, is not fit for public service.
We have allowed a lot of people over the years, to launch their poverty on our collective heritage, how much does it cost today, to read a masters degree in any of our tertiary institutions, be it public or private for a year, and some political parties are complaining about the amount charged by the EC.
For any individual to be ready to run for public office, once needs to demonstrate that, he or she has the wherewithal, apart from the intellectual capacity and good intention.
The argument being made that, the filling fees, will scare away good people from putting themselves up for election is neither here nor there.
We have seen how some people become instant millionaires, once there get into political office, they used politics to enrich themselves at the expense of the tax payer.
Good intentions, must be backed by money, seeking public office is not a free for all game for every Tom, Dick and Harry.
The EC, must even ask for tax clearance, to ascertain whether or not those parading themselves, have met their tax obligations.
It is expensive to run a campaign, so if an aspiring parliamentary candidate, cannot marshal GH¢10,000, then the person, have no business been in politics.
We need self made and accomplished men to decide the future of our country, posterity will judge us all, if we just allow anybody to go to parliament to enact laws for us, knowing the person does not understand, what it is he or she is doing.
The filing fee, demanded is refundable, if a candidate manages to get a certain percentage, so it is incumbent on anybody, who wants to contest to assess their chances, based on their strength before throwing in the hat.
We believe this is a fair deal, and it also help to separate the wheat from the chaff.