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Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

The sheep syndromeOne of my favourites is about a campaign bus filled with politicians travelling the countryside. The driver loses control and bus topples into a ditch.

A farmer living nearby hears the horrible crash and rushes to the wreckage. Finding the mangled politicians, out of duty, he buries them. Next day police visit his farm. "So you buried the politicians; were they all dead?" asks the officer. The farmer answers: "Some said they weren't, but you know how politicians lie."

No better way than to go straight for the jugular. Here’s the question: What must happen when people outgrow their politicians and political leaders?! This is no academic escapade. Au contraire!



A crisis brews within the body politic of A&B! The UPP is tottering precipitously and the ALP is stumbling giddily. Simultaneously they’re falling apart under the rot of their inadequacy; perhaps irrelevance.

In the current circumstances many are disillusioned, wondering what next, where to turn. Some have already buried the other two; and harbour grandiose emotions of finding salvation in a third party.

The present political scenario is not just uninspiring; it’s untenable.

The government, on one hand, continues its sterile recalcitrance and arrogant silence regarding the WPP fiasco. To add insult to injury, a self serving in-house committee was recently appointed to, of all things, investigate if WPP needs investigating. Oh the heights of condescending obnoxious tomfoolery! Talk about clueless, hopeless governance!

On the other hand, the opposition deliberately junked a golden no-confidence opportunity to hold the government accountable for the nation’s gaping sores. Instead, they offered up some of the most pathetic ruses ever inflicted on human ears. Talk about the impotence and high jinks of a ‘loyal’ opposition!

One thing both parties share is a glaring contemptuous disregard for the intelligent reckoning of the A&B people. Aren’t they aware the people are way ahead, and clearly see through their flimsy antics? Or do they operate on the premise that what the people think is unimportant and harmless?!

What drives the A&B politician; good of nation or self advantage? MP car plates and free utilities are but metaphors for the arrogance and avarice behind political ambition. “Make way, VIP passing”, “eat ah food”, “fix myself and my cronies” are prevailing mindsets. There is no compelling sobriety or higher vision for pursuing public office. Small wonder people expect much more but are delivered much less!

My sense is that like other islands, people in A&B desire a progressive democracy sustained by practices of wholesome politics.

My sense is also that like counterparts in other islands, politicians in A&B are more interested in establishing a kleptrocracy sustained by poli-tricks.

A kleptrocracy is a political system that exists to increase the personal wealth and power of its practitioners (and ruling class) at the expense of the wider population often with or without pretense of honest service. Within a kleptrocracy there are unimaginable, but very intriguing political collusions!



Mind you, politics is not a nasty word, nor are true politicians vile persons. Politics in a democracy is all about the art of allocating scarce public resources in a way that balances divergent competing interests; while at the same time advancing overall good of the nation. The problem is, what transpires today is not politics within democracy; but poli-tricks within kleptrocracy.

Challenges of electoral financing will always render wholesome democracy somewhat imperfect; but a kleptrocracy is never excusable or acceptable. Unless the government finds a meaningful way to reconcile with the population over the WPP scandal it is inconceivable they can remain in office. 

However, Team Blue, it seems, feels it is justifiably entitled to lengthy sojourn in office- comparable to ALP’s term; rather than to tenure based on performance. One reads the pledge of many bloggers to evict the government at the next polls. But can that be accomplished given great extents to which ‘voter effect’ is being strategically neutralized?!

Having squandered popular trust, the UPP appears set on retaining power by garland rape of the electoral commission and ‘high noon’ contorting of constituencies. These serious omens suggest the Spencer regime is not only rampant; but perhaps has shamelessly embraced the Burnhamesque maxim: no government in power should ever lose an election. This is a sad developing tale; and it’s frightening!

Still, one looks away from the UPP’s ‘low fence’ conduct only to see the ALP steeped and steadfast in its prodigal ways; devoid of the disciplines of party politics and public decency and utterly bereft of the wherewithal to rebuild its stock of trust with the A&B electorate.

The crisis of A&B’s politics is not simply the contempt politicians have for people or the extent to which they are unaware of the intelligence and sophistication of the people; but reversely, it is how un-alert politicians and leaders are to just how silly and irrelevant they are in the eyes of the people!

In this shipwrecked milieu, apart from sycophantic zealots, the population has gone past politicians. And yet that is no consolation. Truth is some leaders are so banal that it matters not what people think of them just as long as they get their way.

The point is, burying politicians, rendering leaders irrelevant; and going about one’s life is no long term solution for achieving a better society.



A third party is hardly a viable solution either. History has not been kind to such ventures in two party states. The secret is to look higher, wider; deeper! Something novel is required and must be attempted.

My studied opinion of the present dilemma in which UPP and ALP are literally on the ropes; simultaneously compromised, inadequate, and irrelevant – is that it provides an opportune window for reconstituting political thinking in A&B; for creating newness! I speak here of a sustainable alternative; purposeful civic action that recreates the environment under which A&B chooses to be governed.

Citizens of A&B must step out of their ‘all we like sheep’ syndrome, seize the leadership initiative; and let politicians know what will be expected, accepted and inspected. This purposeful civic action should begin with a focus on engulfing the entire nation in a conversation about “the future we want”.

This “future we want” focus must aim to accomplish three crucial imperatives:

1)      Re-establish and retake the power of the governed: no animals are more equal or above question on the farm; despite what the pigs would have us believe. In this regard Lone Wolf Group is to be commended for, if anything, sticking up for the power of the people to demand probity and accountability. 

2)      Set clear goals as to what A&B as a society and nation should look like under a “future we want” agenda: Politicians are servants of the people’s best interests; not the other way around.

3)      Outline clear protocols that define acceptable behavior in public office under the established “future we want” goals: including sanctions that empower and enforce the right to recall.

Sadly, A&B is worse off because capable persons who ought to say or do something often choose not to. Einstein opined: “the world is an evil place not because of those who do evil; but because of those who look on and do nothing”.

To see this civic initiative through, many gifted citizens (who otherwise would prefer to remain silent) must come forward; and help advance the national conversation by eliciting ideas and suggestions all across the nation. And by helping to articulate and compile positions, goals, and protocols.



It will not be enough for academic elites to sit on TV round tables and field the odd call. A national conversation about the future that A&B wants must include everyday folk. Cottage meetings, village gatherings, stand pipe get-togethers must be the preferred means of engaging citizens.

Rightly understood, the net byproduct of this initiative is getting the public, as political participants, to accept greater responsibility for things as they ought to be in A&B’s politics. A people’s manifesto spelling out “the future we want” in A&B is overdue! At the same time it will provide a matrix as it were for informing, electing and evaluating politicians.

Our political experience must move beyond simply getting the politicians we vote for; it must include getting to vote for the politicians we help create and groom!

An opportune moment has come. The present crumbling political landscape provides a fortuitous window to escape established dysfunctions; and advance societal renewal. Sometimes leaders need to be shown which way is up. That time is now. It’s your time A&B; grab it, with both hands!

Raymond S. Edwards, Ph.D. Organizational Psychologist & Minister of Religion- is an International Development Consultant and Executive Leadership Specialist. © 07/12/12. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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60 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#60 A wha dis Father » 2012-07-21 08:09

If the ALP wants to salvage this country bu winning the next election , they need to get their Act together. Lester you can Lead from a wheel chair your back is sick not your brain, the image of fraily of body is not getting any sympathy votes, we need a strong intelligent leader, I hope you have learned from past mistakes. I love Antigua but if I am going to be hungry here sorry but i have got to Go. DO SOMETHING YOU DROPPED A LOT OF POINTS BACKING DOWN FROM THE NO CONFIDENCE VOTE. WE ARE ALL DISAPPOINTED , GET OUT OF NEUTRAL AND GET IN GEAR . TO QUOTE KING OBSITNATE THE TURN COAT " GET RID A ALL DEM FLUNKEY AND SAVE THE LABOUR PARTY
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A wha dis Father

RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#59 A wha Dis Father » 2012-07-20 11:27

We need to take our country back from these self serving blood **, they have all failed us miserable, what can we do?
A peoples revolution where we demand the government steps down or else?
Do we appeal to Great Britian for a rescue, the queen is officially our head of state?
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A wha Dis Father

RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#58 A wha Dis Father » 2012-07-20 11:17

Democracy has it's draw backs , though terrorist tactics where innocent are slaughtered to make a point is reprehensible I think since both parties are
Governments that are servants of themselves rather than servant of the people. I would like to see them all dead.
When Gurges his people to go tto war and destroys their enemies who people oppress them it is not cruelty it is judgement. I am bored with the talk as we all are it is times for heads to roll.
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A wha Dis Father

One Aim, One Truth, One Destiny

#57 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-07-16 22:54

Even though, a third political party may not appeal to the majority of the electorates, is not of the essence here. Mrs Rosa Parks said, "the only tired, I was tired, was tired of giving in." I often wonder, how many had the same thought in Alabama, yet never acted on it. Was it impromtu or planned. Either way, it added fuel to a fire lit long ago by others, that needed to blaze again, so that individual's like President Obama, Nelson Mandell etc to sit in places once off limits to them.
The Tea Party movement, has in a sense, done the same thing. They have added fuel to a fire which they consider to be vital for their continued survival and existence. Although the said tea party may not be registered as a political party, IT IS A POLTICAL PARTY WITHIN A POLITICAL PARTY and has even more influence on that Party than many initially gave them credit for.
I used these two examples to say, like the Lone Wolf's, they are doing what the tea party is doing, and the ALO needs this. Those of us who are the 'Rosa Park's' have to stand strong, firm steadfast and add fuel to fires such as The Rastafari Movement, the disillusioned christians, elders, etc
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Jumbee Picknee

@ tenman

#56 SlyThatGuy » 2012-07-16 22:26

Tenman, you have some really great ideas about controlling our politicians, but not enough details about how it can be done. Please tell us how it's possible to keep a politician who is intent on violating the law in check,because we all would really like for things to go well. For instance, in his dealing with the Wadadli Power Plant, Prime Minister Spencer, without the authority to do so, bypass Parliament and did not bring the matter for approval as required by law. How would your method of control have kept him from doing that and from concealing the information and the evidence?
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SlyThatGuy

One Aim, One Truth, One Destiny

#55 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-07-16 22:06

There are two ways to solve any problem. The Scientific and Trial & Error. The scientific method was once a theory/an idea which was believed in, and over time, thru many "trials & error," said theory has been proven and becomes accepted as fact. On the other hand, "trial & error" will still solve the problem, however, if the solution to the problem has already been established, then the wise, in the essence of time, chooses the prescribed method. The fool will still thinks that time is not of the essence, so he/she, chooses this method. However, they're not really fools, for they could well develop a new way of solving said problem.
What Dr. Edwards have given us, along with many more before him, is "A Theory". Those of us who comprehends the essential points of his theory, MUST now put our collective interlect together. Those who have prescribed methods of solving our problems, and those who are NOT fools, but are willing to step outside of the norm ti find ways to solve the same problems, have to begin to share and compare notes to make Dr. Edwards theory become a Scientific Method which others can use as their template, centuries to come.
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@ Robert H

#54 Anu » 2012-07-16 19:33

Robert H i highly doubt it will work. On the UPP side we have seen and heard these same politicians pledge their support their leader with all the negative scandals that is presently plaguing their administration. People will not be so forgiving for the position they have taken. In the case of the ALP, after loosing office in 2004, we have witnessed new candidates joining the party. They would have emb**ed the experience and knowledge of running govt from the seasoned politicians and the executive members. I highly doubt they would want to depart from that institution. Robert whether people would want to accept it or not, i think the ALP has what it takes to bring Antigua out of the hole that it has found itself in. It will not happen overnight but i do have the confidence in them to get the job done. I hope i'm not offending anyone.
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Anu

The Future We Want

#53 Ready for action » 2012-07-16 14:42

What stood out for me is the authors focus on “the future we want”. A 3rd party search is not a look that is higher, wider, and deeper. That’s more of the same. Persons who can run this country 10 times better than politicians we presently have will not come forward under prevailing conditions in which politics is practiced. If I understand the author correctly, we the people must focus on a civic initiative that transcends politics. We must seek to establish a national framework representing the future we want. This framework will contain the goals of the nation and the conditions under politics will be practiced; and will be something politicians will be forced to comply with going forward. Let’s not miss a golden opportunity to start this much needed broad based civic conversation and action among ourselves as citizens of this fair land. Does anyone have concrete ideas out there on how we can best organize this civic action?
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Ready for action

Re ANU

#52 Robert H » 2012-07-16 14:21

I don't necessarily mean a new party from ALP/UPP, lets just take a scenario of ALP members Robin Yearwod, Samantha Marshall, Molwyn Joseph and Gail Christian decide to open a new party, or the same scenario from the UPP, Harold Lovell, Wilmoth Daniel, Chanla Coordington and Chester Hughes will form a new party.
What you say?
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Robert H

@ Robert H

#51 Anu » 2012-07-16 14:11

Robert H you have asked the question of the day. An evaluation on each canditates political background would have to be conducted to ascertain who would be most suitable for the challenge ahead, in order for that amalgamation to be created. However i highly doubt that will ever happen since both parties have different views in the aspects of governance and each individual has made their position publicly known. Its like apples & oranges
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Anu

@Reality

#50 oversee » 2012-07-16 14:01

Cuba, still defying the USA after fifty years and won't be pushed around by the world's number1 bully; that hurts. This town-sized country is stuck in your craw, long may it remain so. Adult supervision would do you no good as you are a basket case and are brain dead, stuck in a loop and are a lost cause, poor soul.
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oversee

question to ANU

#49 Robert H » 2012-07-16 13:37

...i would not pledge my support to a party who have no prior knowledge in politics...

what if politicians from ALP/UPP will get together and form a third party?
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Robert H

A third Party?

#48 Anu » 2012-07-16 13:34

In the West Minister System of politics, their is little room for a third party in politics. In American politics individuals who contest as independant candidate either support Democrats or Republican policies when bills are tabled in the house. With all the challenging economic activities taking place in todays world, i would not pledge my support to a party who have no prior knowledge in politics. Antigua needs a govt who has the ability to hit the ground running. The UPP was an inexperienced bunch when they won in 2004. They were elected again in 2009 with the notion that they needed another term to prove themselves and not look at where we are now; at a crossroad with many question marks. ALP who govern for 6 straight terms from 1976, has acquired a wealth of knowledge of leadership skills along the way and was apart of the changes in the worlds political landscape for the last 30 plus years. The argument can be made that indeviduals in the party have questionable backgrounds, however generally the positive development that was created by ALP's tenure in govt have far outweighted the negatives aspects. We need an experience party to lead us out of the doldrums were in.
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Anu

"Waiting For Godot! - From Creative Discontent to Pointed Focus & Sacrifice!"

#47 John French II » 2012-07-16 12:36

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Begin The Discursive Democracy
Conversation.
Colin, given the Political Landscape - ABEC, Boundaries Commission & First Past the Post, the "Bewildered & Bemused Ellectorate" definitely can attest that they are Living In the IMF"S NEST being Fiscally Adjusted & Structurally Reformed which makes no sense to them - Creative Discontent!
Tenman, the kleptrocracy, WPP, Fences, Aborted No-Confidence forces provide a resultant and greater force of "contemptuous disregard for the intelligent reckoning of the A&B People" provide the actions which assault the Residents of A&B with a disorienting experience - Creative Discontent!
Skyewill in discarding the traditional characters, you and the Doc have opted for the Lone Wolf's - Pointed Focus!
Brainchild in stepping out of the "all we like sheep syndrome" and joining the conversation with "the future we want" providess a more honest path to rational ordered Nation Building - Sacrifice!
fnpsr your desire to get rid of the traditional two party system, characters & actions can be summed up in 17 Good Men from 88,000 - Very High Statistic Probability. Much Respect!
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John French II

re: tenman - part II & final

#46 fnpsr » 2012-07-16 10:28

While I may concede that third parties in the US may not have a chance, there is ample evidence that Independent candidates have been successful outside of the presidency. Presently, there are two Independent candidates in the Senate. While these individuals caucus with the Democrats, they ran on an independent ticket.

I don’t know if you remember the wrestler, Jesse Ventura, who ran as an Independent candidate for Governor of Minnesota and won. So yes, it can be done! There are a more examples, but I won’t bore you with the details.

In the last mid-term election, we saw a wave of tea party candidates elected to the House of Representatives. Although, they may be elected as Republicans and caucus as such, they are independent thinkers.

Additionally, in the US, if the politicians don’t perform, they pay a heavy price by being voted out of office.

Finally, please feel to use my motto – no need to steal it (smile).

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

re: tenman - part I

#45 fnpsr » 2012-07-16 10:26

Tenman, your response was widely anticipated. What was not anticipated was you narrow interpretation of my examples. Clearly, you were thinking politics, where as, I was not. The examples I gave have noting to do with politics, but rather to demonstrate positive thinking. While JFK and Obama are politicians, I was not advocating their political beliefs, but rather their positive thinking and outlook.

I am not naïve to think that a new party can rise up and win. But, I am certain that if a group of independent candidates challenge the established parties, it is possible that they could win a few seats and begin the change discussion.

I don’t think you can compare the US to Antigua. The US has a population of well over three hundred million people, with a very well established political system, that is engrained in a written set of rules, which are enforced by the courts. It may not be perfect, but it works!! Something that Antigua should emulate!
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fnpsr

Apathy & Ignorance

#44 Colin » 2012-07-16 08:09

In a nutshell:

There will not be a successful move towards a new socio-political synthesis in Antigua & Barbuda until the man-in-the-street realizes that the system is broken - and demands change.
I posit that the man-in-the-street is light years away from such a realization.
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Colin

@ tenman & fnpsr

#43 Skyewill » 2012-07-16 06:56

Just because something have never been done of seem unlikely that do no mean it can't be done. I believe in a third party also. I also believe it can be done. Even a group of independents. What we have is unsustainable and we can't go back to the past with a group that have not changed since the people mandated their removal. Great contribution to the conversation gentlemen. Thank you!
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Skyewill

I'm with VCB3

#42 Skyewill » 2012-07-16 06:44

Old, new or otherwise I don't care. It look like junk to me also. I am Antiguan and I can't believe with all those great companies making generators world wide we bring a piece of crap all the way from China and DUMPED it in ANU, WHY? The law states it should have went through Parliment PERIOD. What Kind of country could we be running What kind of future for our country if ANYBODY is allowed to break the law? If I was trained correctly. This transaction is unlawful and VOID
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Skyewill

@ fnpsr

#41 Brainchild » 2012-07-16 00:51

Have you ever been a member of a political party in Antigua? Are you prepared to act in a manner consistent with your advocacy for a third party and commence the process of organising one? Or will you take the position that its some one else's responsibility and that you will remain comfortably perched as a critic?

To borrow and adapt a phrase from CLR James in Beyond the Boundary, what do they know of politics (meaning organising and mobilising the m**) who only politics know?
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Brainchild

fnpsr - your examples

#40 tenman » 2012-07-16 00:37

Quote:
What does the future hold for the Reform Party, the Green Party and other "third parties" in the American system? Quite probably, the same fate that has befallen third parties that have come before them. One or both of the two major parties is bound to "steal" their issues, incorporate them into their platforms and absorb their supporters into their ranks. Jonathan Mott, Ph.D. (Political Science from the University of Oklahoma)
fnpsr, the examples you site as success have all to do with the US political system. However I could not help but notice that the same situation where there is no fertile ground for 3rd parties to win, also exists in the US. Let me steal your motto and suggest:
Quote:
Let's fix the little things before we attempt to fix the big things
..
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tenman

re:brainchild

#39 fnpsr » 2012-07-16 00:32

Brainchild, notwithstanding the enumerated points listed for social programs, what strategic plan you suggest for the short term, the medium term and the long term that will improve the political and economic conditions in Antigua?

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

First

#38 Maco » 2012-07-16 00:30

The most important act that we must do is to remove a fledging dictator who is raping this country and flushing it down the tubes. I think the rip off involved in WPP, fences and roads far exceed any before and we must do something about these. We need to stop Baldwin Spencer and his goons now. Everyday that p** the task in more difficult as they seek to manipulate the electoral machinery to preserve the Govt against the popular will of the citizens.
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re: tenman

#37 fnpsr » 2012-07-16 00:16

Tenman, I believe that you and I already had a discussion about “Term Limits.” I was arguing the point made by Slythatguy, that once they served their term, they cannot run for office again. I believe that you disagreed and stated something to the effect that because Antigua was small, it might be difficult to get folks to run. You suggested that they take a break and then come back and run again. Have you now changed your mind?

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

SlyThatGuy - control your dog

#36 tenman » 2012-07-15 23:59

Quote:
"Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people." -- John Adams
SlyThatGuy, I think we can change government however often we like but until we ourselves have real goals, we will continue to go nowhere. I am of the opinion that politicians are like dogs and once you keep them in check, things will go well. The problem develops when owners show weakness, the dogs see it and take over. I like the idea you mentioned of term limits, it can provide some controls. However, the most important controls are ones that ensure that elected officials are transparent and accountable.

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tenman

another take - part 4 & final

#35 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 23:56

I recall some time ago, we were having a discussion about the need for a central sewer system and one blogger said that a study was conductive some twenty plus years ago and it was determined that it was too expensive. Thus, the continued dumping of night soil in the mangroves! Twenty years from now, will we be talking about why a third party is not viable? I hope No!!

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.
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fnpsr

another take - part 3

#34 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 23:55

I have stated before that for a third party or independents to be successful, they have to offer something different, something new, and something novel. They have to tell the people what they stand for. They have to differentiate themselves from the other guys. They have to avoid “ ad hominem’ attacks such as the ones posted by the blogger “cool ruler” in response to the article. And yes, they have to educate the people. They also have to present a workable strategic plan incorporating the points raise by the writer.

Will it be easy? No! Is it possible? Yes! But to make it happen you have to find persons who are willing to put country first above self and begin the process. Rome was not build it a day, but it was built!!
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fnpsr

another take - part 2

#33 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 23:54

When Mr. Obama decided to run for president, he did not have history on his side. There were several African American candidates, such as Shirley Chisolm, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson who had previously attempted this feat unsuccessfully. Yet, this did not deter him and as Paul Harvey would say, “And now you know the rest of the story’.

While there may be no history of successful third party campaigns, many have resigned themselves to the two parties. This would be fine, if you were getting “value for your vote”. But, you are not!

When politicians come around at election time and offer you freebies for your vote, and you acquiesce, the politicians are the ones that are getting “value”.
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fnpsr

New Breed needed

#32 Observer » 2012-07-15 23:52

Many of the bloggers have in the past voiced the same sentiments about our broken political system. Sadly enough any person trying to rock the status quo will be frustrated. The majority of the electorate is not that highly educated and vote according to either party line or what they can get from the politician. That is why we see this type of buying the vote. People think first of themself then perhaps the country follows. Many professionals looking for a job face the fact that only the party in power can give you one. And become beggars. That is why you do not hear any criticism from them. Therefore I give great respect to the Lone Wolf. What I believe is still a new breed of politicians who are willing to change things not for their own betterment but that of the country. And change the entire political nature of A & B.
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Observer

another take - part 1

#31 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 23:50

The discussions have been very interesting. Some bloggers are looking for a change from Blue to Red, as the panacea to save Antigua from the belly of the beast. I submit to those bloggers that an exchange of the current crop of politicians for another will not move Antigua forward. What you are doing is in fact moving the pile of dirt from one place to another. The location may be different, but the dirt remains the same. Said another way; it is the same old soup just warmed over.

When JFK challenged the nation put a man on the moon and bring him back safely, NASA did not say it has never been done, but instead worked diligently and tirelessly to bring it about. There were several set backs along the way, but they persevered until it was accomplished.

Houston, we have a problem! I do not believe that Antigua has the horses to pull the people forward. What it has is a bunch of mules that have decided not to pull the load and instead get rewarded with the greenest pastures, where they eat to their hearts’ content. This trend has to be reversed.
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fnpsr

Brainchild

#30 tenman » 2012-07-15 22:53

Brainchild, I like your list. How do we go about getting the m** on board? How do we sell them on the notion that there is hard work ahead and simply repeating things we have done in the past cannot continue. I recall before 2004, many of the items on your list were articulated by the current admin (check the 2004 UPP manifesto). However on gaining office, the focus is instead on winning the next election using the easiest short cuts possible.

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tenman

@ tenman

#29 SlyThatGuy » 2012-07-15 22:38

Tenman, if you're in favor of Antigua & Barbuda not needing a third party,I support you on that idea. What can be done about having the same person from either party as Prime Minister again and again, and for many years, is to create a system that will allow a candidate no more than two terms. Once a person gets voted out after one term, or if that person completed the two terms allowed under the system, he or she cannot run for that office ever again nor any other seat in government. This would allow opportunity for other members of the various parties who might otherwise never get the chance.
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#28 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:20

Beyond the driving force of those stated objectives there will be the corresponding requirement to correct and improve the systems and facilities that we have inherited from the earlier contributors of the two preceding generations, to wit:-
• Fix our public education system
• Improve primary healthcare delivery through our Clinics and Hospitals
• Expand the Scope of the Medical Benefits Scheme to provide health insurance coverage to contributors and their dependants
• Expand the scope of the Social Security Scheme to provide unemployment benefits to contributors
• Continue the diversification of our economy
• Increase our food security
• Harness and exploit the economic and expanded market opportunities in the CSME
• Tackle the debilitating social crisis of our lost young men!
• Reduce the size of government and bring its fiscal administration into conformance with the constitution
• Take responsibility to save our deteriorating natural environment
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Brainchild

RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#27 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:19

• Continue the process of Nation Building through the process of our human capital development.
• Continue the expansion, growth and development of our economy by harnessing the latent wealth inherent in our land and human resources.
• Recognising the need for moral and accountable stewardship of our public affairs, develop further checks and balances along with punitive sanctions to ensure adherence to the provisions of the constitution and the tenets of good governance.
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#26 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:17

The task of leading the next stage of National Development is before us and requires the identification of new leadership and cultivation of new approaches and organisation to effectively corral the energies, efforts and aspirations of a more diverse, better educated and increasingly exposed and sophisticated polity. Included in this task lays the need for us as a nation to come to grips with the reality that in spite of two successive generations of progressive developments that our self managed system of government has been and is increasingly bereft of effective systems of accountability and transparency. The challenge before the present generation therefore is to build the next layer of our development with the following core and guiding objectives:-
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#25 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:15

• The building of an expanded battery of public Secondary Schools
• The establishment of LIAT (1974) Ltd.
• The establishment of the Social Security Scheme
• The enactment of the Antigua Labour Code.
• The establishment of the APUA
• The establishment of the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC)
• The establishment of the Antigua & Barbuda Development Bank (ABDB)
• The expansion of the local tourism plant and industry
• The establishment of the Medical Benefits Scheme
• The development of the ARG to International Sporting Standards
• The building of the largest economy in the OECS
• Rivaling many of the MDCs in Caricom on the UN’s Human Development Index
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#24 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:14

By the emergence of the 1970s the new Antigua was on the brink of full nationhood and quite naturally the fermentation of democracy in our society had begun to take place with the evolution to multi party elections. This development would lead to the first leadership change in our quickly evolving representative system of government. Even so the rate of National Development continued apace. The generation of leaders that succeeded the 39ers made further contribution to Nation Development and their efforts yielded:-
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An excerpt from the OND's Manifesto

#23 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:11

Notwithstanding that construction, it became increasingly evident to the Nationalist Movement that their ultimate progress and development were going to be forever thwarted as long as legislative and political power remained in the exclusive control of the ruling merchant class. The consequential struggle for political control of these islands represents to this day, the greatest contribution made by that and any succeeding generation to the process of National Development. The fruits of their struggle yielded:-
• Universal adult suffrage
• Control over the legislative and executive branches of government
• Free secondary education
• The purchase of the lands of the syndicate estates (reputed to represent nearly 80% of the arable lands on Antigua)
• The construction of the Deep Water Harbour
• The construction of the then Coolidge International Airport
• The development of agro industry including the edible oil and corn meal factories
• The diversification of the economy by the development of the new tourism sector
• The dismantling of several social barriers that existed and persisted based on race and class.
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An excerpt from the OND's Manifesto

#22 Brainchild » 2012-07-15 22:10

A Framework for **sing our Ongoing National Development


Any meaningful analysis of the Antigua’s post colonial history would easily unearth that the seeds for the nation building were planted in the plantation fields of then colonial Antigua during the massive social and labour upheavals that took place there back in the 1930s. It was the primary action of the descendants of the ex-slaves that forced the British to get around the negotiation table with the new leadership of the emerging Nationalist Movement. It is also true that it was the British who ultimately determined the framework for those negotiations via the introduction and development of European styled Trade Unions.
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@ Hyat: Refreshing Resolution

#21 Old Sage » 2012-07-15 21:21

Exactly what I said. Needs more developing by author. But then perhaps he is content to give the frame and encourage us to get out of the sheep syndrome he mentions. In that case we are the ones to put the meat on the matter.
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#20 tenman » 2012-07-15 20:52

Colin, due to my discussion with fnpsr, I found myself going over an interview you did with Melford Nicolas (see http://www.justin.tv/Caribarena/b/293898970). He basically pointed out that our environment will not accept third parties and the heart of it lies with the electorate's mindset. fnpsr let me suggest you take a listen to the interview. I think the way forward has to be on trying to educate the public. This is something I have also heard Youth Elijah extolling. Going to them with an agenda of seeking votes for a third party will only be a turn off

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Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#19 SlyThatGuy » 2012-07-15 20:52

Prime Minister Spencer should just go ahead and allow the investigation. The people all have been calling for him to release the documents for a long time now , but he continues at full force to ignore their cry. I don't understand his justification for taking this stance nor do I see any common sense in risking getting voted out of office over the Power Plant issue. But if he is manipulating the situation(playing by his own set of rules)because he wants to stick it to the Antigua Labor Party,he should be aware that this very action might reduce his chance to win the general election in 2014.
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A Refreshing resolution!

#18 HyaT » 2012-07-15 20:33

I find Dr. Edwards' three point resolution excitingly refreshing, and one that I would like for him to expound on and explore in further details. It certainly is thinking outside of the box.

The culture of politics in ANU has never seen The People involved at the level Dr. Edwards is suggesting, which would require a radical mind set change. The People have never functioned as the employers they are. They have resigned themselves to the reversed role of servants while the politicians lord over them, dictating how they The Masters run the country as they see fit. .....and with a promise of jobs or what ever apple on a stick held in front of their noses.....the people say, Yaa!!! Yaa!!. Quite sad how we have allowed ourselves to be programmed by politicians.
Looking forward to the "meat of the matter" Dr. Edwards.
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now what, the billion dollar ?

#17 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-07-15 20:22

As I read everyone thoughts on Dr. Edwards's article, with few exceptions, I am of the opinion, that many of us are on the same page i.e, the page of change
W We have been criticallt analysing our Nation and the negative ills which have a stranglehold on us. Let us now gird our loins, get off our high donkeys/ mules/horses and as fnpsr says, " the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step." The first step has been taken by all of us who wants to put Nation before personal interest. It's a long, rough, tough, treacherous road with many pitfalls, distractions etc, but we are from a soil and genes which produces nothing but the BEST, so we can, yes we can and will make it. WE JUST HAVE TO STOP BEING INDIVIDUALLY big,YET, COLLECTIVELY SMALL...One Aim, One Truth, One Destiny...Jah Guide
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Atomization

#16 Colin » 2012-07-15 20:20

This comment may come late to the party -

But - has anyone noticed that attempted 3rd parties end up being swallowed by the ALP (the opposition party - like it or not)?

Or that what we have now is a number of intrepid "independents" (like so many clueless Davids taking on Goliath without a slingshot)?

I posit that the people of this country are too atomized in their outlook to put together a new political synthesis - essential for any forward movement.

Please prove me wrong.
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We need new leadership

#15 sitco » 2012-07-15 17:51

The time is right for a new leader to emerge, the high cost of living, high crime rate and high unemployment have made living in Antigua extremely difficult . Even a third party can work right now.
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@ Tenman & fnpsr: From Creative Discontent To Pointed Focus & Sacrifice!

#14 John French II » 2012-07-15 16:59

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock. Excellent Deliberative arguments on how to move this Democracy & SIDS forward.
That there is Method to the Good Doctor's Madness and Madness to his Method cannot be gainsaid. Dr. Edwards has written his political thought as the third pillar of a thre part essay: 1. Things Fall Apart: Can The Gov't Survive? 2. Things Go Awry In The House Of Red. 3. On Crisis & Cure: It's Your Time in A&B! It would be prudent to go further to fully comprehend the writer's thoughts. Revisit: Ugly Stroke Play by Sir Viv & Before You Can Say Cat Lick Yuh Ears.
fnpsr, your suggestion of"Skating around the Perimeter" will always bedevil the pundits who fail to recognize that there must be a better way forward than the "First Past The Post System" for these SIDS.
Dr. Edwards suggests a collective & shared development of "A Peoples' Manifesto Spelling Out The Future We Want." The Challenge is figuring out under what conditions do people run within a party and why or run Independently. He is still suggesting a fight within the Westminister Democratic Capitalist framework. Tenman, Not any Structural Reformation. Respect.
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Of Crisis & Cure

#13 Anu » 2012-07-15 16:19

Mr Edwards article has touched on political activities that plague our nation today and has offered a 3 point solution. These solutions would serve a greater purpose if the West Minister system of politics is revamped. The Non Governmental Organizations & Christian Council who was pretty vocal prior to 2004, have seemed to gone into hibernation for the last 8 years. They played a pivotal role in the opposition campaign leading up to the 2004 election, when we all witnessed a change of govt after 28 years. However after 2004, we have heard little or no voice of these independent organizations and TALK AS YOU LIKE a slogan which was supported by UPP in opposition, does'nt sits well with them in govt. Democracy is under attack. ALP members are characterized as mercinaries & picketers are verbally abused and spat at by a member of parliament for the demand of transpearancy & accountability. Mr Eugene Humphreys, has taken a nonpartisan approach to both past & present govt. His support have been minimal due to the belief of discrimination to his supporters. Its time for the other NGO's & CC to be resurrected. Their effective presence is needed today as it was wholly accepted in the past.
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re: tenman

#12 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 14:37

Tenman, I am glad that we agree on some points. However, please note that I said I believe the writer was “skating around the perimeter”, in respect to third parties. Thus, my reiterations for the call of a third party. My previous quote of the writer would seem to bear this out.

I believe the writer is schooled enough to know that third parties have no history of viability and this is so for the reasons you and I agree on. However, the writer, seems to be pushing the envelope. I believe the writer is sending a subliminal message when he states “The secret is to look higher, wider; deeper! Something novel is required and must be attempted.”

Surely, you cannot look higher, wider and deeper for hope, prosperity and leadership in the present two political parties. I believe that is why the writer says “something novel IS required and MUST (my emphasis) be attempted. That is subject to debate, but I would venture to say – a third party.

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

fnspr

#11 tenman » 2012-07-15 13:07

fnspr, the following statement by the author shows why this is not a current viable OPTION:

Quote:
A third party is hardly a viable solution either. History has not been kind to such ventures in two party states. The secret is to look higher, wider; deeper! Something novel is required and must be attempted.
fnspr, I agree with you on a reason why third parties have failed. I have attended meetings of some of these third party groups. The problem I have seen is they are more reactionary. Many of them are formed because of some falling out with an established party. When you examine them to the core, there is no major difference between them and the established parties. In addition, instead of calling for broad based membership they tend to segment themselves and speak for only one group and hide behind the flag of nationalism.

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re: tenman

#10 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 12:15

Tenman, I welcome your input. Certainly, there are several arguments to be derived from the article. Surely, yours is one of them and I certainly agree that empowerment is one of those arguments. However, you know that I have been advocating for a third party for some time now, especially since the ALP has made the case why the UPP should be voted out office. Similarly, the UPP has made a case why the ALP should not be voted back into office.

Based upon the above, I made my observation based on the following from the article:

“In the current circumstances many are disillusioned, wondering what next, where to turn. Some have already buried the other two; and [harbor] grandiose emotions of finding salvation in a third party.

While, I believe the writer was skating around the perimeter, I still think he was calling for new folks to emerge and provide hope, and yes, empowerment to the good people of Antigua.

The present political scenario is not just uninspiring; it’s untenable.”

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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fnpsr

#9 tenman » 2012-07-15 11:43

fnpsr, my interpretation differs a bit from yours. I read him calling for a more educated and empowered electorate. I read from him the need for us (the electorate) to recognize our powers and responsibility. We can elect whoever we wish but unless the public is vigilant and holds them accountable, the failed results will be the same. I had a conversation with a cousin of mine who is a microbiologist. She told me when it was simply her working in her lab (college university professor) she could basically do her own thing and no one questioned her because "in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king". However, when she got her current job, at a national agency, and now has to work with a team, there are questions being asked. She added that she now finds herself growing more because she is more challenged. We(the electorate) need to start challenging politicians and holding them accountable.
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tenman

well said

#8 tenman » 2012-07-15 11:17

Quote:
Our political experience must move beyond simply getting the politicians we vote for; it must include getting to vote for the politicians we help create and groom!
Dr. Edwards, well said. Its high time persons recognize that the politicians are not the boss, we are the share holders and the politicians (Board of directors we elect) must represent our wants and needs

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tenman

ChuptzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ !

#7 Cool Ruler » 2012-07-15 11:05

It seems as thou you just woke up from your sleep only since the party your grandfather use to lead lost power. You and persons of your ilk would have had more credibility if you were doing the same while we had the Carla Samuel, involving your grandfather and various scandals involving both your father and uncle. One can say what they like about minister of Helps; at least he is consistent regardless of who is in power.
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carpe diem - part 2 & final

#6 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 10:58

I believe that if honorable men and women come forward with a meaningful strategic plan and not a “pie in the sky” manifesto and educate the people about it and follow the points of the writer, a change can be made.

I further believe that this new party will also have to engage the services of qualified Antiguan with RWE to assist in its operations.

One of the reasons why third parties fail is because they offer the same old things as the present stock of politicians. Additionally, they often are looking for power and fame and are not inclined to put not country above self, which ultimately leads to their being “gobbled up” by the established parties.

“Let’s fix the little things with RWE before we attempt to fix the big things.”
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carpe diem - part 1

#5 fnpsr » 2012-07-15 10:57

This is a great article exposing the political realities of Antigua. I am especially heartened to see that the writer criticized both political parties. I suspect that the partisans will not be encouraged by the writer’s analysis.

I believe that the writer is almost calling for a third party to emerge and take the country back. I have already made that determination some time ago. However, one knows that this is a very hard row to hoe, but one has to begin somewhere. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I have previously indicated in several posts that both parties have clearly made the case why either party is not worthy of governing. The writer reinforces that.

The writer has outlined, in a nutshell, what is required to change Antigua. I would like to add that a strategic plan, which is to be implemented, regardless, which party, is in power, addressing, the short term, medium and long term is needed. This should cover, at a minimum, the economy, infrastructure, business, investments, housing, water, sewer, waste disposal, energy, tourism, education, taxes and the like.
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fnpsr

Simultaneously Compromised, Inadequate, and Irrelevant

#4 Vere C. Bird III » 2012-07-15 09:08

The politicians serve us we don't serve the politicians. That is the start of the change of mentality in A&B. For some reason the politicians made A&B think otherwise. I am picketing every week because laws have been broken concerning the Fencing Scandal and the WPP Scandal and unlike the pliticians who are struggling with whether the generators are old or new I say the generators look like junk to my untrained eye and I am NOT asking, But as a tax payer and a born son of the soil DEMAND to see the documentation from the politicians that serve me.

Forget the argument of new, or old, or refurbished , or money for value, thats just the politicians playing with words WE THE PEOPLE DEMAND to see all the documents.

The Lone Wolf will be hitting the streets again this upcoming week and will be bringing as much embar**ement and pressure on our political servants that fail to be transparent and accountable for the spending of the public purse.

Anyone interested to join the Lone Wolf please feel free to reach me at . Long Live Antigua & Barbuda!!
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...a ball of fungee...

#3 Jumbee Picknee » 2012-07-15 08:27

One Aim, One Truth, One Destiny...I dreamt of fungee last night, as a child, we would say, ' an Island is a ball of fungee, with fish water all around it.' The pictorial caption of our Nation's past and present leaders surrounded with a whirlwind of colors fits that description as well. Dr
Edwards opening, in dramatic form speaks to how many of us would like to see happen to our politicians, but if this happened other than ficticiously, Pompey would be brought out of retirement, as the lead investigator. While I agree with Dr. Edwards for the most part, I still see the vital importance of a third voice with the parliament which would be the counterbalance to the negative behavior which the two party's have condoned. As a matter of fact, the UPP is a conglamorate of previous third paties, i.e. PLM, ACLM, APP. A. The ALP has already roled out a former member of a third party. Therefore, that third voice is needed and relevant, it's the only option besides becoming the farmer and buring all these politricktans alive.
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Of Crisis & Cure

#2 Old Sage » 2012-07-15 08:26

Professor you have shaken the epicenter of politics on this Island. The politics in democracy V poli-tricks in kleptrocracy highlight unmasked our reality. Also what you said about UPP’s ways and intents was so very spot on; as was your description of ALP’s image. While I wholeheartedly endorse your ideas for civic engagement and the passionate way you put them over, my one criticism is that you didn’t go into enough detail (will wait to see if readers agree with me). However as usual, deep thinking; great writing!
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RE: Of Crisis and Cure - Your Time A&B

#1 Reality » 2012-07-15 03:52

There hasn't been any competent leadership since the British kicked Antigua out of the UK.

The US briefly took responsibility, to counteract the Cuban/Soviet bloc, but since the end of the cold war, town-sized "countries" only warrant attention when they are the source of illegal activity on the internet, serial killers or Ponzi schemes.

Perhaps these First World countries would be better served by implementing a bit of adult supervision.
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Reality

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Dr. Raymond S Edwards


 Dr. Raymond S. Edwards is a Columbia University trained organizational psychologist & international development expert; as well as a New York state certified staff development and training specialist. His consulting services include Cabinet retreats, Executive Team workshops and Organizational Change seminars. He is also an ordained minister, qualified educator, prolific writer and motivational speaker.

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