Categorized | Editorial, Local, News

Character assassination is wrong anytime, it is not that when you tell the truth

Editorial – July 25, 2014

Montserrat will for the first time have an Election Observer Mission (EOM) from CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR)

Taken from Section 1 of The Commonwealth Charter, 2013 – this is what they claim:

“We recognise the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections in shaping the society in which they live. Governments, political parties and civil society are responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices and are accountable to the public in this regard. Parliaments and representative local governments and other forms of local governance are essential elements in the exercise of democratic governance.”

The foregoing seems simple enough for anyone to understand and it should be noted that it encompasses everyone, whether in Government, just belonging or involved in a political party, civil society, those other leaders and functionaries, including religious leaders. The public of course being everyone else who depend or rely on the responsibility and the accountability of others. No one is excluded.

The statement is really very powerful. In discussion you might ask how good is our democratic culture and our democratic governance? It is with that any advice should be concerned, NOT just at election time, ALL the time. This must obviously be continuous.

The Montserrat Christian Council (MCC) disappointed this media when it sought to give advice and did not inform of its intention or need to do so, and then not send the message to us. This editor read the message in church and obtained a copy from the R C Church pastor. Was that an oversight or is it that the Montserrat Reporter is not considered as media?

In any case studying the advice there are areas that require attention. This media believes in what it preaches and practices the truth, but will never claim perfection. What we say however that we make mistakes and with even the scarce resources denied it, believe that it can boast that while we ask people to tell us when we go wrong, we have not received a single request that suggests we have told a lie. So there is the challenge. Opinions! We cannot expect everyone to disagree. When we ask others to be responsible, they can tell us when they feel we are not.

The MCC sought to describe character assassination but likely sold itself short. “It is the deliberate slandering of a person with the intention of discrediting that person’s credibility and reputation,” they said, whether in private house to house or public platform campaigns.

We would rather say simply: it is “the act of saying false things about a person usually in order to make the public stop liking or trusting that person.”

But we suggest that when the MCC calls on leaders and voters alike, the following, “to be endued with godly wisdom, personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, and a genuine commitment to the welfare and well-being of all the people, irrespective of their country of origin, race, color, ethnicity, religious creed or political persuasion.” To also ask for the highest democratic ideals – founded on principles of mutual respect, decency, freedom of the individual to participate in the process with all good conscience without fear of bribery, coercion, or political reprisals,” it should merely then say when the challenge is made on any or all of these grounds, it should be the truth and nothing else. No one should be made to feel guilty if they can point to these faults.

Anyone should therefore expect that if a candidate knows that a fellow candidate or other is guilty or conducts themselves accordingly, or pretending to be otherwise, he has an obligation to tell the voters. Rumours stick easily so those should be avoided.

The Governor’s office should read their own guidelines to the public servants again carefully and be very careful about hiding behind General Orders, and telling these suffering people, “Nothing presented in this Section or elsewhere in these Guidance Notes should be interpreted as meaning that Public Officers may not hold their own political views, or that they must refrain from activities designed to explain a Political Party’s platform/manifesto. However, in doing so they must be mindful at all times of the need to safeguard the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service.

We agree that it is not only at election time integrity and impartiality should be observed. And we should all practice what we preach, seeking always to do the right thing, and not confuse either.

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Editorial – July 25, 2014

Montserrat will for the first time have an Election Observer Mission (EOM) from CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR)

Taken from Section 1 of The Commonwealth Charter, 2013 – this is what they claim:

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“We recognise the inalienable right of individuals to participate in democratic processes, in particular through free and fair elections in shaping the society in which they live. Governments, political parties and civil society are responsible for upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices and are accountable to the public in this regard. Parliaments and representative local governments and other forms of local governance are essential elements in the exercise of democratic governance.”

The foregoing seems simple enough for anyone to understand and it should be noted that it encompasses everyone, whether in Government, just belonging or involved in a political party, civil society, those other leaders and functionaries, including religious leaders. The public of course being everyone else who depend or rely on the responsibility and the accountability of others. No one is excluded.

The statement is really very powerful. In discussion you might ask how good is our democratic culture and our democratic governance? It is with that any advice should be concerned, NOT just at election time, ALL the time. This must obviously be continuous.

The Montserrat Christian Council (MCC) disappointed this media when it sought to give advice and did not inform of its intention or need to do so, and then not send the message to us. This editor read the message in church and obtained a copy from the R C Church pastor. Was that an oversight or is it that the Montserrat Reporter is not considered as media?

In any case studying the advice there are areas that require attention. This media believes in what it preaches and practices the truth, but will never claim perfection. What we say however that we make mistakes and with even the scarce resources denied it, believe that it can boast that while we ask people to tell us when we go wrong, we have not received a single request that suggests we have told a lie. So there is the challenge. Opinions! We cannot expect everyone to disagree. When we ask others to be responsible, they can tell us when they feel we are not.

The MCC sought to describe character assassination but likely sold itself short. “It is the deliberate slandering of a person with the intention of discrediting that person’s credibility and reputation,” they said, whether in private house to house or public platform campaigns.

We would rather say simply: it is “the act of saying false things about a person usually in order to make the public stop liking or trusting that person.”

But we suggest that when the MCC calls on leaders and voters alike, the following, “to be endued with godly wisdom, personal integrity, honesty and sincerity, and a genuine commitment to the welfare and well-being of all the people, irrespective of their country of origin, race, color, ethnicity, religious creed or political persuasion.” To also ask for the highest democratic ideals – founded on principles of mutual respect, decency, freedom of the individual to participate in the process with all good conscience without fear of bribery, coercion, or political reprisals,” it should merely then say when the challenge is made on any or all of these grounds, it should be the truth and nothing else. No one should be made to feel guilty if they can point to these faults.

Anyone should therefore expect that if a candidate knows that a fellow candidate or other is guilty or conducts themselves accordingly, or pretending to be otherwise, he has an obligation to tell the voters. Rumours stick easily so those should be avoided.

The Governor’s office should read their own guidelines to the public servants again carefully and be very careful about hiding behind General Orders, and telling these suffering people, “Nothing presented in this Section or elsewhere in these Guidance Notes should be interpreted as meaning that Public Officers may not hold their own political views, or that they must refrain from activities designed to explain a Political Party’s platform/manifesto. However, in doing so they must be mindful at all times of the need to safeguard the integrity and impartiality of the Public Service.

We agree that it is not only at election time integrity and impartiality should be observed. And we should all practice what we preach, seeking always to do the right thing, and not confuse either.