Monday, 8 December 2014

An Old Man Muses - Before Taking An End Of Year Break

TOWARDS THE 2016 ELECTIONS
   
Not being tech-savvy, one can only presume - in one's ignorance - that it might be technically feasible to create a database containing the bio-data of all registered voters, and use it to network the Electoral Commission's (EC) biometric machines to expose multiple voters.

The alarm will be raised the moment they attempt to vote more than once.

The question then is: would it not be wise for the nation to  focus its attention now on making possible what will be a useful innovation in the electoral process - and use it to underpin the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections?

If that is done, it will help keep the men and women of violence at bay - and stop them from tipping the nation over the precipice when the EC announces the results of the 2016 presidential election.

For at no point on voting day, will they have an election-disrupting-excuse to latch on to - by falsely claiming that their supporters were being prevented from voting: when what they were actually attempting to do, was to vote a second time.

When one listens to the words and watches the actions of ruthless, power-hungry politicians like the so-called "Chairman Wuntumi",  the Ashanti regional chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP),  one can see the writing on the wall.

His shouting match with the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadjo Afari-Djan, at a recent EC/IPAC meeting in Kumasi, is a harbinger of things to come.

Perhaps the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) could work with the EC and Ghanaian software companies to develop the process suggested above for the 2016 elections. It will certainly help make the results of the 2016 presidential election more acceptable to all the candidates who take part in it.

 TOLERANCE IN GHANAIAN POLITICS

Ghanaians are a mostly-tolerant people. That is why it is such an unfortunate development that our political class has succeeded in  polarising Ghanaian society to the extent it has.

Yet, Ghana has enough space in it to accommodate diverse opinions. Wherever in the world there is competition of ideas in the public sphere, in a nation's public discourse, the best ideas usually come to the fore - and propel such societies forward.

Candidates competing for national executive positions in political parties in Ghana, ought to focus on contributing creative and innovative ideas, which will help their party to improve the lot of ordinary Ghanaians, when in power.

Negative campaigning in which the media is used by some candidates, to mount personal attacks on rival candidates vying for regional and national executive positions,  is counter productive. Democracy is not just about constitutions, state institutions and concepts such as countervailing powers, etc., etc. - it is also a way of life based on tolerance. Ghanaian politicians must never forget that.

TAXES

Ghanaian politicians must understand clearly that the only way to successfully widen the tax net in sustainable fashion, is by lowering taxes substantially.

If taxes are low, most businesses will feel that it is their moral duty to contribute their quota to the nation-building effort - and therefore meet their tax obligations. Why don't we put Ghana on the world map as the nation with the world's lowest corporate tax rates?

SMEs with a turnover below a certain threshold should not have to pay any corporate taxes at all. That will enable them to survive even in  the most difficult of economic conditions.

That will also enable them to retain more of their workforce in tough times. Working individuals regularly spend money on purchases for their households - and that is good for the national  economy.

Above all, personal income tax must be abolished. That will literally put more money into the pockets of hardworking people - instead of making it available to be siphoned off by white-collar criminals in the system who steal taxpayers' money regularly, employing different schemes for the purpose.

If the payment of personal income tax  were to be abolished in Ghana, many foreign companies would immediately move their African headquarters  here.

And many high net worth  individuals from around the world would flock to Ghana and become resident here - living here part of the year for the minimum period required to qualfy for the privilege.

And they will all need office and personal accommodation to rent or purchase. Ditto employ professional advisors, recruit staff for their companies as well as hire domestic staff.

The money such companies and wealthy individuals would spend here annually, would boost the national economy considerably.

By utilising the internet of things, it should be easy to monitor bonded warehouses, to eliminate the massive fraud pepertrated by the importers who abuse the system and evade taxes.

The money saved by remote electronic monitoring of bonded warehouses across the nation, by utilising the internet of things, will more than make up for the tax lost by abolishing personal income tax in Ghana.

Finally, eliminating wasteful government spending could also cut down government expenditure.

The so-called Brand Ghana Office is an example. It does not make sense one bit, spending taxpayers' money branding Ghana. A good quality of life and high living standards for ordinary Ghanaians, is the most eloquent 'narrative' about Ghana for a global audience. The Brand Ghana office must be closed down immediately.

The President must also dismiss the small army of  nonperforming presidential 'aides' and 'special assistants' at the presidency.  If they did their work well, this administration wouldn't have such a negative image, amongst ordinary Ghanaians. They are a drain on the public purse. Is it not time they went?

 ZOOMLION COULD  COLLABORATE WITH AXION INTERNATIONAL TO INTRODUCE COMPOSITE PLASTIC BRIDGES & PLASTIC RAIL SLEEPERS INTO GHANA

Some of  the plastic products a waste management company like Zoomlion could use recycled plastic waste to manufacture,  include composite plastic bridges and plastic rail sleepers.

Zoomlion's ever-busy executives could look up www.axionintl.com - and connect with Axion International for that purpose. A joint-venture here would benefit both companies, and the nation generally.

Axion International makes composite plastic bridges for the US military that are strong enough to carry even heavy military tanks.

The Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board could pay for deteriorating bridges in the cocoa-growing areas in the Ghanaian countryside to be replaced with Axion International's composite plastic bridges - which will last for decades and still remain as sturdy as when newly installed, all that time. Literally. Food for thought for Zoomlion's executives.

POST SCRIPT

To deal with a sudden personal emergency, to do with my accommodation, this blog will take a break, and  perhaps return either before or at some point in the new year.

If I am unable to return before the new year, I will take advantage of this opportunity,  to wish all the Ghanapolitics blog's readers a Merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous 2015, in advance.


























































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