People of conscience, wisdom and knowledge should always seek to guide the people, especially the youth, against loose and misguided accretions. I do not claim to know much, but I have an independent consciousness which tells me that it is terribly concerning when a Prime Minister of a democratic island state, Mr. Roosevelt Skerrit, declares that it is foolish for there to be opposition – irrespective of the context, facts or reasons.

I cannot, in good conscience, just allow this to ride the waves of ignorance. I am a native Dominican with a voice, just as the PM, so I am using that voice in response to his. I ask for a free, fair, frank and respectable debate on this and other issues – just as they do in Barbados, Grenada and elsewhere. This is my right – and everyone else’s – so please bear with me as I make this case. Here is what Prime Minister Skerrit actually said: “this foolishness, and Grenada and Barbados have taught us so, that it is foolishness to talk about you need an opposition; we don’t need no opposition in Dominica! It is…it is a waste of money to give opposition man money and he does nothing for us. Useless lazy people! Because, let me tell you, if you are a boss-man and you are the boss-man in Dominica with your vote, so you are our employers; if a man is not working for you, fire him!” The PM went on to castigate the opposition, asking that the people of Dominica send them a similar message as was sent in Barbados and Grenada. He asked that the people “fire them.” This is very worrisome and I do not wish to be judged harshly by the future generations as having done nothing when I could indeed have at least spoken, especially as I had/have the prerequisite professional competencies to so do. So I speak.

Here is what I think. The PM needs to be more accepting of his political opponents if he wishes to continue as a major player in this democratic jurisdiction. The PM has to understand that he too can and will serve in political opposition (if he remains on the scene). It is not at all a bad thing, Mr. Skerrit; this is the norm in democracies. I could go on to analyze his statements, but for fear of being accused as driving any partisan agenda, let me stick to this basic argument that there must be opponents/opposition/differing views in life, especially in governance of a nation state, and the one who cannot tolerate this may need to do some serious introspection.

The people shall be the final judge, but I am very troubled about the recent statements by Roosevelt Skerrit, the Honorable Prime Minister of my Native land, Dominica.

Alex Bruno

Political Philosopher and Instructor of Politics and Government.