Breaking the Economic Stranglehold - Part II
Restoring the Essence of the Nation
In last week's article we began to expound on the second of the three interrelated strategies that are highly important to break the vicious domination of the corrupt ruling regime over the people of Dominica. This second strategy encompasses efforts to break the economic stranglehold that the ruling regime has on the people.
We noted that the ruling regime has engaged in politics primarily in pursuits of personal and political interest to the detriment of the country's optimal development. We further noted that the regime seeks to maintain power through a variety of strategies and a major one of these is to withhold progressive changes from the reach of the vast majority of the people. They do so because they fear that as a critical mass of the people progress towards economic independence and dignity, it would be impossible to dominate the people!
We discussed three aspects of their economic suppression strategy and concluded that many people voted for the regime because they received gifts and/or want to remain in line to receive significant gifts or favour. We noted that the voting decisions of these people are buttressed by the lack of hope – they don't think the economy will improve to allow them to help themselves rather than depend on gifts. Additionally, we noted that their voting decisions are further entrenched by the fear spread by the ruling regime that a new regime will no longer provide gifts!
Clearly, the ruling regime is not interested in growing the economy in ways that would result in many people becoming economically independent. But this is part of the key to liberating our people. The current government uses their politics to serve their own personal and political interests rather than the best interest of all the people. Hence, a big part of the solution to save Dominica is for many of our well-meaning citizens to make gigantic efforts to bring economic prosperity and hope to the people despite ruling regime's interest to keep the people dependent.
All our citizens need to recognize the danger that our country is in and that the cause of that danger is the oppressive governance of the current ruthless political regime. Under these unusual times, it is the responsibility of all those who are able, to step up and be counted! Let us succeed where the ruling regime is deliberately failing! One of the reasons that I recently stepped away from leading a political party is in order to better position myself to help lead the charge to bring economic liberation to our people.
To say that the government is deliberately failing is no idle talk. I was recently given an account of a discussion that was alleged to have taken place among Labour Party stalwarts concerning pursuing a strategic development project in the north of the island. Given the credibility of the information source, I believe that this discussion may have really happened; but in any event, this is the kind of approach that I expect the PM to take. I am told that a proposal was being made to develop a marina in the Portsmouth area. The PM listened to the reasoning of those in the meeting, most of whom supported the idea and spoke about the benefits of having a marina in Dominica and how it would boost the island's tourism. I am told that after listening to the views of the others in the meeting, the PM disagreed with going ahead with such a project, reasoning that such a project would only benefit the people of Portsmouth and the surrounding villages. He indicated that political considerations must enter every decision and so he would rather spread government money throughout Dominica to obtain greater political mileage. We all know of how the Labour Party administration has used social programmes and other gift to deceive the people, so, that may have been what he meant by "spreading government money around". Such thinking from a PM is foolish at best, but it is clearly self-serving and this is the kind of thinking that has underdeveloped Dominica!
So clearly, we have to take development into our own hands as a people and not depend on the current government to lead the way. But how do we that? Its about organizing our people to make investment sacrifices; helping entrepreneurs to be better organized; making the right investment choices; attracting foreign investment based on sound workable proposals; finding export markets; organizing farmers and exporters, among other efforts.
It not going to be easy, but our backs are against the wall and we are going to have to work hard and be creative. I am certainly ready for that journey and I ask all right-thinking Dominicans to joint this effort.
What are the risks? Will the current ruling regime try to get in the way of people centred and people-lead progress? Let us continue to discuss next week.
Kent Vital Economist