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Purely Dominica

Purely Dominica

If Dominicans were having problems trying to figure out living in their beloved nature isle then they will be thoroughly confused once the date for the 2010 elections is announced by the Labour administration; starting what I like to refer to as the “Dog Eat Dog” election campaigns.

With both of the majority parties (UWP and Labour Party) having distinctly different views when it comes to health, education and the general economy and whereas one sees progress, the other has seen a wicked decline in the fortunes of this country.

My humble advice to all Dominicans is “Proceed with Caution” and don’t just hear but listen (carefully), because each one of these “Dog Eat Dog” campaigns are going to be riddled with stark differences, extreme promises in many cases, and will probably lead outsiders to wonder if both individuals are speaking of the same Dominica.

Both, however, agree that crime, particularly corruption within parties is a real problem that needs to be sorted out in a hurry. Sure they blame each other for creating the root causes of the problem but both will find sympathy with their supporters as so many have been affected.

At last, some reality.

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Undoubtedly frighten by the government, the Integrity in Public Office Commission appears to be no protection against the retribution for persons who have genuinely acted in the public interest.

It seems the commission is more concerned about the reputation of the persons who have been accused of corrupts acts than reports made by law abiding citizens on issues of corruption in Dominica.

Presently, most Dominicans will not risk victimization, losing their jobs or possibly incurring civil liability for exposing corruption in the public sector.

It’s obvious that the IPO Act has to be amended if it is to serve as an instrument in the fight against corruption. In addition, there is also the need for fine-tuning the system of checks and balances particularly in the office of the Auditor General and others key stakeholders, if we’re to become more effective in combating corruption.

If we do take these actions urgently, many of our regional neighbours including Dominicans at home and abroad will think that we are an immoral nation lacking the will to demand honesty and accountability from persons we have appointed or elected to take care of our business.

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Dominica sunset photo

It struck me recently that a lot of people think they know what’s wrong with Dominica, and it also struck me that most of the time they’re all wrong.

Seriously take some time to observe — almost every political and religious group, every opinionated person, every publication with an opinion, has said at one time or another they think is wrong with Dominica.

On one hand, UWP thinks that we’ve become a state fill with corruption headed by the ruling party, while the labour thinks that it was poor leadership by former political parties like the UWP – why Dominica is in this present poor economic situation. Others think that abortion is the problem, others think it’s declining morals, and others say it’s infidelity.

Other things that are wrong with Dominica, depending on the group: the media, young people, environmentalists, white people, foreigners overrunning our country, the Establishment, poor people, Pirate sector businesses, lazy people, evil people, BBC Caribbean, the Internet … the list could go on and on.

So what’s really wrong with Dominica, in my opinion?

Not a thing.

You heard me! What’s Wrong with That?

Nothing’s wrong with that, actually. That’s how most people are, and I don’t think I can change that, nor would I want to. I thought it would be an interesting discussion, though, because I think the difference between what people think the island should be and what it has become can cause unhappiness. If you’re one of those people who want the country to go back to how it was during your childhood, or during your parents’ generation, and it isn’t likely to do so, you’re not going to be happy.

The same goes for any of our ideals — do you have an ideal spouse? An ideal child? An ideal friend, mother, co-worker or roommate? It’s very possible that you do, and also very possible that in reality not all meets these ideals. That might cause you to be unhappy with them.

So I guess it’s clear to say that whenever reality doesn’t meet ideals — and it rarely does — we become unhappy.

So What’s the Then?

I’m not suggesting that you, or anyone else, change your view-of-Dominica. If you, or anyone else, is happy with that view-of Dominica, don’t change it.

But there is an alternative, and I’m not saying it’s better. It’s the view-of Dominica I try to have: instead of having an ideal, stop looking for perfection. Accept our island as it is, and love it for what it is. Accept people as they are, and love them. Does this mean that we should give up on trying to make positive changes in Dominica?

What would be the result of this alternative view-of Dominica? Well, I think people would be happier, if only we didn’t see Dominica as a fundamentally flawed or corrupted place, and began to see the good on the island. This, however, is open to individual interpretation, and your own experience is likely to be different than mine. Go ahead…have you say.

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