By D. Markie Spring
The near-drowning of economic development is another rare glimpse of the lack of progress in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Coupled with this, our political environment is one that portrays the ‘fence mending’ theory.
The author of a number of published works, D. Markie Spring was born in St Vincent and the Grenadines and now resides in Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has an MBA from the University of Leicester, England, and a BA from Saint Mary's University, Canada
The aura of our shining stars radiated out of a sense of self, a core identity projected into their every role, coupled with the strong emotional content of their rhetoric that creates a sparring, divided society and invokes imaginary political borders and outcasts. Public affairs are directed by non-visionary ideologies maneuvered by a classic demagogic leader with impassioned rhetoric appeal, diagnosed with bigotry; often placing their parties before the country and a trend that seems to mimic a socialist view of the economic world.
Additionally, the old adage of looking back and blaming previous governments for the incumbent’s downfall is still prominent within our deteriorating political system – a technique used by political leaders to cover-up current environmental destruction, social setbacks, political instability and inefficient economic growth.
These phenomena and more have created lack of progress within our country.
However, all is not lost.
Despite those setbacks, there are some observable good programs and initiatives developed by the incumbent: a brand new international airport, a smooth surface of the Windward Highway, upgraded police stations, Canouan airport and parts of the education system, which provides more scholarship to students; additional loans accessible to students and the improvements and construction of educational institutions throughout.
These projects are needed national endeavours; however, the benefits to be derived from these programs are often trifled by the inactions of the current government and its inability to produce progressive policies; rather, politicians succumb to ‘going back,’ ‘name calling’ and the infamous ‘blame game’.
For me, I sense it would be irresponsible to prolong without insinuating progress!
According to history, progress is the idea that we can enhance our being and environment through modernization, technology, democracy, liberty and quality of life. Moreover, the European Commission (EC) has designed and developed the ‘progress program’ -- a form of financial instrument supporting the development and coordination of the European Union (EU) policy in areas, such as gender equality, social inclusion and protection, employment and anti-discrimination.
Hence, there is no scientific research or practitioners that can convince me that ‘going back’ and blaming the previous government is progressive; this does not define the problem solving phenomenon either. This only creates an environment of time wasting and no sense of direction and determination.
However, let’s be clear, in specific fields like engineering and science it is necessary at times to investigate past challenges to identify the problem in order to find solutions; however, in the political arena, problems can often be identified by current analysis of the situation without focusing on the previous.
Here, let’s identify a few questionable relevant scenarios.
Is the current government building more schools because the previous government didn’t do so; is the previous government the problem or the fact remains that there are more students today; hence, the need for more classrooms?
Hitherto, did the government construct a causeway across the Rabacca Dry River, because the previous government did not, or it is necessary, considering that there are more commuters above the dry river and that the dry river is becoming increasingly dangerous?
Similarly, is the government blaming the previous government for not building an international airport, or the government today realizes the airport is a needed facility to accommodate bigger and heavier aircraft to aid in the agriculture and tourism industries? Here, I am assuming that the government did not look into the present situation of the need to accommodate bigger aircraft – hence, building Argyle international airport was based on what was not done previously; therefore, there is no true sense of direction!
Meanwhile, other important questions have surfaced.
How can a government that won the elections since 2001 still blame, and identify the previous government to be the problem even 12 years later? Shouldn’t the new government utilize its time to set new strategies and progressive policies? How has ‘going back’ and blaming become progressive?
Not only does going back and playing the blame game anti-progressive; but the other acute diseases that exist within the political system: victimization of citizens and the lack of respect shown to them, the name calling, the imbalance and unfairness of the employment process, minimal planning and understanding of economics, the exclusion of the opposition and ordinary citizens, and the insurgence and scouring the political environment for opposition and the attempt to shut down citizens who speak-out; the socialist view of retaining power and controlling the people.
Additionally, ‘machine politics,’ ‘spin doctors,’ pundits and political immaturity have prevented our nation from progressing. Inevitably, this I believe is the pathway to political suicide of the incumbent.
If this trend continues, our progressive initiative will succumb to a cardiac arrest and will require an experienced and nationalist cardiologist to resuscitate this country’s heartbeat.
Hence, this is a good time to warn – if a new government is formed in the next general election it would be reckless to go black and blame this government for the areas that lack progress.
In politics, progress is not going back and finding fault – it is using that time wisely to enact workable strategies, which strengthen the scope of governance and encourage economic growth.