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“RUNNING” For public office is not a sport

Serious Observation!

Veteran Calypsonian Cupid may have lost his Crown this past Festival but the satirical hit song “I’m running” has provoked much thought on the issue of candidate suitability.

According to the recent census, Montserrat has a population less than five thousand so familiarity with persons offering themselves for public office is not an issue.  The question that needs to be answered is: “What are the qualifications needed for one to take public office?”

In the 80’s and early 90’s a person could have easily taken off an apron or walked off a ship and be catapulted to a prestigious Ministerial office.  Nonetheless, those were the days where regional and international affairs were secondary to local matters.  Representation was then primarily concerned with domestic affairs and international and regional obligations were minimal.

While representation in Legislative assembly does not require or need a degree, most would agree that there must be some intermediate understanding of the operation of government.  Is the candidate familiar with the acronyms GDP and NDP?  Has he or she ever read the revised Treaty that establishes CARICOM?  And having read can he or she understand what they’ve read?

Montserrat has for years made a mockery of the political elections where persons are voted into office for the wrong reasons such as “I like him/her”, “he always buy me a drink”,  “a mi good fren”, a mi pasta…”  Quite often, ‘dunce’ persons are voted into office with the country ending up being governed by Permanent Secretaries who could run circles around the elected officials.

Montserrat is not a club.  “Running” for public office is serious business and not a sport because if it was, I would have supported the MSS  Victrix Ludorum in the upcoming elections.

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Serious Observation!

Veteran Calypsonian Cupid may have lost his Crown this past Festival but the satirical hit song “I’m running” has provoked much thought on the issue of candidate suitability.

According to the recent census, Montserrat has a population less than five thousand so familiarity with persons offering themselves for public office is not an issue.  The question that needs to be answered is: “What are the qualifications needed for one to take public office?”

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In the 80’s and early 90’s a person could have easily taken off an apron or walked off a ship and be catapulted to a prestigious Ministerial office.  Nonetheless, those were the days where regional and international affairs were secondary to local matters.  Representation was then primarily concerned with domestic affairs and international and regional obligations were minimal.

While representation in Legislative assembly does not require or need a degree, most would agree that there must be some intermediate understanding of the operation of government.  Is the candidate familiar with the acronyms GDP and NDP?  Has he or she ever read the revised Treaty that establishes CARICOM?  And having read can he or she understand what they’ve read?

Montserrat has for years made a mockery of the political elections where persons are voted into office for the wrong reasons such as “I like him/her”, “he always buy me a drink”,  “a mi good fren”, a mi pasta…”  Quite often, ‘dunce’ persons are voted into office with the country ending up being governed by Permanent Secretaries who could run circles around the elected officials.

Montserrat is not a club.  “Running” for public office is serious business and not a sport because if it was, I would have supported the MSS  Victrix Ludorum in the upcoming elections.