THE VOICE introduces a brand new column ANNOU PALE aimed at stimulating dialogue on some of the most pressing problems facing our country at this time.
We plan that this conversation will continue for some time throwing up ideas and solutions to the problems that have been identified and selected for discussion. You, the reader, have the opportunity to join the debate which in fact, has already started.
There seems to be growing concern among St Lucians about the level of politics practised on the island. Already this has produced a state of voter apathy that is unprecedented in St Lucia with a less than 60 percent turnout at the polls in the last two general elections in 2006 and 2011. In in recent years we have heard increasing statements by people of voting age that they will not exercise their franchise in the elections of 2016. Many are simply fed up with politics and the fact that it has not been able to produce the required results either for the people or for the country, in terms of bettering individual and national expectations.
Why is there such a resentment among the population to the quality of our politics? When did this trend really begin and what is the reason for it? Surely the quality of politics is dependent on the quality of persons we elect to office. Is there anything that can be done at this stage to entice people back to the polling booths? Let’s face it, bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. An American clergyman Howard Crosby once said that to let politics become a cesspool, and then avoid it because it is a cesspool; is a double crime. It means that we, the people, have the responsibility for righting our own wrongs.
So where do we go in St Lucia? With another general election fast approaching, should we not assume this responsibility and pressure political parties into presenting us with candidates who will uplift public discourse and so raise the standard of politics. But considering the fact that political parties seem to care so little what the public thinks about such issues, is there another way to bring them to heel?
Join the conversation. Let us know what you think by posting a response below…..
~~~~Sol Soowi ~~~~
Should not the Constitutional Review Commission have taken care of this? I believe I am correct in saying that while this exercise was taking place people were making known the total disgust with local politics. Unfortunately, the report of the Commission has been with the government for some time and nothing has happened. In fact the most significant thing that has happened is that the Chairperson of the Commission has since passed away. So maybe we can begin by pressuring the government to release the report. Let’s see what’s in it, so that we can decide where we need to.
But yes, the state of politics in St Lucia is in need of serious attention. The sad thing is that we cannot expect that the politicians either of today or tomorrow, will have any genuine interest in changing things because at the moment, they both seem to benefit from the what’s going on.
~~~~The Spider ~~~~
What about devising criteria about eligibility for taking part in politics? But can this be done without someone shouting about discrimination or about human rights? Can there be regulations about content of political speeches, especially at election time? Can this restriction be applied to the houses of parliament which of late in St Lucia, seem to have become extensions of the public platforms for the airing of political diatribe.
~~~~Fred P ~~~~
I do not hold out any hope for things changing anytime soon. We are caught in this mess and it will take some kind of draconian action to turn things back. The thing is that power is corrupting our politicians forcing them into doing and saying anything to satisfy their desires.
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