Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

June 25, 2006

St. Kitts Jekyll and Hyde democracy

The Democrat newspaper exlores the burning issues about the St. Kitts infamous electoral reforms:

"It is a commonly held view that democracy is about government for the people, by the people, and of the people. Such an ideal can only be achieved under a fair and transparent electoral system where there is one man, one vote. This is not the case in St. Kitts.

The results of the past three General Elections clearly indicate that our electoral system was cleverly manipulated by a Labour Party administration that wanted political power at all costs. Successive Reports by the Commonwealth Election Observers have made recommendations for the urgent reform of our electoral system but the government remains determined to either drag its feet or implement its own reforms.

It is very difficult to understand how the Labour government can preach democracy to its OECS neighbours without adhering to the fundamental principles for free and fair elections in its own backyard. For example, there exists Voter ID cards in most Caribbean countries but our government has refused to implement same in spite of its election promise to the electorate.

The Commonwealth has recommended a clear path for electoral reform but the government does not intend to follow it. Therefore, it is incumbent that OECS leaders recognize that the future of OECS and development depends to a large extent on the type of democratic governance structures that exist in each territory. The scant regard that is being paid to free and fair elections, accountability, transparency, and consensus, will ultimately undermine the gains that the OECS has made over the past 25 years."

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