In an attempt to remedy the plight of a plethora of incompetence in the government of the ruling Dominica Labour Party, Prime Minister Doctor, Doctor Roosevelt Skerrit has purged his party and cabinet in a manner that is only precedented by the old-time communist regimes of Stalin, Polpot and others.
Labour Party followers who gathered in Londonderry in pure cultist style, dressed in all forms of red, with drums and other paraphernalia, ready to go to battle for another five year term, left Londonderry dejected, confused, disappointed, angry and in a daze as to what had hit them.
A party that appeared to be so formidable and well poised to win 21 seats, the dream of the political leader, was in total chaos, with the rank and file membership wondering if they can even win the next general elections. The Labour Party hierarchy, with all their wisdom, had given a wanna-be dictator full authority to select candidates of his choice for the next general elections and he blew it. Now they are in damage control mode and they want to change the narrative, but the United Workers Party pleads the fifth.
Whereas the cabinet ministers took pride in attributing all their successes to the right honourable Doctor, Doctor Roosevelt Skerrit, the greatest political leader Dominica, and by extension the World, has ever seen, they never realized that they were exposing their incompetence and their inability to perform. Not one government minister ever took credit for their performance, it was always the Doctor.
At long last the façade of the Dominica Labour Party government has been unmasked and it is poetic justice and extremely ironic that the unmasking has taken place in the heat of the calypso season, hours after the calypso semi-finals which merited much discussion on the judges’ decision of the final nine, who will meet the Bobb at the grand finals. How on earth did Hunter make it to the finals with this carbon copy “Spoon and Fork In Napkin,” should have been the topic for discussion, but no, the Doctor Doctor had to steal the show with the most dramatic unmasking of a farce which the Dominican population has been living with for almost twenty years.
The Dominica Labour Party took pride in presenting itself as the most united, cohesive and unbreakable political party Dominica has ever seen. Those who did not tow the line left voluntarily out of frustration for not being able to impact their influence on the rest of the party supporters. It appeared that the Doctor had everything under control and then the unmasking came and left the Labour Party dumbfounded and even the opposition United Workers Party speechless, to the extent that the UWP decided not to comment.
An opposition party gets a gift on a platter to emasculate its opponent, for the first time in the last fifteen years, the UWP decides to take the fifth and impose their right to remain silent in fear that anything that they say may be held against them in the upcoming electoral court of justice. Here lies Dominica’s problem; an incompetent government that gets rid of two thirds of its ministers as it approaches twenty years of control over the Dominican economy and an opposition that does not recognize the need to take advantage of a golden opportunity to present itself as a viable alternative.
How can Doctor, Doctor Roosevelt Skerrit fire two thirds of his cabinet, retain the most incompetent and blatantly corrupt among them, replace the discarded with novice candidates with the least political experience Dominica has ever seen and yet the opposition pleads the fifth? The Doctor insults the intelligence of the Dominican population that the change they have been asking for has finally arrived, not with a fifth term in office for the Dominica Labour Party but with the first term of the second four term cycle. Dominicans appear to have swallowed this new theory and the opposition’s response seems to be in agreement.
The Doctor, Doctor’s action gives rise to many concerns but the two most significant are; 1) what type of cabinet ministers would allow themselves to be humiliated in the manner in which they were with the Doctor discarding them in the eyes of the world and they remain in the government awaiting an election which they have no idea when it will be called.
2).The Doctor, Doctor is a gambler, he is boldface and must have a hold over his group of incompetent ministers to the extent that he can fire them; tell the world that they are useless but not one will take objection. The Doctor, Doctor’s only promise to them is that they will be taken care of well, apparently through a hefty compensation package that should include cash and a position of authority such as ambassadorships. Some of the discarded only served one term and will not qualify for parliamentary pension.
A Dominica Labour Party victory at the next general elections will bring in the most inexperienced, novice and incompetent government Dominica and the Caribbean have ever seen. It is generally accepted that the ministers who were retained were the most incompetent and corrupt.
The remnants of the cabinet were retained for different reasons; you do not upset Portsmouth; you cannot touch the Rotweiler; cannot take a chance with the military man and the remaining three ladies are as meek as lambs, they are there to compliment the rest of the female team who he hopes to join him.
So, in pure Gaddafi style, the Doctor, Doctor has sought refuge from his caucus of women who he hopes will protect him from any male chauvinistic threat. With ten women, including his wife, and himself, the Doctor, Doctor will be insulated from any potential threat. It will be interesting to see who the King will appoint as his successor, the obvious choice will be the queen, but the unconstitutional deputy will not take it lying down, so some more drama will surface down the road. The only other potential threat was redeployed to Roseau North in a suicidal move. He must have been well compensated for his treacherous defection from the UWP, now he can afford to end his political career.
Dominica’s ascension to maturity, when life should begin at 40, appears to be challenged with a Dominica Labour Party administration, the first three years of which will be for training the new, inexperienced recruits in the basics of governance. If after almost twenty years the incumbents could not step up to the plate, the expectations from the new group are definitely lower and since the opposition has taken the fifth, it is unclear that their slate of candidates will be any better.
Dominica appears to be confronting a crisis of incompetent or inadequate parliamentary representation. The two major political parties have succeeded in scaring capable persons away from involvement in active politics through their vitriol, slander and demonization to the extent that those who present themselves for Labour are usually well compensated financially so therefore the Price is Right and on the other hand those who present themselves for the UWP are sufficiently bitter and angry, so they are prepared to face the insults and demonization. Others lament the disintegration of the political environment in Dominica and whisper in fear of being heard or aligned by either of the competing tribes.
The recent action of Doctor, Doctor Roosevelt Skerrit in discarding more than two-thirds of his cabinet is admittance of his government’s failure over the last twenty years. If the discarded ones are worse than those he retained, then this says a lot. The population awaits the next move of the UWP, but so far their slate of candidates does not appear to be any better than what the Doctor, Doctor presented and Dominica may very well be confronted with the worst set of candidates since independence.
Now is an opportune time for a government of National Unity which comprises of the best and most capable sons and daughters of the soil. The environment should be created for the participation of a slate of independent candidates who can bridge the gap and bring sanity and some political healing to this suffering and divided nation.
Come ye forward sons and daughters! Bring an end to this political tribalism, for those who do not know, Dominica is the least developed within the OECS, but Dominica has the resources and the wherewithal to prosper but the divisive politics must change, thus the need for electoral reform which should not only be limited to the bloated voters list and identification cards.
There is no doubt that Doctor, Doctor Roosevelt Skerrit has outlived his relevance, power has corrupted his judgement and he must be relieved from the leadership of the nation or Dominicans will pay the price in the next five years which will make Maduro look like a saint. The supreme power has intervened with divine intervention, will the population discern?
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