EVERYWHERE I go I hear the lamentations. I guess that Jimmy was on to something, pre-election time. The campaign is over and two years into this administration the people are lamenting.
“I have never seen it so bad” is the chorus. Some of us saw it before others, but “we must give the administration a chance” many people confess.
Give them a chance to do what? To sell us back to slavery? To make us aliens and second class citizens in our own country?To build an elitist society?To make us the shame of the Caribbean? To bring us into depression, from which we may never recover? To send us into the clutches of the IMF?
But just what is it that makes us feel that we are so powerless, invalid and fearful? You would have thought that Christopher Hunte protesting on the waterfront adjacent to the Prime Minister’s office would have swelled to a colossal force to deal with, but I guess maybe it is that our people do not understand patrimony; that we all have entitlement to it, that it is a treasure worth preserving.
I have observed the self-centeredness with which we approach issues down here; we do not move unless we are personally affected. So the DSH project is for the people of Vieux Fort and the Sab Richard issue is for the people of Choiseul. My people go like, “Let them come to ‘Laborie’ and they will see”.
We are insular in our thinking. Reminds me of a meme that I saw on the internet where there were four guys in a boat. The boat got a hole in one end and was sinking with the two guys on that end. The other two on the opposite end got a bit of an elevation on their end because of the water the boat was collecting and those two are thanking God that the hole is not on their end of the boat.
In Saint Lucia we like to complain in silence or go to the internet to hide behind fake names or accounts. When we have vented on social media and even mass media, we think that that is the end of the process. The people who sit in parliament are representatives of the people but the people need to communicate their will to them.
When it comes to Choiseul a lot of people are asking questions as to what is going on at Sab Richard, but most of them fail to ask the rightful person — their representative. And if he does not know, you must demand an answer from him. He is your servant, not your master.
That is what participatory democracy is all about. You have a right to know. You have a right to influence the decision making in your country. Get your representative’s email. Get the telephone number. Know where the constituency office is. Know where he or she lives. Humbug him or her. They signed up for the job. They were at church every weekend before the election. They came to your home to get your vote, even if you lived at the top of Petit Piton.
Make your vote count. Participate.
You do not have to wait till the next election to do something. Act now.