Time for Positive and Responsible Leadership “No One can fix a flat tire while sitting in the Vehicle” When the individuals which form a government accepts the responsibility to manage a country, the expectation of the citizens is that the policies implemented by this group of people will improve the well-being of the country’s population. In the event that this government fails to meet this basic expectation as promised, the failure is noticed.
Every five years or thereabout, the People of Dominica put their trust, confidence, hope, and expectations in the group of people who were elected to office, and take an oath to serve, respect, protect, improve, and develop the lives of all nationals, both at home and throughout the diaspora. And every five years, we get more of the same short-sighted, self-aggrandizing, self-gratifying and egotistical group of individuals and their policies. This pattern has led us to today, where each minister, ambassador and senator appears to have used their time in office to focus on enriching themselves and their families economically, financially and socially, at the expense of the very people that they all took an oath to serve, respect, protect, improve, and develop.
To add insult to injury, when complaints are made, formally in parliament, or informally in the various forms of media available to the citizens, these complainants are minimized and marginalized, and the complaints dismissed as political bias. This method of treatment of those who bring attention to the many issues that negatively impact the lives of Dominican citizens is used so as to trivialize the issues presented, present excuses as to why these issues have not yet been addresses and the deflect others from actually taking the time to look into the issues.
These tactics include our leaders who choose a path of retribution to allegations made by the opposition and its citizens alike, instead of using the opportunity to address the actual issues presented. Our leaders refusing to take seriously the impact of questionable financial dealings made by the opposition and the citizens alike, instead of implementing policies that will improve accountability and transparency within the government. Our leaders constantly claiming that the CBI program is the predominant source of revenue for new developments and investments in this nation, instead of also using the opportunity to clear up any ambiguity in the minds of the
people of Dominica who have questions with regards to this program.
Fortunately, these tactics no longer seem to be working. It is with great sadness that I must state that our leaders no longer appear to act honorably with regards to the people of Dominica. I am even more saddened to state that the people of Dominica no longer have the expectation that their representatives in government ever intend to act
honorably to them. Therefore, people of Dominica have woken up. In short, my fellow Dominicans at home and abroad have come to realize that all 4 tires on the car that we call Dominica, are flat.
The Government is the driver of the vehicle called Dominica. The individuals who form our government are the ones that have accepted the responsibility for driving the country’s economic and social development, so as to create opportunities for all, so that each and every one of us may have a better quality of life, and a more sustainable future. However, these individuals have failed in just about every aspect with regards to their policies resulting in improvements in the lives of Dominicans.
The current dilemma that Dominica now experiences is a clear indication that our government has failed us all, and is now on a path that is counter-productive and a disgrace in the eyes of the international community, and shameful for all of us Dominicans, regardless of which political party you support. It is now evident to everyone in our nation that something has gone wrong with our Government. The actions and policies of the individuals within our government have placed the country on a downward spiral economically, socially and internationally, thus bringing shame to a people who are resilient, hardworking, honorable and humble.
Instead of bowing our heads between our legs in unimaginable shame, we, the people, have decided to take a stand. We the people, are the Government, and therefore, we the people, are responsible for the government we have driving our car. We, the people, have decided that we are going to take back control of that car and, going forward, ensure that the people we allow to drive it, will always work in our best interest and put the country’s economic and social development ahead of their individual bank accounts. So guess what? We, the people, have decided that it is
time to get out of the car and work together to not only fix the tires, but we are inspecting every aspect of the engine in this car, and every inch of the body that is the car, and every knob and button in the interior of the car, and every crease and crevice in the seats of the car.
We are going to replace every tire (various branches of government) on that car, then have spares so that when one no longer functions as it ought to, we will remove it and replace with a better one. We are inspecting the engine in the car to make sure that there are fiduciary laws and checks and balances, as well as systems of accountability in place so as to ensure that those charged with making decision and enacting policies are doing so solely for the benefit of all Dominicans, not just themselves. We are inspecting the exterior to make sure that the car if big enough and strong enough and solid enough to provide shelter and opportunity for every Dominican and not just those our leaders choose to allow in.
We are also checking to make sure that the windows are clear so that everything that the government does going forward is transparent to the population, and that the lights are operational so that anything that is attempted to be hidden will immediately be brought to light. We are checking every knob and button so that we can make sure that everyone is working, and working towards one thing, the economic development of Dominica. We are inspecting the seats and the trunks to ensure that everyone has a spot in this car and that not one person falls through
cracks in and the crevices in the seats. We, the people of Dominica, are now engaged and energized.
We demand not just a functioning government, but good governance. We demand a government that works for all its people. We demand a government that is fair to all its people. We demand a government that will toil, every day, all day, to ensure that every decision made on the behalf of the Dominican people are for the direct, explicit
benefit of the entire population. We demand transparency and accountability.
We demand that each member of government does the honourable thing and puts the people first. We are taking over this car, and we are not going backwards. Forward we go.
Dr. Valrose Joseph