Weak opposition parties create the environment for dictatorships to thrive

December 15, 2010 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear editor,
The weakness and failures of the opposition parties as displayed in their prolonged unresponsiveness to their duty to work together to protect and uphold the constitutional rights of the people is alarming; and their reluctance or ineptitude towards the promotion of good governance, transparency and public accountability is frightening.
Their obliging approach to business in the National Assembly lays the foundation and fosters the environment for a dictatorship to thrive.
It is often said that a people get just what they deserve. But in a democratic society the people elect their representatives as their leaders and legitimately expect the best possible representation from them.
Something is dreadfully wrong in this country where there are so many issues of transgression committed by the regime –transgressions that would urge the conversion of a saint into a Barabas. Yet opposition politicians fail to see the wisdom of tackling the problems head-on.
It’s a fact that the regime cannot account for billions of dollars of tax payers’ money while at the same time senior government figures are building haciendas and questionable contracts are being doled out to persons who qualify merely on their familiarity with high ranking government officials.
Then there is this scandal involving the government’s takings from the National Lottery which may have been a major factor that took such a drastic toll on the health of the late Shadow Finance Minister, Mr. Winston Murray.  Moreover, scores of projects funded with taxpayers’ money are sloppily done, and to publicly display their callousness, officials are not even making an attempt to defend the regime in light of all the public knowledge about these vulgarities.
The failure of the courts to determine constitutional matters within a reasonable period adds to the woes of the people, and coupled with the failure of opposition MPs to ensure that the constitutional rights of the people are protected, serves to buttress the vulnerability of the electorate, resulting in the creation of the environment in which an elected dictatorship is allowed to thrive.
The question is what is left for the people to do? It does appear that the most decent options are mass protests.  The opposition, of which I am a part, and to whom the masses look for guidance, is fully well aware of the legitimacy of the use of ‘people power’ when wrongs are committed by the government.
Some in the opposition forces are fearful that they that may be deemed hooligans or hoodlums as others in the past had been called when they resorted to protests for constitutional reform.
But the result of those protests were amendments to the constitution which created the system for shared governance at the level of the local democratic organs.  Despite the reforms, the government continues to refuse to implement those reforms.
We as the opposition have not even put up a fight to get those reforms on track, we simply kept a little noise fleetingly and went back to our slumber. Could it be that the entire opposition has been compromised?
We, the people’s representatives, must not allow the violation of our constitution to continue. Whether or not one had voted for the ruling party, one has a moral responsibility to join in the struggle to apply the brakes on the prevailing state of lawlessness that has engulfed the country.
This fight against the excesses of this government must start now by the people.  The masses must set the pace while our idle civic society must get on board and start directing the course of the opposition, thus preventing them from compromising with evil doers in the government.
Michael Carrington

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