On 7th March, 2018 the LUG Student Representative Council organised a friendly inter-university debate between Lancaster University Ghana and Ashesi at the LUG campus, on the motion ‘Strong Dictatorship Is Better Than Weak Democracy’. Ashesi University was for the motion while Lancaster University Ghana was against the motion.
The judges for the debate were Ms. Coomerene Rodrigo, the Academic Skills Co-ordinator of LUG and Dr. Tony Moorsom, a Political Science Lecturer at LUG. The Chairperson was Billiana Agbegbleo, a second year Economics and International Relations student and the loyal timekeeper was a second year Accounting and Finance student of Lancaster, Sandy Sala-Diakanda. Both teams had four speakers.
The speakers for the proposition that strong dictatorship is better than weak democracy were Desmond-Jesse Mensa, a first year Electrical and Electronic Engineering student; Ishmael Ofoii Aboagye and Benedicta Apambila, first year Business Administration students; and Cecil Hudson, a second year Business Administration student. Speakers for the opposition comprised of Oprah Ojukwu and Addo Edmund, second and first year students studying Politics and International Relations; Nimibiyo Awuletey, a second year Law student and Timothy Nwikhana, a third year student studying Economics and International Relations.
To buttress the proposition, the second speaker, Ishmael highlighted the benefits/advantages of a strong dictatorship to include that it allows an easy and more efficient decision making process because there are little or no divergent views; there is also the assurance that there is only one party in power and plans are carried out in the most efficient way possible. In addition, he brought the attention to the fact that a good government can make good or bad decisions and if a decision is deliberated on for so long, there is a tendency of it not being implemented which is very inefficient in cases of emergency where decisions need to be made quickly. Benedicta, the third speaker, went further to state that a dictatorship instigates more stability, more development and employment ratio; and also listed some countries such as China, North Korea, Malaysia and Iraq, which are under dictatorship governments but presume to be more developed than countries under democratic rule like Ghana and Togo.
Furthermore, in her boldness, Oprah, the first speaker brought light to the opposition by pointing out that a dictatorial government is a form of repression and oppression to its citizens, no matter how strong or weak they may be. Timothy, the last speaker, explored the system of checks and balances in a democratic government which keeps the government in check to ensure they do not go wrong as opposed to a dictatorship where actions are taken by a sole person.
In their judgement, the judges commended both teams and after criticisms from both ends, Lancaster University Ghana was awarded the winner for their strong and convincing arguments.