Crowd greets PM Skerrit at DLP rally
Crowd greets PM Skerrit at DLP rally

By the time you read this editorial, Dominicans will have a new government, for better or worse, until the next general election they part.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on which side of the fence you now sit on, it is the same Dominica Labour Party (DLP) government that Dominica has had- some say endured for 22 years- from the year 2000, when the DLP of the late prime minister Rosie Douglas joined forces with his arch-enemy, the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP), to oust the one-term United Workers Party (UWP) government.

But that is now a significant part of Dominica's political history.

What is confronting Dominicans today, right now, is the probability of another five years of the Roosevelt Skerrit administration with all its strengths and weaknesses.

Government we deserve

But this is the government that Dominicans deserve, if indeed Thomas Jefferson, the founding father of the United States of America, is right when he said: "The government you elect is the government you deserve."

But, of course, Jefferson was referring to the results of an election conducted free and fair on a level playing field.

Undoubtedly, the December 6 general election was the most unfair ever simply because it was, once again, conducted with the same bloated elector's list, with the same frequent abuse of incumbency, with the same DLP multimillion-dollar-campaign-budget that few people know where it came from and without basic voter identification cards.


Before the election, two of the main opposition parties, the UWP and the DFP, boycotted and promised to maintain the pressure on Roosevelt Skerrit to force him to keep his many promises of implementing electoral reform.

But opposition forces are all fools if they take comfort in these oft-repeated promises of Mr Skerrit.

The Coalition for Electoral Reform has to do much more than talk; it must follow the advice of the famous Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, who insists that "the revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe! You have to make it fall".

So, Mr Skerrit's new government appears to be in for a rough next few months as Dominica descends into further chaos, anarchy, and brother-against-brother turmoil. It will not be pretty.

If new brooms sweep clean, we expect the new executive of the UWP, under the leadership of Dr Thompson Fontaine, to find new ways to keep the issue of electoral reform before the public, something that the old executive still needs to achieve.

The endless talk will be counterproductive.


Again, electoral observers from the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS) and CARICOM were here to monitor the December 6 election and to report on whether the election was free and fair.

But we have said and will repeat it: these election monitors are a waste of time and money. Instead, to see and understand the blows Dominica's democracy has been enduring, you need to monitor the government for its five-year term.

But then, this is the job of Dominican citizens, especially the press and civil society in general, institutions currently needing a thorough make-over. But, unfortunately, they all have fallen asleep on the job.

We already know the essential part of the reports from the observers- that the election was free but not fair.

For example, the OAS observers reported in a document available online entitled "Preliminary Report of the Electoral Observation Mission of the OAS in the Commonwealth of Dominica for the December 6 General Elections" that "as observed by the 2014 OAS Mission Dominica is also one of the few remaining countries in the Caribbean without a voter identification card".

Many questions- no answers

The questions confronting Dominicans after Tuesday's election are these:

First, who will ensure that Roosevelt Skerrit keeps his promises to the public on the issue of electoral reform?

Who will ensure that the Electoral Commission members perform their duties without fear, favour, or resign?

Who is going to ensure that we have a government that we truly deserve, that the majority of Dominicans respect as duly elected and legitimate so that we can all work together, blue hands in red hands, to build this beautiful but severely underdeveloped country?

Dominicans have turned their backs on exercising their responsibilities in a democracy as the party has gradually replaced the government. But we care very little. We have seen the enemy, and it is us.