Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Mar 25, 2023

Choose honest governance

Choose honest governance

The choices voters make at elections in any free democracy, ties into the social and economic outcomes of a country, all things being equal.
The choices made by a country’s government charts the course of that country. Choices lead to both positive and negative outcomes. Therefore, choices are critical for good governance, especially choices that are honest. Good or poor governance begins with voters recognizing the virtue of honesty and leaders who can be trusted.

The direct result of honest governance and good policy decisions made in the crucible of integrity is a country that is safe and prosperous. Good governance is a great legacy for future generations.

OK. A controversial notion is that honesty is a difficult choice in a culture that rewards dishonesty. There is validity in that assertion. However, the notion that the honest choice is always the best choice long term is standard opinion and undisputed, ethical governance is good governance.

The notion that there is dishonesty in both Virgin Islands' working and business culture is also undisputed. This appears to be the outcome of the growth of tourism and financial services. Economic prosperity has driven moral decline.

Now, there is a song and dance every few months on the leadership of the Virgin Islands and the choices of politicians and decision-makers, one way or the other, the country possesses a lively and engaged media culture that is tumultuous, even vicious.

However, given the opportunity, voting residents go into an election and repeat the same patterns of placing people in power because these characters talk a good talk, sing a great song, and possess even greater footwork.

Moreover, the party system is perfect in ensuring the country makes the same choices repeatedly, mistakes may be a better word.

The party system from simple observation of the model is here to stay, a catch-22 indeed. A party system entrenches both the flaws and virtues of a country’s politics. A Party system once established is permanent, that is a lesson in political science and history.

Then a commentator goes on the radio and a media personality drives a ‘juicy’ narrative. Eventually, all are ‘hypnotized’ and repeat the person’s mantras and fairytales. Voters make a choice.

Five years down the line, after an election, the people scream and shout foul! ‘Give the red card for heaven’s sake.’ They are deceived they claim. Nevertheless, poor –better described as dishonest-choices placed the country in that place. The preceding is a very common song.

Another cliché is appropriate: ‘’ you get the leaders you deserve. This Observer has long stopped the blame game on leaders who are the simple result of choices of voters. The reality is that the leadership of a land is a reflection of the root, trunk, and branch. This may appear extreme. The leader and the voter share a symbiotic relationship: both joined at the hip.

However, tyrannies are tyrannies because the masses accept the rule of the tyrant, even love him; corrupt states possess populations that turn a blind eye to public theft not realizing their kids and grandkids will pay down the line; successful democracies on the other hand contain voters who refuse to tolerate low ethical standards from their leaders.

Shortly, in just a matter of weeks, voters in the Virgin Islands will make a choice. For all the talk in the media, which is a good thing, the voter will decide.

Recent history is a great guide. The voter has a narrative of the near past to observe. Post the upcoming elections if the voter gets it wrong: there will be no one to blame. Look back ten years at least, and that is a good guide of what and who to choose for the next ten.

Ignore the soothsayers and prophets: their hold on the public has been a disaster. Their predictions are mostly absurd. Flee the commentator with swagger and a dubious background; ignore the empty rhetoric; look for honesty in candidates. Honesty offers a better return for the voter.

Think! Vote with a logical head and a strong heart, and leave the fairytales for little children.

Getting it wrong is an option, but do not lament at a poor choice, do understand that a country gets the leaders it deserves.

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