Dennis Joseph

Dennis Joseph

In religion the ordained claim that they must supervise the uneducated which however always results in the ordained keeping all the wealth while the uneducated merely attend church and eke out a living.  In politics the theory is that those elected by the people give charity to those who eke out a living which results in the elected hoarding all the wealth.  Both politics and religion strangle and call it an embrace.  Yet it seems the people favour that embrace which is why the ordained and the politician always win.  The struggling people have not learned even after years that the joys of wealth are not given they have to fight for it.  They have not learned that in a new time they must build a new path informed by the lessons of the old ways, and so religion and politics perversely help them along to keep living  their past way of thinking into the future which suits their purposes just fine.

Of course we can only speculate on what would have been the results of the last elections if the UWP had matching funds with the DLP reputed to be in the millions.  The UWP  lost the fight because perhaps also that the baton was passed to Lennox Linton much too late giving him less than a year to reinvent a political party from the ashes of its internal conflicts and  even its complacency.  However the party and most others think that it was because of the buying of votes in the diaspora by the over-rich Labour Party.  Is it therefore fair that in our democratic system that the side being the government has all the advantages in elections while the opposition struggles?

Democracy is about the whole protecting its parts and the parts protecting the whole in order that the whole continues to protect the parts and that is not a riddle.  One of the most important functions of the whole is to allow elections of the ones who will lead in its protection and that is done through voting on an election day.  That Election Day results is the unnatural conclusion of the majority gleefully and willingly giving up its power to a very, very few who will then use that power to, yes, rule the very majority.  The very, very few together are called government.  The process of finding that very, very few must be transparent, freely given and fairly executed and goes by the fancy name of the Electoral Process.  That process is under the supposedly independent coordination of the Electoral Commission which is another group of very, very few who are given control of that part of the whole.  Since all the parts must act in concert to protect the whole it follows that when a part is malfunctioning the other parts must come together to secure its function.  It is the opinion of many that this electoral process is backfiring big time so what must the other parts do? Again this is not a riddle.

Lennox Linton’s stated policy of gentleman politics is not cut for protest politics and is happy fodder for the DLP guys who are salivating. They believe that this term of office will be a classic case of the UWP standing respectfully aside praying for rain while the fire consumes the building.  Others may say that there is a hidden firebrand somewhere in that  there Team Dominica.  However the DLP elections campaign in which money not policy crazily featured displayed  a level of acquired and accumulated wealth that makes one feel that the Mr. Skerrit could easily take care of the national debt all by himself. He does not need Maduro of Venezuela who is himself begging for financial aid from China.  Despite this money power show and vast vote buying adventures overseas the seats won by the DLP are the ones they traditionally win and then they lost three they  expected to win.

Suddenly elections ended and then everybody remembered Christmas.  It is supposed to be a time of peaceful reflection when we celebrate a most amazing event which is the birth in a cave of a child laid to sleep in an animal feeding trough who one day would be called the King of Kings, Lord of Lords and Prince of Peace. The Bible tells us the angels sang at this birth, “Peace on Earth and Goodwill,” but it appears that we are in political conflict every Christmas time as that is the time the ruler seems to prefer to call us into divisive election campaigns, leading to us dreaming of a wild Christmas every five years.

We see ex-gay Pastor Donnie McClurkin coming to do a concert as a political campaign attraction of the ruling party and then leaving the next day with his  paycheck perhaps giving Mammon another triumph over God once again.    Skerrit’s election campaign brings in Destra to ‘wine’ on stage and follows it up with a church pastor to perform  but the people of Jesus did not seem to mind not ‘one jot or one tittle’ and waved their hands in the air in trancelike worship as if all of this was righteousness exalting the nation.  I always thought that those who claim to minister for God in his name would be involved in uniting all of  God’s people, however it is the written saying, “There are those who think they are righteous because they say yes to God but do not do his will.”

I observed farmers who are worse off than they were five years ago still voting for the rulers just for a bit of plywood and a couple sheets of  roofing material.  In our recent elections we see the people in the diaspora coming to vote not for what is right but for a pittance, I saw the Kalinago being easily bought and seduced with Christopher Columbus styled gift-giving and promises of very little, we all saw or heard of voters in smaller constituencies selling their voting rights for a mess of porridge just like Esau of the Bible sold his birthright, and a whole lot of people just voting for money not for right.  I heard a Bajan Hartley Henry claim that Barbados not Waitukubuli benefited big time from the Labour Party election campaign millions, I saw foreign artistes and religion take tons of money away from Waitukubuli during the Labour Party campaign and I ask where does all this talk of righteousness exalting anything come from.  Then suddenly we remembered Christmas and we hurriedly tried to repair any damage done to righteousness by singing  O Come All Ye Faithful Joyful and Triumphant, but it was the money which kept faith with the money seekers and  joyfully triumphed once again.

The rulers have now shown all the world that they have tons of money stashed away somewhere or obtained from secret sources to  have the most lavish election campaign ever seen in our history or that of the Lesser Antilles. If this continues then no one will oppose them as it will be perceived a useless and futile exercise and other political parties will wither away leaving us with a one party state which will suit the rulers just fine but will it suit you?.

There is need obviously for electoral reform including re-registration and limiting campaign financing.  This should be the focus of the UWP and little else otherwise they are not serious about winning elections. The British from which we adopted the Westminster system have by a Fixed Term Act of Parliament 2011 provides that elections in Britain will be held on the first Thursday in May every five years starting May 7th 2015.   Fixed date should be part of the reform process. If  reforms are to happen it will not be urged on by this government who benefits from the broken system.  Reforms will only be won in the hearts and souls of the people and cannot be only a thing for the politicians.   However the people need leadership not just  radio discussion. Those who know must teach those who are tardy for if the people can be made to face the truth that we must break up this crumbling system and create a new foundation for fairness in our democracy then it will happen. While Skerrit may not want to be a dictator if circumstance opens that door he could easily become the ‘victim’ of circumstance. Yet then who will stand for the people?  Certainly not religion because it now in Waitukubuli has banded with its love/ hate brother called politics to if not actively but passively allow the corruption of our electoral process through a fraudulent list of voters

Those who prefer to be bought should take heed of the old saying, “Any human that can be bought is of no value to himself/herself”  The electoral process is that part of the whole which supplies the blood to the core and if not protected will lead to the death of the parts even religion itself, and then the whole of the  thing we call democracy crashes.