Letters & Opinion, Politics

What I Want This Election

The Independent Eye - By Kensley Peter Charlemagne

I want it to be known that I am running for the Anse la Raye/Canaries seat again. There is no secret there. People often meet me in the streets and ask: “You going up this year?” When I answer yes, then comes the retort of surprise. Jaw drops, the faces turn into a jigsaw puzzle. And then like they are stuck in question mode. Really? I thought you had given up on that? You have $250 to waste?… What! They expected me to say no? I would really like if Saint Lucians would think beyond money.

I like to be intellectually engaged. Ask me the thoughtful questions, not those of ridicule. “How many votes did you get in the last election?” Ask me instead, “Why do you keep on doing this each election?” and be prepared to stick around for the answer?

I want an unbiased media. A tough ask. Talk show hosts like to push their agenda. I have always been of the persuasion that the media is there to make information known, not to put a spin on it.

Please, I will not shy away from wearing my red and yellow apparel. Don’t diagnose me as being Labour or Flambeau because of a damn shirt that has no such insignias.

I am not a believer in national debates for politicians but I believe in town hall meetings, like Emma is doing. There you really can get personal with your intended representative. Ask the tough questions. Debates are about verbal theatrics: men and women displaying their egos on stage. Talking about theatrics, that’s what our political rallies have become, nothing but a mere circus. And those clowns are on stage pleasing our fancies. But we like it so. We like our jokers with their yellow noses and red blushes. We like their tricks. “You will get two ministers from Anse la Raye/Canaries if you elect us into office.”

Who is talking policies? No one because we’re not demanding it. Do we want to know who are the businesses paying Jadia’s salary. No we don’t. What are the plans for decreasing our rate of unemployment? How do we continue the drive to food sustainability? Does the rate of suicide and homicide concern us anymore or has it just been adopted as a norm? The greatest threat to democracy is an uneducated sect and by that I do not mean going to school and getting certified. I mean having the sensibility to realize that what we have ain’t working, having the courage to try something new. Coming to understand that our votes can’t be just about the now, the immediate. We have to think about our children and our children’s children.

I want a more differentiating populace. Bring your representatives into account. Hold them to a high standard. Let them know that the granny jokes ain’t cutting it. Let them know we tired of the “maypwi”, the bacchanal, the “glanglan”. Governance is serious business.

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