By Edward Doe
There are few things the recent alliance of the opposition political parties in Liberia brings to mind. Consider New Kru Town, Logan Town, Cowell, and Duala, located on the outskirts of Monrovia and the fertile plains of the city’s most populous province.
Consider our rebuilding and reconstruction cycle, thousands of people from these towns or provinces worked together – contributing expertise and a range of skills – to construct at least a power plant in the proximity of these towns. Today, the plant would have been in operation, contributing up to 3,600 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Liberia’s grid and helping meet the equivalent energy needs of more than a million homes.
Engineers, project managers, technical experts, and even government employees would work hand-in-hand on these extraordinarily complex and time-constrained power plant project, despite coming from diverse cultures and towns.
Consider all the relationships built over that time, as people worked together. Meeting around hot cups of tea or huddled over phone speakers, they collaborated across towns and cultures – and resolved issues solved engineering challenges, and hastened progress.
Now, imagine this power plant project multiplied thousands of times around Liberia. You can almost visualize the web of human connections and shared purpose.
It’s essential to keep this image in mind as we review and look beyond the CPP collaboration framework of partnership and interdependence being forged among four political parties (LP, ANC, UP, and PP) and mostly, the Liberian people. This interdependence stands as a powerful counterbalance to the fracturing forces of nationalism.
That said, the CPP collaboration framework is troubling based on the following arguments:
1. The framework does not provide the sort of interdependence amongst parties and the Liberian people as a counterweight to the politics of isolationism. Article 10 mainly is troubling when it talks about the alliance agenda with no reference to the agenda of the Liberian people. The article further described its position on governance and elections, which in some sections, in the document, it is unclear and borders on ambiguity.
2. Even though this framework is a collaboration for the most part between the four political parties, it failed largely to foster a partnership and collaboration with the Liberian people. Article 7 is explicitly troubling on the alliance mechanism. This portion of the document failed to draw on how it would foster partnership and collaboration with the Liberian people. It does not refer to what mechanics it would use to forge such collaboration and partnerships.
3. The framework did not provide the sort of optimism one would expect. Why? Because mainly the multiplicity of human connection lacks in this collaboration framework.
Although the document is indeed a stepping stone for organizing structurally, it needs many fixes. As it is, the document failed mostly on the merits to forge a partnership and collaboration with the Liberian people.
Edward Doe is a Liberia and a columnist and contributor.