St. Lucia is a democratic country, expressed in the reality of freedom of expression, in which all views contend, except for the libelous or subversive. In a democracy, the principle is that the party which wins an election takes on the mantle of responsibility for the development of a country.
The guiding principles of a democratic country, is that the government of the day is subject to the free expressions of the citizens of a country to criticize the incumbent administration, as long as the criticisms stay within the parameters of truth and facts, and does not promote violence against the state. In the final analysis the truth and the facts will always triumph in the market place of ideas.
Freedom of expression is a categorical imperative, as long as it does not cross the lines of defamation of character, libel or threats against a democratically elected government.
St. Lucia is regarded as a peaceful and tolerant society, which respects democracy, expressed in the reality that all views contend except those that are libelous or cross the threshold of sedition, or promotes the violent overthrow of a duly elected government.
The exclusive reliance and the thrust of this administration on tourism, is putting our economy at risk. It does not take an economic genius to realize that no country should depend on one commodity for a sustainable economy. No country should concentrate exclusively on one industry such as tourism, which is vulnerable to climate change catastrophes, marked by devastating natural disasters such as hurricanes and vulnerability to rising sea levels.
The mainstay of my criticisms of the Prime Minister’s policies is his Six Month’s Music Festival. Evidently the P.M. is not familiar with the works of Shakespeare which explores and analyses the depths and character of human nature, in which he states “If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it, that surfeiting the appetite may so sicken and so die.” We are already seeing the decline in the numbers at those festivals, as people become bored when there is too much of the same thing.
The prime Minister concentrates on tourism as the answer to all of St. Lucia’s economic problems. Tourism should not be the main area to drive our economy. St. Lucia’s rich volcanic soil makes agriculture, a sector that is under-utilized and not exploited. St. Lucian consumers prefer local products to the imported varieties, and we can also export to markets within our region.
A new phenomenon has been introduced by this reckless Prime Minister, by hiring external agencies to determine the economic future of our country. Last year and again this year an international accounting firm Ernest & Young has been contracted to plan and prepare our budget. Local technocrats have executed our national budget effectively and efficiently from time immemorial at no extra cost to the government or tax-payers.
Another scandalous example is the hiring of an American shyster to manage and improve village playgrounds. I heard a government Minister in our recent budget debate borrow a phrase coined by former Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, on transparency and accountability. Why should the public who pay the taxes for the functioning of government, be kept in the dark about these secret financial contracts?
Government must lead by example, because these shady deals are kept secret from the public, because the amount being squandered by this reckless administration could cause insurrection in our country.