Independence 33

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Under the theme United in Building a Stronger Nation, our Federation celebrates 33 years of Independence.   Congratulations to the Government and people on this another milestone.  We, at St Kitts-Nevis Observer, wish to offer some thoughts on how that stronger nation can be built.

We want to see a separation of politicking and governance.  Governance balances power with accountability with the primary intention of achieving prosperity whereas politicking is the persuasion of persons to vote in a way to give someone power.

Both sides of the divide, especially in recent times, have done more politicking than governing.  They spin stories around incidents in order to gain political advantage.  The public is not being given the facts – and just the facts – on any one matter.  While we recognise that not everything can be released as it happens; that there are sensitive matters that must be held back, wherever possible and whenever possible, just give us the facts.   Let others give the interpretations (i.e. the spin) after our leaders have given the facts.

Also, we would wish to see evidence of critical thinking from our citizens.  In this era of enlightenment and high literacy, too many citizens still swallow wholesale the words that come from the mouths of our politicians, and blindly follow them. This is blind faith i.e. trusting in someone/something without any evidence, and is the type of faith that leads to fanaticism. We don’t need to tell you where fanaticism leads.

Thirdly, we would want greater transparency; a transparency that comes with open consultations.  One recalls that Maurice Bishop adopted public consultations very effectively in Grenada.  No, we are not advocating any type of overthrow of Government, rather, we are promoting government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Next, we want more action, less talk. If it is not going to be done, say so and move on, But don’t leave the public in limbo on issues like campaign financing, integrity in public life, term limits, electoral reform and so on.  Be honest with us. We have had too much talk and too little action for too long.

Lastly, build the bridge linking the two islands because, as long as we stay fragmented the way we are, the more insular we will become, and we will not be unified when we are insular.

As we mark this Independence milestone, my we purpose in our minds to all do better.

Happy Independence to all!