know fifty years from now, somebody is going to read the Hansard and look at what we said here; that the people who stood for the right thing, who took a principled stand on democracy, the right to Vote -- I am happy my President is on the right side and I am too happy to be on that side with him.
Mr. Speaker, the argument being
peddled is that it is going to be difficult for people to vote, especially if they are in Alaska, it is going to be too difficult for people to vote because they are in Afganistan; it is going to be too difficult for people to vote because they are in South Africa. Mr. Speaker, if we were to extend that argument, then nobody else in Ghana other than the people in Accra will vote, because it is too difficult to vote if you live in Kuwait, Atonsu, Kumasi.
Mr. Speaker, people living in the Afram
Mr. Speaker, let us dismiss that
argument. Mr. Speaker, the amazing thing about this argument is that, as we speak today, the election that brought us here, people who lived outside voted. They would want to keep quiet about that because if one happens to work for the Government in New York one is allowed to vote. If the Government sent some one to Cuba to study, that person is allowed to vote.
So all we are saying is that if other people living in Canada who are Ghanaians are allowed to vote by this present law, just extend it to my step-child who was sent abroad by a cocoa farmer to study in the United Kingdom. It is an extension; we will use the same facilities that we are
using now; nobody is saying we should do miracles. If it was right for Kojo Mensah who is called His Excellency to vote in Cairo, Egypt, why can Akwasi Dartey - [Laughter] who sweeps the streets in London not vote?
Mr. Speaker, I do not want to dwell on
that but this argument is so weak, it is so feeble that they would need walking sticks to keep it standing. That is why we see all these political gimmickry - walkouts and press conferences. Let us make our case to the good sense of the Ghanaian population and tell them we are doing what is right, that we have our facts right and let us battle on the battlefield with our minds. That is what we are supposed to do, not walkouts; and those press conferences will not do. My people in Asokwa voted me in here, and if I do not do the right thing here, they should vote me out.
And in 2008, all of us, we are going to present ourselves to the electorate who voted us in here. They did not vote us here to wear suits and walkout, they voted us here to do what is right, to represent them and to make sure that democracy deepens in this country. That is exactly what we are doing here. This is the time to separate the weed from the chaff; this is the time to ask ourselves, are we doing this on principle? Even if I am going to be voted against, I am going to vote for this because it is the right thing and not politics.
Mr. Speaker, just before I sit down, let
Mr. Speaker, I would want to qualify
my statement by describing myself, hon. Maxwell Kofi Jumah also known as Kofi Ghana. I am no angel and when I ran to be a Member of Parliament, I did not run to be the Archbishop of Asokwa. I ran to be a Member of Parliament, a real life human being, with failings and bad things
that I occasionally do and pray to God that I do not do again.
Mr. Speaker, but when it comes to corruption by public officials, we have seen it all in this country; it came to the peak on the eve of the elections in 2000.
Mr. Speaker, we have seen corruption in this country. We may not talk about it, but we know corruption by Government officials, people who come in wearing chale wotes and now they know how to wear Louis Baton shoes and Layvan shoes. We have seen them. People who have lived at the backs of tax payers all their lives. They have never done any other job but to live on the backs of taxpayers all their lives and they are riding high in this country. [Hear! Hear!] Mr. Speaker, corruption? Let somebody else talk about it. Mr. Speaker, let somebody else talk about it.
I would rather take it. If Mr. Lartey or some of those other people who have never been in power talk about corruption. But where it is coming from, Mr. Speaker, it has tainted the definition of corruption; it has a different meaning in this country.
But I also want to pray that my Government, just as it has taken a principled stand on the People's Representation (Amendment) Bill, has taken a principled stand on the issue of public corruption. It amazes me when I see our Ministers stripped down all in the service of this country. We have seen Ministers in other governments, in other regimes in this country. We have seen them. I counted the number of cars in a former Ministry of Education and there were six official cars-- six -- [Interruption] - do not even talk about it. Mr. Speaker, and these people have the nerve to talk about corruption.
Mr. Speaker, the Auditor-General's Report that is right here in this House, let us take one year, any year, let us probably toss a coin and pick any year and look at it, and we would not need to talk about corruption again because compared to them we are all angels in the New Patriotic Party ( NPP). All of us, everybody in the NPP is an angel, compared to them. Of course, we need to do more because this is a Government that aspires to do even better, even though it is doing good.
Mr. Speaker, before I sit down, on the question of job creation, last night I drove down to Dansoman to my barber for a haircut - [Laughter] -- And somebody called me and said, “Please sit down, I will buy beer for you.” He said, “Honourable, sit down and I will buy beer for you.” And he said, “The reason I want to buy beer for you is that I left Germany some years ago to resettle in Ghana and I wanted to put up a petrol station. I started pursuing my desire in 1998 and then every step I moved somebody put a hurdle on my way. Then in 2001 some Government came in and I went to an officer, a public officer, a politician from this Government and the person said, “This is the golden age of business;” he just signed it. So when I see somebody from this Government, even though you are marginally attached to the Government I just want to say “thank you” and that is why I am buying you this beer.” This happened last night at Nso Nyame Ye Rest Stop or on the Dansoman-Sakaman Road. Mr. Speaker, the owner of the bar came in so you can go and verify. This is to buttress my point.
This is a Government that has committed itself to creating the environment for free enterprise, to creating the environment for private development; a Government that says it is no business of Government to be in business. The business of Government is to create the right environment and all the countries that have progressed, that is