WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Now What

Now what?Supporters of the ruling United Progressive Party must be elated, even overjoyed, following the Caribbean Court of Appeal ruling on the election petitions filed by the Antigua Labour Party.

Chalk up another win for the UPP. Okay... now what?

Prior to the 2009 general elections, the nation went into "wait-and-see" mode as people anticipated the outcome of the nail-biting decisions. In the end, the UPP was declared the winner by a slight margin, and the ALP went into action to have the results overturned.

For a brief moment, the ALP seemed to have received its wish, only to have that dream turn into a nightmare following the Court of Appeal's ruling.

So, for close to a year, the nation’s business has been in limbo as the ALP and the UPP battled for supremacy over Antigua & Barbuda.

As the war raged, the UPP engaged the International Monetary Fund, members of the Electoral Commission stood before a tribunal, and new (old) members were appointed to the electoral office.

Loans that stood on the books for more than three decades were addressed, Gaston Browne lost his standing in Parliament, and salaries continued to be paid late. In short, the country suffered tremendously as these two rivals fought vigorously.


On the sidelines stood the voters, acting like fans at the Greek coliseum, passionately cheering on the death of a nation without any regard to the brutality of the politicians’ actions.

Hopefully, this action by the Court of Appeal will stop the "bleeding" which undoubtedly would have led to the death of this wonderful nation. Again, I beg the question - now what?

Well, it appears that former prime minister Lester Bird is not relenting, as his war is apparently to the death or survival of this country, depending on which side of the fence one sits.

But no amount of rhetoric by Bird, his cronies, or any other person will help this nation out of the economic mess we find ourselves in. We need solutions to the problems facing the nation.


I will attempt to answer this prevailing question of what needs to be done now that the path is cleared and there is no doubt who the government is - UPP all the way.

Not so fast; let’s not get carried away with the meaning of the decision by the Court of Appeal. This decision, which legitimizes the UPP government, also determines that the UPP no longer has any excuses, no one to blame for the country’s problems.

Yes, the ALP failed the nation during its years in office, and for two successive elections the people rejected them. This is not time for the UPP to be jumping and dancing over the "victory" of the court. It’s time to work and put in place those things necessary for the "up-liftment" and development of the nation.


Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has to lead from the front. It’s time to restructure and rethink the strategies of the government. The economic policies are apparently not working in the country’s favour.

The prime minister has to pull his team, which seem to be disjointed, together and look into the programmes needed for the improvement of Antigua & Barbuda.

We as a people should demand more from our elected officials and the proverbial "buck" lies with the prime minister, the nation’s chief servant. There are many disenchanted people in this country who see the UPP's mantra, "people first," as nothing short of the ALP with a conscience.

There has to be real change - from what used to be, to what needs to be done. The UPP has to come up with programmes and policies geared toward the total development of its citizens.

The government has to ease the hardships of the people. Utilities are too high, especially when one takes into consideration that APUA is a statutory corporation.

There is not enough emphasis placed on accountability, as was the case during the reign of the ALP. That is not acceptable. We need real and meaningful results, which will come only with strict progressive policies, not talked about, but implemented.

True, it’s not going to happen overnight, but the government has been at the helm going on six years. It’s time to regroup. As we say in Antigua, "Wheel and come again." The leadership has to be more decisive.


We boast of sending hundreds of our young people to colleges overseas, but what is the real plan for these individuals when they graduate?

Without a plan, this will be counter-productive, as the brain drain will continue to hamper the development of the country. The reason for sending the youth to study should be to have them return to put into practice what they have learned. The practice of shunning the inputs of the youth has to stop.

The youth may be 50 percent of the population, but they are 100 percent of the future; it’s time to engage them meaningfully.

I am not calling for the leaders to relinquish their authority, because "man hardly ever does that," but in the interest of the nation, the leaders must involve those who equip themselves with the tools of progress.

There is a huge human resource capital asset base, young enterprising Antiguans & Barbuda over in the United States, with a wealth of knowledge and resources that are necessary for the improvement of the nation.

These individuals, along with many living in Antigua & Barbuda, may not have all the answers, but they should be engaged nonetheless.

This country does not belong to any political party. Those elected to office owe it to the populace, not their supporters, to do what’s best for the development of the people.

Presently, we are heading in the wrong direction, and what is needed is not ALP, but rather a proper assessment by those in authority. Following that assessment, all must be done to right the wrongs of the past 50 or so years, including the transgressions of the past six.

The majority of Antiguans, even those who on a daily basis try their best to stifle growth, will claim they have the country at heart. Not true.


To have the country at heart is to do what’s best for the people, and not what’s in one’s individual benefit.

So now that the path is clear, it’s not time to be celebrating as the country economy continues to hemorrhage. Rather, it’s time to work diligently and earnestly to make life better for all, especially the most vulnerable in society - the youth, the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.

These are somber moments, and time for hard work - hardly the time to be rejoicing.

 

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12 Comments In This Article   

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@tenman

#12 my way of helping » 2010-11-10 14:10

wow, we worked on our tourism product for years and still really not doing much if we were easily taken by a new country just focusing on tourism. St. Lucia is a nice place but marketing should have made a difference when it comes to us
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my way of helping

@my way of helping,

#11 tenman » 2010-11-10 13:22

my way of helping, its interesting but it seems difficult for all party's to put down the weapons and put country first. there is a hatred simmering in this country that needs to be dealt with before it destroys us all. while we are not dealing with real issues, the world is not standing still. the other day i took a look the tourism numbers for a sister island, saint Lucia, that only recently started focusing on tourism and their stay over arrivals since at least 2006, has exceeded ours. Our people need to wake up because we are in trouble

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tenman

@Uncommonsense

#10 TC » 2010-11-10 12:33

Please read the article again
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TC

upp mouthpiece

#9 real journalist » 2010-11-10 10:12

Is this dude an independent journalist ,or a mouthpiece for the UPP ?
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real journalist

help us

#8 my way of helping » 2010-11-10 08:45

Tenman,

I have found a precedent for late start in election polls and the remedy. In the Philippines because there was a late start pass 12, they reschedule the election to another day (two days after). My secretary/assistant did the research, this country believes that the power belongs to the people and must be respected and executed precisely; giving people an attainable chance to vote and exercise their fundamental right to freedom, right to be properly represented, the right to choose their representation, the right to liberty etcetera.

What is Antigua now? why is more than one hour but 6 hours of lateness considered substantial? God have mercy on us on what is to come.
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my way of helping

@ Mr. Ian Magic Hughes

#7 my way of helping » 2010-11-10 04:28

I must say you have some very interesting notions that i fully support but I also notice and felt animosity towards a particular government, and if my feelings are correct what you are saying will never bring this great nation to love.

I really do think there should be a total change of both parties (ALP and UPP) but i must say I had more food to eat with ALP, my mother's bill was less with ALP, we had a $1 barrel with ALP, there was less crime with ALP, we the public was considered by ALP. My honesty will not allow me to completely agree with your writings. Again, I know there is a worldwide economic crisis but i will continue to say proper management from our government could have decrease it effect from what we are getting now.

What I notice is we say we are qualify to have a position only from what society think is a qualifier but the other things like love, forgiveness and patience we do not have. Love would have let any government know at this economic crisis (as Obama did) the government should be given, not taking more and more.

I am not ALP and I am not UPP but I am for the people (striving to be Godly)
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my way of helping

Wise Advise But you speaking to arrogant fools!

#6 UncommonSense » 2010-11-10 02:02

The only great thing the UPP has done by way of rejoicing is to point blame at the ALP years in office without doing a damn thing to either improve goverance conditions and stuctures or to advance the nation into prosperity for all. They are rejoicing at their own demise. As Dr.Newton predicted, their self-made failures are going to destroy them. Big and large and in charge attitude without one ounce of practical long term solution is what Baldwin and Lovell are about. The hand writing is already on the wall. Now the time is here for more destruction, pain and blame. Watch and you will see!
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UncommonSense

@ Antigua Overseas

#5 tenman » 2010-11-10 01:53

@ Antigua Overseas I must tell you though that you would probably end up regretting your decision to come back, I will suggest that you only do such when you have a sizable amount of moneys to sustain you because a major problem here is not finding work, it is getting paid after you have worked. Apologies for the unsolicited suggestions.

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tenman

@ Antigua Overseas

#4 tenman » 2010-11-10 01:44

Antigua Overseas as someone who in the past worked locally in the field you studied, I will suggest that your best option is to setup your own company and sell your services via that option. You may be able to get a contract from the government for some project. Try to focus on the business side of things selling businesses on the idea on why hiring you will enable them to make money (you will have to understand their business)

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tenman

Well Written

#3 Antigua Overseas » 2010-11-10 01:22

I agree with Mr. Hughes. For far too long, the government has been concerned about who can help advance the government instead of who can help advance Antigua and bring it into current times. People are being hired and fired (laid off) not so much for their abilities but more for who they vote for or don't vote for. Please explain to me how that line of thinking will get Antigua anywhere. I am an individual overseas who holds a Bachelors and Masters in Information Technology and Information Management. I have been sending out my resume to almost every company in Antigua and haven't gotten any positive feedback. IT is a diverse area that allows an individual to work in any field and in almost any position. Yet, no one will afford me the opportunity of a job interview to see if I will be a good fit in their company before they say "NO VACANCIES" or "YOUR SKILLS ARE NOT NEEDED". With this kind of mentality, Antigua will remain stagnant and be the state it is in now.
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Antigua Overseas

@PLM

#2 tenman » 2010-11-09 23:24

PLM you are truly a real character. Thanks for the morning laugh

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tenman

Now What?

#1 PLM » 2010-11-09 23:02

What a silly question. The golden age of the UPP continues apace.
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PLM

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Ian 'Magic' Hughes

Ian 'Magic' Hughes is an Antiguan Journalist.






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