As a young voter, I have been sorely disappointed with some of the issues that have received so much unnecessary air time. At first, I thought I was alone in my disenchantment, so I initially decided that I would keep my mouth shut and put my pen in my pocket. That is, until I spoke to a few friends who expressed similar sentiments pertaining to the undue focus given to relatively trivial issues; which had it not been for an election season, would not be blown up and sensationalized in the way that they have been recently.
That is why I refer to the current episode in Nevis as “Kindergarten Politics”, because it reminds me of a Kindergarten classroom where a teacher is trying to get on with her Mathematics or English lesson and she is constantly disrupted by 5 year old students to tend to simple, sideway issues: – “Teacher, Gary just stick out he tongue at me” or “Teacher, Rodney say he gon eat me biscuit”. This is honestly what the present political discourse reminds me of!
I mean, is it that we have no substantive topics to debate and discuss in this country that some of our politicians must always engage in endless ranting, on what are relatively simple matters? Is it that some of them are so lacking in substance and ideas that they must constantly delve into idle and listless chatter? Maybe the saying is really true that empty vessels make the most noise! I once said to a friend that if only it was possible for VAT to be placed on the mouths of some politicians, they may prioritize their speaking, just like consumers do their spending and leave some of the unnecessary stuff alone!
For goodness sake, tell us what you are going to do to ensure less of our students in the A3 and A4 streams fall through the cracks and end up on the streets to wreak further havoc on our communities! Outline the plan to reduce the national debt, as opposed to simply telling us it is high! Let us know just what will be done to reduce our reliance on the Four Seasons Resort so that the next time a major hurricane strikes (which I pray to God won’t be anytime soon) we would have already put our house in order and many Nevisians won’t have to relive past difficulties. These issues are far more pressing and should be on the front burner of those offering themselves for public office rather than some of the other matters that could reasonably be dealt with by civil servants and technocrats, minus all the flourish and fanfare!
Additionally, I beseech all the politicians to please let us know not merely what you are going to do if elected but HOW you are going to do it! These are serious times and our people deserve more than fairy tale stories and fanciful promises!
I listened to candidate Obama in 2008 on the campaign trail make the lofty promise that if elected, he was going to close the Guantanamo Bay prison within a year to demonstrate to the world that the US does not torture. Interestingly enough and while I will stand corrected if I am wrong, I can’t remember him saying how he was going to do it and what the alternative was. I vividly recall the experts at the time said it was not that easy, if at all possible. Nevertheless, several bought into the euphoria of the promise.
Fast forward to 2011, and former candidate Obama, now President Obama has not closed Guantanamo Bay! While the new hurdles that he has been exposed to since being elected may very well be legitimate it just goes to show that campaigning is not governance! Therefore, as far as possible, our politicians should not make us feel that things will simply get done by the swish of a magic wand! Rather, they have a responsibility to let us know how it will be done taking into account existing challenges.
Don’t simply tell us, “We will decrease taxes!” Tell us HOW you will do so, while still making up the shortfall to ensure that government can meet its obligations and our people receive their accustomed entitlements. Don’t merely tell us that, “We will separate the Sixth Form from the Secondary School!” Tell us HOW you will do it, when most of the teachers who presently teach the college are also assigned to the secondary division. You either come strong or don’t come at all!
On a final note, I BEG our people, yet again, to be more independent in their thinking. I have been so disappointed recently with some of the things that have been thrown out into the public domain in an effort to create needless mischief, which in the end, were just gobbled up by some party supporters; who instead of thinking for themselves, allow politicians to think for them. Whatever happened to independence of thought and sovereignty of mind? Whatever happened to trying to find out the other side to get an accurate picture of the situation before passing judgement? We need to stop making ourselves lapdogs and political poodles for some of these “Jim Jones politicians” to lead astray!
I can only hope that they will grow up and get back on course to focus on the greater issues and that our people will in turn pressure them to do so because I for one am fed up of this KINDERGARTEN POLITICS!