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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.

Archive for July, 2008


mugabe cartoonImage Source:norrie.wordpress.com

Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

What an uncanny coincidence that this week’s posts have all been laced with political themes! Perhaps it’s the inadvertent consequence of the omnipresent political influence of our global leaders. We just can’t seem to get away from their decisions on the type of food we eat, our energy sources, matters of education and even our domestic lifestyle.

You must have noticed that politicians- from France to Latin America – all seem to share common characteristics. In fact it is cliché that: ‘all politicians are the same’. If you ever attempt to defend a politician, I dare say you would be ‘putting your hands in fire’.

There are 5 things you should know about all politicians. I’m no astrologer, so expect exceptions. But don’t be surprised if there are none.

1.‘Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason’. ~Author Unknown

The name Robert Mugabe comes to mind. He liberated Zimbabwe in the name of freedom- once dominated by racist and oppressive White people. Through his leadership, it became the ‘bread basket of Africa’. Today, he’s still in control, uniting with thugs to persecute the opposition- and one U.S. dollar is worth $ 54217199510 Zimbabwe Dollars.

After all, diapers- unlike pampers- can be used after washing. In other words, I’m not suggesting that we do away with any politician for good- but leaders certainly need to be made aware of the fact that they can and should be replaced from time to time- something they often forget.

2.Politicians don’t believe in loyalty- but they can only survive with yours.

Don’t be surprised if the most principled politicians you’ve ever met switch party allegiance to suit their means. They may proclaim to be the most ethical, decent and god-like creatures you’ll ever meet. But when power hits the palate, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Power isn’t like a drug. It IS a drug. And it’s addictive. Some people will do anything for drugs, and a politician will consider doing almost anything for power. So next time you dare to put your TRUST in a politician, think twice. Some of us can’t trust our girlfriends, boyfriends, sisters, parents, in-laws, classmates we’ve known for 10 years or even our children. So why are we so willing to trust politicians?

Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party. ~Winston Churchill

Churchill knew what he was talking about. He was a politician too.

3.A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. ~James Freeman Clarke, Sermon

Whether he’s doing good or bad, a politician is always thinking of the next election. Bill and Hillary Clinton have shown the world just how much foresight lies within our politicians. Even when they can’t run for the next general election, they’re paving the way for their wives and political cronies to win. That way, the well never runs dry.

So next time you’re about to believe a politician who promises to fix all your country’s problems during his next term in office, remember that it’s in his interest to fix none of those problems when elected. If there are no problems left to be fixed, there will be no need for any more politicians.

4.In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant. ~Charles de Gaulle

Somehow, I’ve always had this ridiculous notion that a good politician should be a servant to his people- not a ‘head’ or ‘master’ or ‘chief’ or ‘lord’. And maybe if more people felt the way I do- and didn’t lionize and idolize politicians, or clap for every single thing they said, or praise and adore them, or request that they fulfill their ‘visions’ and ‘dreams’ and do us favours and miracles, instead of jobs- they would probably act the part of a humble servant too.

I firmly believe that if we don’t treat politicians like they are any ‘greater than us’, they will inevitably have difficulty acting like they are. We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. ~Stewart Udall

5.Politicians are supposed to pull the wool over our eyes.

Have you ever wondered how Germans living 65 years ago could declare that they were oblivious to the fact that over 6 million of their neighbours were being forced into concentrations camps and crushed in gas chambers overnight? Or why politicians are always so opposed to the media?

They’re supposed to trick us. It can be mathematically explained:

Knowledge = Power

Politicians + All the Knowledge = Politicians with All the Power

But luckily, God gave us eyes to see through politicians, ears to hear the lies, noses to smell a rat, tongues to taste the sweetness of democracy and bitterness of oppression, a brain to think for ourselves… and hands to vote.

References: http://www.quotegarden.com/politics.html

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For the last two months I’ve taken a strong interest in the US Presidential Election, and I’ve been hearing both Presidential nominees talking about changing the “psychology” of the voter. In Dominica politics is no different; Politicians continuously play this “psychology game” – making us feel better by manipulating the price of gas or reducing taxes or some other strategically hot issue.

It is not news that marketing/advertising firms and politicians use knowledge of psychology to further their ends and manipulate consumers and voters. However, I can’t help but feel offended by the fact that so many of our politicians are corrupt – when they should be the people who are supposed to be doing something to eradicate corruption.

If we all just think more positively towards our elected leaders, things will get better! What bull-sh*t! This just lets them off the hook, and hooks us and makes us responsible for the mismanagement of our hard earned tax dollars that they have so gratuitously spent towards their own personal agenda. While I do believe our attitude shapes our lives, and that we are empowered to act and change our world, I don’t want to hear about this from politicians who have pretty much robbed decent, hard-working people and ensured that they themselves have more…and who have unceremoniously destroyed lives and livelihoods to do so.

I would suggest, rather than acting our despair out on strangers and on one another that we give ourselves permission to be as angry as we are about the way our country is going. And let’s also look at what the real problems are, and stop blaming our neighbor, or the driver who happens to be in-front-of us, or our children…Perhaps the most effective thing we can do is speak our truth to power, speak up for what we need, and demand certain rights, such as equal health care, enough to eat, and housing for everyone. Excuse me for my bluntness, but I’ve grown tired of these corrupted politicians pissing down on us from above–I’m angry, and while I take responsibility for this anger, I want them to know about it. We need one another, and we need to talk about what is happening to us, and how politics are affecting our island.

If we continue to isolate ourselves in our individual despair, things are not going to get any better. This is the way we take responsibility–by feeling what we feel, and by opening up some real, heart-felt communication about what is happening to us, to our world, and to those around us.

Lastly: Wouldn’t this be nice if the government was really in our service? If they were there to make sure everyone had enough–that everyone was looked after and taken care of? :mrgreen:

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Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

To many of us, migration really isn’t quite as appealing as some persons would have it seem. Apart from today’s declining prospects of economic benefits, disincentives to leave the Caribbean region for the more developed world are more than glaring.

Certainly, life as we know it- full of colour, rhythm and flavour- would lack its brilliant variety of fresh fruits, and the fresh air and fresh water that we so often take for granted. Many of us would long for the vibes of the steel pan, Soca and Reggae music that we love so much, as well as the daily breathtaking sunsets of soft pinks and lavender. The beauty of our exotic fuchsia bougainvillea sprays and hibiscus blossoms would perhaps become only a memoir. And there would be other more significant changes too…

There aren’t too many societies out there that are as receptive to cultural, racial and religious diversity as West Indians. Unlike many parts of the world where homogeny is the boring norm, our trademark is diversity- and personally I’m proud of it.

And for a people of African, European, East Indian, Lebanese, Kalinago and Chinese heritage, we really don’t have any grounds to discriminate against any race, colour or creed.

At the end of the day, migration is an essential part of the cycle of life. It’s all over the Bible, and it’s the reason why different human races have evolved all over the world. I really don’t understand why so many people are so afraid of it. None of us had the power to choose where we wanted to be born!

For my part, I see the world as everybody’s own, and I think if more people were to think that way, there would be a lot less global conflict. Certainly, the Israelites and Palestinians would no longer have difficulties living next to each other- because the borders would no longer exist in their mind.

It really baffles me as to why- even in this age of globalization- highly educated Americans are actually calling Mexican migrants ‘Illegal Aliens’. 10 years ago, I could never have fathomed the existence of aliens on Earth! If Mexicans are transformed into Aliens just by migrating to the U.S.A., what does that make the rest of us?

I believe strongly in respecting all cultures, beliefs and backgrounds. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who isn’t driven by violent, supremacist or Satanic beliefs is just another regular human being. That’s why I’m very much against any pejorative statements against persons from different backgrounds.

If you feel you must use a derogatory statement to describe someone of a different race or culture, its better to keep it to yourself. If you don’t you will be recycling the ugly and bitter trash that fueled the system of slavery (It wasn’t just slave labour, as some would have us believe). That’s why I’m invariably very disturbed when I hear Dominicans declaring ‘what a Haitian looks like’, or even boldly daring to say ‘that Haitian not looking like a Haitian’.

I think we should all know better in this the 21st century. What does a Haitian look like? What does an American look like? What does a Dominican look like?

If you can REALLY answer any of these questions I’m most eager to be enlightened.

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