Letters & Opinion

Time to put on our thinking caps!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

THE mottos of existing political parties have remained the same through the years: ‘If you support me and vote to get me elected, when I become a minister I will set you up and assist you in every way I can. As for those who choose not to vote for me and I am aware, I will ensure that you are kept down and not get a chance to progress.

‘So, voters are forced to choose sides and hope that their chosen political party wins the election. Deals and promises start to unfold as soon as the party is endorsed – and from that point onwards, it is not about who is better equipped to get the job done, or more suitable for the role, or most qualified, it becomes ‘whether he or she is one of our supporters.’

Hence the advent of square pegs in round holes and favored party hacks in key positions.

Progress in some instances and regress in others, because of ‘the misfits’ previous projects get shafted, discontinued, sidelined — and in most instances discontinued.

It is sad that this is the order of the day, because good and skillful people get marginalized and their possible contributions become stifled.

I suppose if no one queries and the people do not object to that system, then we will always have only party supporters getting the required support.

Everyone knows that if you are family or friend of the politician, whatsoever you deliver will be fine, no need to write reports, or be transparent, or give an account of your work or role, as long as you toe the party’s line or remain a loyal supporter.

If you (as a loyal supporter)are provided with contracts, you get first choice when bidding, need minimal training to get appointed to the best Jobs, get invitations to all prestigious functions and be offered big bucks as a reward – so, why rock the boat?

As one minister put it, ‘Why bite the hand that feeds you?’ It’s as if — if you see nothing and say nothing you are on your way of becoming a great role model.

Are you surprised then, that there is such division in this country? Are you surprised that there is only one faction of the society doing well. Then, if such is the case, it is time to put on your thinking cap.

Here’s the thinking that still lingers in too many of our politicians’ minds:

‘We will sell all that we have to the highest bidder and share in the profits, invite the rich to became land-owners and investors so we can gain wealth; if we do not bind together as one and support each other in all our doings, we will fall; if we do otherwise, we will be giving the have-nots the chance to take our places.

‘There is no need to put the country first; if it was the other side in office, they would be doing the same thing. It is all about taking advantage of opportunity – and who vex loose. And if you snooze, you also lose…

‘You the people are the ones who elected us, so we shall govern as we please, because it is you who gave us the mandate whatsoever we do, we do it on your behalf.”

Put on your thinking caps, people — and do the mental maths!

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