DFP political leader Kent Vital
DFP political leader Kent Vital

Following from the last three articles, we are continuing in this article to discuss how "bad politics" is adversely impacting our country's development progress.

We have made a distinction between good politics which is politics that is practiced with honesty and aims to uplift the society, and bad politics which is practiced based on narrow private interest and political convenience.

In the previous articles we began to point out examples of bad politics. Already, we have discussed the irrational and otherwise inappropriate allegiance of many persons to their political parties. In the last article we started discussing the argument related to "don't bite the hand that feeds you," which is one of the prominent false arguments used by the current Roosevelt Skerrit-led administration to beguile the people.

We have noted that the Skerrit-led Labour Party seeks to exact gratefulness from beneficiaries of handouts in the hope that the party will be re-elected and, towards that end, the Labour Party administration proudly and openly declares – "don't bite the hand that feeds you"! But we have noted thus far that they are using the people's money, or gifts from friendly governments to provide these handouts; hence, it is really not their hand at all. It is the people that must determine which political party manages the people's money. We need to let the people be aware that while any government in place would help those who need help, under a capable government it would have never come to this current situation where our people are so in need of help, that they have to look to the government to do things for them that they would rather do for themselves if they had decent work.

We need to reason with people that while it is good to be grateful for well-intentioned assistance, people should not encourage wickedness, but some are doing so because they have benefited directly from the use of the state resources under the direction of a particular political party. As a matter of fact, when assistance is offered in exchange for political support, it amounts to bribery and this is a criminal offence. And when assistance is offered with perverse intentions, there is no need to be grateful! We certainly don't want our children to be dependent on the government for handouts when they get to adulthood! What we need instead is a thriving economy and a cohesive society – which are broad outcomes that the Skerrit-led Labour Party Administration has not delivered and appears incapable of delivering, notwithstanding their misleading words. We need to elect a government that can deliver good development results such as increased employment, reduced poverty, greater economic independence and dignity of the people, less crime and better harmony among the people. We should not elect a government based on the unsustainable handouts they provide especially where these are given as bribes.

Moreover, the Skerrit-led government has relied heavily on resources from the sale of passports under the Citizen by Investment (CBI) programme to support their bribery operations. But their corrupt management of the CBI programme is placing the country at risk of losing the programme. The best chance of saving the programme is to elect a new government. In that way, the countries that Dominica has aggrieved would be able to allow the new government the opportunity to manage the programme with integrity. The new government would have to seek to use those resources in a transparent way to benefit the entire country irrespective of the political alignment of citizens. That is what good politics is about – voting out a ruling political party that has failed to deliver good results, and electing an alternative party or group with promise. There will be a much better chance that a political administration in office will manage the country's affairs better, if they know that they will be voted out for bad performance. But instead of relying on their good performance to encourage people to return them to office, the Skerrit-led political administration is seeking to bribe people. That is sad! That is weak! That is wicked!

Additionally, the Skerrit-led Labour Party seeks to make the false argument that political parties in opposition must find resources to provide assistance to the people. How disingenuous! We need to explain this point carefully to unsuspecting persons. In our parliamentary system of democracy, the opposition is there to hold a government to account in order to encourage better management of the country! Of course, they should not criticize for the sake of criticism in itself. But the opposition's role is to keep the ruling government on its "toes"! Its role is to provide an alternative view as to how the country should be managed. The job of running the country including providing social assistance to those in need, falls to the ruling political administration which has access to the resources of the state. We will continue to discuss this particular false narrative in next week's article.

Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party.