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Commentary: The continued speedy and steady degeneration of Dominica's politics
Published on July 17, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Dr Emanuel Finn

The most corrosive aspect of this current prime ministership, governance and government is its rousing success in making Dominica politics much more ridiculous, petty and silly. The populace is obsessed with the sitting prime ministers most unnerving and silliest statements. These are analyzed, regurgitated and repeated by his acolytes, mouthpieces, and supporters as it they were tablets from heaven or the learned pronouncements of a wise leader.

Dr Emanuel Finn holds a Bachelors degree in Chemistry, a Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree and a Masters in Health Policy and Administration. He holds certificates in Executive Non-Profit Management from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute and Emerging Leadership in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-Kenan-Flagler Business School. He spent the 2000-2001 Congressional year on Capitol Hill in Senator Ron Wyden’s office (D-Oregon) as the American Dental Association Health Policy Fellow.
Various types of strategic genius are ascribed to the prime minister by his supporters and sympathizers. One disturbing example is the government trying desperately to get folks to focus on and believe on the sustainability of the benefits of selling passports to grow the economy instead of revitalizing and revamping agriculture and agro-processing and other industries like water.

No matter how idiotic this government’s behaviours, pronouncements and speeches might be, there are commentators and collaborators who think it is the right thing and the prime minister is on the right path.

But the government’s core supporters today has begun to constitute a static and even shrinking minority, although they still the loudest and boisterous because they are probably more motivated for different reasons. Would it be money or handouts? Or a little pocket change from the undignified Red Clinic in Roseau for milk and paracetamol for their children from the government? Electoral reform cannot come too soon.

But while the Labour Party is still in charge, its supporters enjoy a hallowed and confident status than no other demographic. I saw that last month in La Plaine, the lush green anchor rural south-eastern community on the Atlantic coast. One bright morning last month I danced and laughed with a few Labour Party ladies on an unpaved road while they were exulting their immense love and admiration for their PM.

Of course these are my people – folks I grew up with in this once close-knit community. In spite of the disappointment, I was happy to embrace them. But today many of these folks are separated by a ‘real and imaginary’ sharp barbed wire fence along party colours demarcation lines due to the degeneration of today’s sad and regrettable political and gloomy economic reality.

According to the rabid Labourites like the ones I danced with in the La Plaine valley, anyone who does not love this PM or/and does not get and feel his appeal is perceived to be living in a bubble. So does that mean that a large and substantial percentage of resident Dominican voters are bubble dwellers?

Unlike the Diaspora Dominicans who get a hot meal, pocket change and an airplane ‘vep’ (ride) for their votes come election time? Is that why the prime minister wanted to ram down the throats of resident Dominicans the illegal bill for Diapora Dominicans to vote? Well good for our country the bubble dwellers prevailed when he was left with no choice but to shamelessly withdraw this idiotic and undemocratic bill.

The present and future costs of all this nonsense is and will be very high for the nature island. Our political discussions, debates and discourse are being brought down by this prime minister, his lawyers, surrogates and apologists exponentially. It would seem one’s time would be much better spent listening to loud squeaking bats in the night instead of one these lawyers and radio hosts spewing their propagandas.

The fact that his supporters, henchmen and women believe that the prime minister and only he is singularly the best and brightest leader in our country who can ‘run things‘, sinks us to a level that in fairness to children cannot even be called childlike.

But in a functioning democracy, unlike Dominica and Venezuela, challenges are dealt with in bipartisan ways- not in Dominica today with this PM’s style –he is in charge and that is it – period. Elections are about choosing a government and giving them a mandate to govern – right? But if there was anything about the last election it did not do that. Instead it expedited and increased the growing division and animosity between the Dominica Diaspora voters who got free excursions to vote and their resident counterparts at home. What a shame.

But who cares? Not this PM or the born again Christian minister in La Plaine who some reports indicate only got 29 percent of the resident constituency vote during the last election. Diaspora took care of him and now we have a divided and fractured small rural community.

But who cares? Certainly not the hon. born again Christian minister who invokes God’s name at every turn and carries his bible in one hand while ‘mixing it up’ with villagers regularly who don’t support him. Recently it was alleged that he and his son kidnapped three village men, drove them to his house and dished out some harsh, verbal and physical judgment to them in his basement.

Neither the police nor the PM had anything publicly to say about that. After one of alleged victims was given a small house, he publicly said that he wasn’t beaten enough. But when all is said and done with this PM, will he, his confidants and ministers be remembered and treated as Richard Nixon and those who were closest to him? Nixon was the 37th president of the United States, who resigned from office disgracefully, the only US president to do so.

But the $64,000 question is: do this current PM’s policies undermine his promises? His native (not foreign) spineless supporters and operators who know better but defend and minimize his inconsistencies and mistakes, should realize for the sake of Dominica they have and are enabling a degeneration of Dominican politics.

But why should they care when they are busy guarding and protecting their hefty spoils as a result of he being at the helm? This handicaps all efforts to solve the isle of beauty many problems effectively or at all. It will also continue to embarrass our small nation before the rest of the world. More passports for sale, more concessions for diplomatic passports and a CBS 60 Minutes encore anyone?
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