Letters & Opinion

It’s Not Only About Changing Governments…

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

In the private sector, you cannot tell an institution how to run their business, but when it comes to Government-run institutions, we can recommend that certain changes be made. After all, most are established through us paying taxes or from loans or grants negotiated on our behalf. Frequently the talk is about constitutional reform, the realignment of certain constituencies, or the need to re-determine the role of our ministers, or the need to recall or demand accountability.

Granted, all these reforms are necessary, but I also think that we have to start with the institutions, or established ministries, to become more efficient and productive.

We often hear complaints about service or the lack thereof. We hear about the Justice System, including the role of the police, the penal system etc. We hear complaints about the Sports Ministry and all the shortcomings related to the development of sports, inclusive of having a hospital being facilitated in a sports stadium for over a decade.

There has been clamouring about the educational institutions lacking the will to change the curriculum to include technical and vocational training as a more relevant form of education.

We seem to have developed a culture of doing things halfway, or just giving lip service to development. We pay many people to do nothing, we offer scholarships and top-of-the-line pay and our returns seem to be bare minimum. The Ministry of Agriculture is a case in point, where we constantly hear of improvement, but cannot see the changes. We heard about the ineffective management of the Fisheries Department and The Complex, the Saint Lucia Marketing Board, Taiwanese help for agriculture, etc.

We have major concerns about the health sector. We wonder if it will be privatized, or priced above our pocket; and we complain, we agitate, we write our views and express our feelings, yet nothing changes. So there has to come a time to get value for money, or satisfaction from our service providers. We cannot grow with shortcomings and we cannot continue to put square pegs in round holes.  We have to give the right people the job, not mainly Party supporters. We must examine the motive of all our so-called Directors, especially those who claim to be qualified.

There is just too-much bluff, too-much deceit, and much-too-much personal gain and mismanagement of funds; and too few institutions give a comprehensive report, or any accountability.  The state (and by extension the government) keeps begging and borrowing to deal with the problems and our needs, but corruption is ripe and we are unable to teach old dogs new tricks.  We live off lies, promises, false pronouncements, and deceiving Directors, yet we constantly talk about change, and nobody is taken to task for poor productivity.

So, in closing, I wish to advise that it is not only about changing Governments, but more about changing the corrupt systems that govern us.

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