DFP political leader Kent Vital
DFP political leader Kent Vital

In the last two articles, we have been discussing the question - how has politics come to be viewed by many of our people as a dirty game? But we know that politics in itself is not bad. In explaining the disparity, we made a distinction between "good politics' and "bad politics". We said that good politics is politics that is practiced with honesty and aims to uplift the society, while bad politics is practiced based on narrow interest and political convenience.

To more fully understand how "bad politics" is hurting our country's development, we began to point out examples of it. We started by talking about the allegiance of many persons to their political parties and we noted that such allegiance cannot be due to differences in philosophical positions. Hence, it leaves one to conclude that many people support their political parties blindly, irrationally or based on personal favor that they wish to be in line to receive. This hurts our country's progress. We need to stop being "die-hard" political party supporters at this juncture in our political life! Let us not allow self-serving politicians to engulf our nation in narrow-interest, hate of other political groups, or the holding of grudges due to something done to you or your family long ago by another political party. Let us instead analyze whether the competing political parties have good ideas and the integrity it takes to implement these ideas. But clearly, we need to reject an incumbent political party where it has been unable to deliver good development results. Our country is clearly languishing economically and socially under the Roosevelt Skerrit Administration. In our type of democracy, for it to work in the society's best interest, at general elections we must reject the incumbent political party if it has failed and send them home to reform. This is what will keep political parties in power on their toes to do the right thing. On the other hand, irrational political support for the incumbent emboldens them to be wicked and arrogant.

One of the tools used by the practitioners of bad politics is the spreading of false argument. In so doing they entrench negative political and economic cultures. Let us address one of these now – that related to "don't bite the hand that feeds you"! The Skerrit-led administration has exploited the poverty and need of our people. Since they are incapable of creating a thriving economy that gives people opportunity to pull themselves up, they resort to the giving of handouts and the misuse of public resources. And they seek to exact gratefulness for these handouts in the hope that they will be re-elected. In many cases, if not in all, they directly pressure persons to support them politically in return for these handouts. For instance, they proudly and openly declare – "don't bite the hand that feeds you"! But let us note a few things about that strategy that need to exposed and shared with unsuspecting people.

First, the "hand" they are talking about is not their hand personally. In fact, they are using the people's money, or gifts from friendly governments to provide these hand-outs. If any of it is their money personally, then knowing the legitimate work and investment history of these people, they must have acquired much of it corruptly or through criminal activity. I don't accept stolen goods from anyone and I encourage my people to do the same. Our God will provide and if not, then He knows best and I will still serve Him with integrity! "I would rather be broke and free…!" But the incumbent government is misusing state resources and trying to make the people think that it is "their hand" that is feeding the people. As a matter of fact, we need to reason out with our people that they would have received more and fairer assistance under a government of integrity.

After Hurricane Maria, for instance, more resources would have come to Dominica if there was a government of integrity in place, as many foreign governments and organizations withheld much help because of the corruption of the Skerrit regime. Also, there would be more resources to assist the people with if a huge part of the country's resources was not siphoned off through corruption. On that score - how much of the CBI funds are corruptly diverted through over-pricing under projects such as river dredging done by the Dominica Strong company? But importantly, 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 that they could rather do for themselves if they had good paying jobs and a strong economy! This is what the Dominica Freedom Party Team wants to bring back to Dominica – capability and integrity.

Join us next week as we continue to debunk the false narratives.

Kent Vital Political Leader Dominica Freedom Party.