Political musical chairs has been a favoured game by the main political parties for decades! Some politicians claim to have made meaningful contributions to the advancement of individuals, society and the country at large which they dub “legacies” and therefore, demand national entitlements and recognition of enormous proportions. This self-aggrandizement readily leads to the fallacy held and touted by supporters and friends that the country can only to be ruled by a certain set of individuals. This begs the question, “where has it brought us today?”
Can we blame society for their inability to stand up for what is right? The acceptance of bribes seems an easy, ‘quick fix’ solution when faced with desperation and the seemingly insurmountable challenges to maintain lives and livelihoods. However, more of us need to realize that the ultimate power to transform this country lies with us! The future of our twin island state does not rest with a chosen few.
Claims that only the educated politicians and educated people who have access to power are the only ones capable of moving the country forward is a blatant lie! We, the electorate, gave them the power and mandate to make wise, conscientious, rational and fundamental decisions to advance and develop both country and people. However, successive parties have squandered the people’s goodwill, abused their trust, pilfered the public purse, and bastardized our nation’s motto, “Each Endeavoring All Achieving.”
It is no secret that the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) has governed for over 50 years yet, as a nation, we are still picking up the pieces trying to “Re-build” what ought to have been already completed and solidified years ago! Repeated promises of new road works, a sustainable agriculture sector, and reliable access to water and electricity are still figments of our imagination – illusive promises in a non- progressive state.
The government appears tone deaf to the challenges facing the ordinary man and woman such as, high cost of living, unemployment, under-employment, ever-increasing taxes, poor roadworks, inequality, glaring disparities, unfairness and the list goes on. When will they stop taking us for a ride? The United Progressive Party (UPP) had its fair share of challenges and while it had notable successes, it soon became evident that “Sungoo nah better than Lungoo”.
What baffles me most is the failure and refusal of both the ABLP and UPP to accept, recognize and admit their failures and shortcomings yet they constantly point fingers at each other and engage in the perennial blame-game.
It is time for the electorate to embrace the new, fresh and dynamic view of politics, leadership and governance which the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is advocating. Our vision “to catalyze and deliver the transformation of Antigua and Barbuda” requires a refreshed outlook and approach to representational politics which will create the enabling environment where all can flourish, prosper and participate in the decision-making processes that affect us all.
We understand that stepping away from the status quo is not easy and the fear of victimization is real! Yet the women and men of the DNA are living testament that it can be done and that change begins with us! We must never allow the fear of the unknown to hold us hostage from a future of endless possibilities, opportunities and prosperity for all. As Professor Robert Chambers stated, “we have the power to empower”.
The DNA will use our platform to educate, enlighten and empower our citizens and residents and prepare our society for our holistic approach to governance. The late Dr. Reverend Moses Coady stated, “we are the masters of our own destiny”.
The power to make meaningful change lies in your hands. Current and future generations are depending on us to break the cycles of nepotism, corruption, greed, misogyny, unfairness, inequality, xenophobia and classism. Let our legacy be one that reflects a hunger for unity, collective growth and preservation of our culture, national pride and heritage. Be that beacon of light in every dark place of hopelessness… don’t gamble with your future!