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


Politicians

Chris

Our region appears to be one of those few places where politicians can normally get away with doing as little as possible for their constituents.

The politicians who are elected by the people seem to rarely find they have any need to ensure that they can give, at least, a good account of their stewardship as far as effectively taking care of the business of the people is concerned.

Instead, they become arrogant with power and making sure people know that they are in charge and that they do what they feel to be necessary for things to happen.

There is the school of thought that some people depend so much on politicians for small handouts that they would not and could not dare to demand more of the representatives.

If this is the case then our tiny nature isle is faced with very serious problems indeed. Until Dominicans understand what the role of the people elected to political office really is, and that they are in a position to demand better and more on their behalf.

Sadly, until such time, the development of the country in question will continue to lag dangerously behind others whose people have gotten a real grasp of good governance and are aspiring so to do.

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4 Comments »

Comment by pete
2009-11-30 06:36:51

Politics will be politics. The art of persuasion. People will be fooled again. It happens in even more developed countries where people are widely informed. George Bush did nothing about the social fabric or economic advancement to the country. Yet, for a while he was popular.

People in Dominica have short memories too. Soon all will be forgiven even when a parliarmentary representative, or a party fails to deliver. As long as they have a roof over their heads and they can get business taken care of, they would not necessarily hold politicians feet to the fire. And in the excitement of political campaigns, they will join the revelry and go with the loudest chant. Many will not want to be left out. For many its an emotional thing, rather than one based on analysis of events or issues. And invariably many are related or good friends with a candidate. Small island politics…

We must admit that there is one party clearly in the lead. No ifs about it. That party seems to be more vibrant and with a well oiled propaganda and showmanship agenda. There is also good financial backing. As this party rolls through, some who are undecided may not want to be left behind. In terms of mass appeal, the other parties have alot of catching up to do, but time is short.

To be a smart politician, it is not sufficient just to have a solid appealing plan, and to communicate brilliantly…you have to understand what sways the people in the Dominican context. The next unfortunate step is about using the system for your maximum gain. Soon, its about kickbacks, rewards and preaching the mantra that any development was brought on by the party. So what, people dont mind! They have a roof over their heads. And their children go to school.

 
Comment by Dan
2009-11-30 10:00:58

The only perfect system would have to be independent of human nature. That’s impossible. So, democracy is the next best. But democracy requires intelligent, informed, and active voters.

I’m American. Our system has been totally corrupted by money. It costs so much to run for office that anyone who gets elected really does nothing but raise funds for the next run. The high costs allow only the wealthy and big business to influence the politicians.

I hope that Dominica, our home now, can and will do better. I hope that Dominica will always be free and enjoy the fruits of good government.

My advice to voters: Don’t consider what your party did or promises to do for you. Instead consider which party’s platform proposes to do that is best for Dominica.

I think that priorities should be on public health and educaton.

Comment by pete
2009-11-30 14:01:02

Ah Dan…You mybe slightly naiive about the trappings of caribbean smll island politics….though democratic, it can be personal and brutal, griding many careers to a halt and sewing seeds of discontent among neighbors among the friendly island…and yes, heavily influenced by financiers with deep pockets too…when you consider some voters are being bought for US$600 a piece …its not a cheap campaign..

Yes, there are some who would vote a donkey if it wore party colors. But there are some (and rightfuly so) who vote for the candidate (independent candidates are also relevant in the island politics) based on personal attributes and track record. Without question, parliarmentary reps who make it (win a seat) for the ruling party often can be of great influence if they achieve ministerial status. Contrast this with the american gov’t system where many top cabinet appointments have to go through senate hearings…indeed, in Dominica, ministers of gov’t need not have any pe-requsite knowledge or expertise or experience whatsoever….so though its a democracy Dan, there are many aspects of small island politics that you may not find very diserable or relevant. It would be interesting for you to see what makes this politics unique in some ways..maybe you may want to start reading some articles…for example, here is review on a prime minister from one of the islands close to Dominica in terms of history and economy: st. vincent nd the gernadines:

http://www.meppublishers.com/online/crb/issues/index.php?pid=1080

Maybe you can try reading a copy of the book itself.

A copy of the book: The Dominica Story by Lennox Honeychurch may also be useful as there are some aspects of modern day politics in that book that carry on into today’s world. I am inviting you to read along…

Comment by Dan
2009-12-01 15:17:10

Qualifications? Bush placed a person with only horse breeding experience as head of FEMA and look what happened after Katrina!

The only difference between Dominica and America is scale. Human nature is the same everywhere.

 
 
 
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