Monday January 30, 2006
First_Name:  Sheku
Last_Name:  Sheriff
Email_Address:  shekusheriff497@msn.com
City:  Brooklyn Prrk
State:  Minnesota
Comments:  Political Times, A thinking Assignment

I love cocorioko. When I come back to my house everyday from my daily toils, I
take some time to rest, start my computer, check my emails and go to
cocorioko.com, hoping to read about happenings in my country Sierra Leone. Some
postings make me happy, educating me and providing me with much needed
information about happenings back home. Other posting just make me sad.
Political postings of late just kind of depress me.

My roommate in school, who studied government in Secondary school, told me that
democratic governments are by the people and for the people. Up to this day,
given my science loving frame of mind, I have found it mathematically impossible
to have a situation in which there is a government for the people and by the
people as long as the number of people exceeds 5. If the government loves cars
and all the people love cars, then it might be a government for the people. But
if a single person loves trains rather than cars, then the government is
definitely not for the people.

Then we have a situation in which the government is not for the people, but for
the majority of the people, as some people’s wishes are definitely not going to
be the wishes of the government. What next follows is a civil dialogue in which
people assert their preferences and why they feel or think the majority should
choose these preferences. The dialogue should however be civil, as a man
convinced against his wish, is of the same opinion.

The problem we have in Africa, including Sierra Leone, is that we value our
opinions so much that we do not have time for the opinions of others. Politics
is about differences. People look at life differently and have dissimilar
values, yet as long as they are all trying to achieve a similar objective, they
should try and have a healthy debate. Instead of attacking each other this
political season, let us attack each others ideas in a civilized manner. We all
want what is best for Sierra Leone, development, peace and prosperity. These
objectives can not be achieved if we develop a win or nothing mentality.

The internet has provided a forum that enables all of us to communicate easily,
let us not use this opportunity to make enemies. Your opponents need not be your
enemy. They are simply people whose opinions and values differ from yours.
Attacking their personalities and dragging down their reputations will only
widen the gulf between you.

Let us use this opportunity to ask our leaders important questions. If your
opponents’ party leaders say they are going to make all the roads in Freetown,
ask them how. Where are you going to get the money from? How long is it going to
take? Which area of Freetown are you going to start in? How much is it going to

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