When once a decision is made to clear existing or pending errors, the introduction of new systems, personel and or operations geared at normalizing a condition or structure is referred to as a “reset”. Simply put, it can also mean returning to a state of normalcy.
The events of the 2017 Hurricane Maria did not just call for or require a reset but also mandated Dominicans to revisit our relevance in today’s global space. It also provided us an opportunity to take a critical look at how the management of the country would impact us as a people going forward. One may argue and make the excuse that after such a catastrophic event, any energy left mentally or otherwise should, and would be focused on getting lives back to normal – quite understandably.
Another opportunity nonetheless was given to Dominicans again when the 2019 elections were held. Dominicans seemingly had moved so quickly passed the event of 2017 that they felt strongly and decided to continue business as usual as it relates to governance by re-electing the Roosevelt Skerrit-led administration.
Almost three years from that 2019 date, another opportunity to “reset” was handed to the populace, this time though, with major and significant unfulfilled promises. Of course, it is not for me to re-litigate them all but I will highlight the most important and apparent one which was the promise of electoral reform. The process and participaton or lack thereof in the 2022 elections, was clear for all to see and so I will not stress you out with those again.
The big question on every body’s mind is, “where are the signs of the reset or even the reset itself”? The recruitment of about 85 percent of new candidates in itself cannot be seriously viewed as a reset when this has become a norm over the last three election cycles. So one waited with baited breath to see what the much talked about reset would look like once the cabinet was constituted. I don’t play card games very often but one thing the new cabinet with all its advisors, envoys and special assistants reminds me of is a reshuffle. Again I’m not going to weigh you down with who was asigned where as by now I’m sure we are all aware. [There was] duplication of responsibilities so as to ensure those who were pushed out the front door were returned via the back door or window, and Dominicans were told that the composition of the cabinet was reflective of the current day realities and needs of the country (creating the opportunity for those who had sucked the country dry to continue to do so in a more subtle way). That being the case, something is drastically wrong with our country and it speaks volumes as to the failure of some of these sectors over the last almost two decades.
Now I have captioned this expression “reset 2023” and many may wonder why. It is my view that since this promised reset clearly appeared to be a cover up for a reshuffle, Dominicans must now prepare to do their own reset come 2023 and beyond. The mindset of our people must now be a primary focus as they seek to take control of and hold accountable those who will now be managing the affairs of state. For far too long all these fancy slogans like “reset” and others have been banded about in peoples faces only to see the direct opposite take place. It is now time for a reset where the whole idea of recall must be seriously considered by the people. The voting public should have the right and opportunity to ask any parl rep to vacate their seat in parliament if they are not meeting the mandate placed upon them by the people. The reset must not be left to one man when he so desires and to select whom he wishes.
Like many, I look with great interest to April 2025 when another major reset is expected. Is it going to be another situation where, if the promise of vacating the seat of prime minister really happens that the replacement will be the choice of the exiting prime minister or will that reset be one chosen by the people of Dominica? Reset your minds people, don’t only exercise your power and franchise when it’s time to genuflect and seemingly respond to the charm of one man. Let the new calypso “reset” mean just that and stay in that mode throughout. When politicians know that people are in the constant mode of “reset” beginning in this new year 2023, they will wake up to the reality that they are servants and not masters of the people.
Finally, even before the reset was announced, I had called for my own reset which was the idea for more independent candidates to come to the fore since political parties had deceived and failed the people. Many tried to scold me, saying that could never work in Dominica’s politics. Well! how many still believe that it could not work after what just happened? That was certainly a “reset”!
2023 should be the beginning of the real “reset” where our people return the country to a state of peace, no corruption in government, a decline if not total stop to the senseless homicides especially among our young men, productivity in the manufacturing and agricultural sector, increased and improved information technology, improvement in the health, education and tourism sector, just to name a few.
The only reason politicians are able to continue to take Dominicans for the joyless rides which they have been doing for so long and treat us as people with no backbone is because we have allowed them to devide and rule which is right from their play books. It is more than time that people end this hatred and division caused and enhanced by politicians while these politicians enrich themselves at the expense of the poor. As a people, we must learn to agree to disagree without tearing down each other or helping our leaders to destroy those they think don’t support their political ideologies. At the end of the day when these politician have fattened their pockets and have decided to retire with their millions either in Dominica or elsewhere, it is all of us who will be left to live together in the mess that we blindly allowed them to create for us.
Let’s make 2023 the year of real “reset” by the people, for the people and with the people!.