“Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” A quote attributed to Edmund Burke but I like the variation espoused by writer, Steve Berry in the thriller, The Charlemagne Pursuit: “It’s been my experience, Langford, that the past always has a way of returning. Those who don’t learn, or can’t remember it, are doomed to repeat it”.
This preamble comes in the wake of an HTS e-poll that I viewed last week. And the question was: Has the time come to raise the deposit fee for General Election candidates in Saint Lucia?
So much for a free state democracy that we practise here in Saint Lucia. If you asked me, I think that the requirement for a deposit should be removed completely. Harold Dalson was one of the view that the deposit should be increased. I think he suggested $10,000. But it is the same Dalson who has paid his $250 (if he paid it himself) twice to sit in government and now ‘his body press’ he wants to deny others the privilege.
On the same programme, I listened to the comments given by people on the streets in answer to that question and I had to conclude that are a people who do not know of our history or if we do, we certainly have learned nothing from it.
One of the things I deciphered is that we view the privilege to govern as a job. We do not appreciate the fight for adult suffrage. We do not appreciate that at one time it was a certain class of people who could vote. Now we want to impose that dowry on the candidate. Don’t matter what you have to say, the worthiness and nobleness of your ideas and ambition, we keep you out like Christ, a carpenter’s son who could not dare claim himself the messiah of the world. Have we humans learned anything? Not in a million years.
The presenter of the HTS e-poll, RhianiIsidore advanced that political observers and scientists are of the view the nominal fees cheapen Saint Lucian politics. It’s not the nominal fees that cheapen Saint Lucian politics. It’s the bastardized campaigning. It’s the mentally weakened populace from whom the mandatory history classes that we use to have is now deprived; a morally impoverished people who would allow any scumbag to sit in the privileged office of governance and allow corruption to fester. These are the things that have weakened Saint Lucian politics. If we continue to harbour the concept that you are only good for politics if you join a party or that ‘politics is no place for good boys’ then our politics will remain weak.
For the Independent Eye, I am Kensley Charlemagne. Feedback welcomed at Independentlyyours@live.com