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Good Governance

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‘Make it your business to examine the issues that affect us’

04.SEPT.09

Editor: The philosophical ideas of men and women should be properly scrutinized before we, the people, give them the mandate to govern our country.

The aim of this article is to help to raise our level of watchfulness as a people and to implore politicians (those in office and those who have intention and ambition of entering politics) to view themselves and their role rightly.{{more}} It is time for us to lift the standard of analysis concerning politics and politicians.

The attitude of the framers of the US constitution should remain a beacon of light in constitutionalism in any country. In forming their constitution, the American people were in discussions, debate and constructive argument. Great research was done into existing ideas of governance. The Bible was perused and its rights-friendly principles adopted. I wish our people could emulate this attitude and get involved in determining the governance of our country. The opinion of each citizen counts. Don’t leave it up to the politicians and Lawyers. Let us not see our role as narrowly as just ‘voting when the time comes’. Make it your business to examine the issues that affect us. It is our country.

In the making of the US constitution one farmer was asked whether he was defending the ideas of such liberal writers like Locke and other Enlightenment thinkers. He responded that he had “never heard of Locke or Sidney, his reading having been limited to the Bible…Watts’ psalms and Hymns and the Almanac”.

So my dear Vincentians, you may not be well schooled in the various laws of the land, you may not be very eloquent in articulating your views but do not fail to sound your voice. I am no politician and I have no conviction, aspiration and ambition towards this end but I know what is expected of those in political leadership. The Bible shows clearly that Government’s role is to protect the rights and freedoms of all the people by encouraging good in the land and punishing evil doers. Romans 13 shows “…Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil…”

Men and women in government ought to know that if they want to remain in office, they must treat the citizens with respect and ensure that their freedoms are not abridged. Politician ought to know that their bribes, T-shirts, bags, bandana, galvanize, scholarships etc is not security that they will be voted into office. This is the 21st Century! Don’t even tell me that I must vote for you because you ‘fix road, install electricity/water or build school’. Every government should attend to these basics. And remember that the spending to do these things does not come from your pockets! Remember also that a government can do all these things and still attempt to stifle the people’s voices, especially when their (politicians) corrupt deeds are unveiled and criticized.

Before a representative is voted into office, we should consider the following:

1. Do their philosophies tend towards the protection of rights of the governed

2. How do they view themselves

3. How do they regard the people

4. Are their policies in the interest of the people

5. What is their response to criticism- are they ready to give account to the people or do they feel like they owe nothing to the people

May God give all of us wisdom to contribute to the good governance of our Country, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Ann-Marie John
svgpatriot@hotmail.com

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