|Letter: Stop blaming British for mistakes|
|Written by Fred Skovberg|
|Thursday, 20 January 2011 10:31|
I would like to comment on the letter by E. Jay Saunders dated Jan. 13 entitled “Parliament wrong to suspend Constitution indefinitely.”
First, let me say that I agree with the opening sentence of Mr. Saunders’ letter where he states that most residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands are not happy with the way the country is being governed. However, I do not think he should then get into what has become favorite new sport being practiced by the political leaders, the press and the public — blame the British for the self-generated mess we are in. The reality is that a local government made the mess, and the voters of the TCI allowed it to happen!
Blaming the British for everything is a waste of time and takes the focus off the critical issues that need to be addressed in order to put the TCI on a solid path to good governance and economic recovery. The thing I do not understand in Mr. Saunders’ letter is why he wants the British to hand us a plan in the first place. The solution to the mess we are in needs the participation and positive contribution by the residents of the TCI, with or without the British.
The political parties and the voters of the TCI must take personal responsibility for their role in the much quoted phrase “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” I keep hearing this phrase repeated over and over, but I do not see the voters and political leaders of this country taking on their democratic responsibility to positively and personally contribute.
As Mr. Saunders correctly states, “rules and regulations, no matter how stringent, will never fully stop someone who is intent on breaking them.” What stops bad government is an informed voter group which puts in the effort to ensure that their government is truly practicing “government by the people, government for the people.” The practice of democracy requires the continued application of voter responsibility, not just at election time once every four years.
A unique feature of democratic rule, as opposed to a dictatorship, is that the voters get to choose the government. What that means is that in any democracy the people get the government they deserve. If they do not actively participate on a continual basis, if they do not demand their political leaders practice open, transparent, responsible government, they will find the people in government are helping themselves. What happened twice now is that the voters failed to come together and take action to ensure responsible, accountable, transparent government in the TCI.
I fear there still is a lack of voter participation, so the same problems will happen again in the future. Take a look at the constitutional amendment report the two political parties produced. As you read it, ask yourself the following questions: Where in this report have the two political parties talked about making future governments responsible and accountable for economic improvement? Where in this report have the two political parties talked about ensuring transparent, participative government? I can find nothing like that in the report.
The milestones that Minister Henry Bellingham stated on Dec. 10 are mandatory, prerequisite conditions to be completed before the TCI can be returned to self rule. I am astonished that we have not been actively planning to complete these goals a long time ago! The fact is the U.K. made it very clear on Aug. 14, 2009, what the objectives were for the interim government. What Minister Henry Bellingham stated last month was already well known by ALL interested Belongers, political parties and residents more than one year ago!
It is desperately needed and, in fact, is the only sensible approach for the TCI to take if there is to be any hope of recovery.
Next issue — Part 2: “Islanders must reach milestones together”
Latest Local News
Tourist Board expands adding two new staff members
The Turks and Caicos Tourist Board announced this week it welcomed two new staff members to further More...
Cruise terminal to open April 8
Beginning Monday, April 8, thousands of cruise ship passengers will again begin to enjoy the More...
2013 TCI Elecrotal List Available
TCI 2013 Electors’ Register is Ready! Supervisor of Elections Mr. Dudley Lewis has announced More...
Misick Declared By-Election Winner
Supervisor of Elections Dudley Lewis has advised that the Progressive National Party's (PNP) Amanda More...
New Board leads TCHTA
On Wednesday, March 13, Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) bid farewell to its More...