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#4751: Antoine comments on elections (fwd)

From: Guy Antoine <GuyAntoine@windowsonhaiti.com>

I have refrained from commenting to the Corbett list for a long time
now. The developments concerning the recent elections have gotten
me weary. I have read all the arguments concerning the method of
counting the votes, the viability of the CEP as an independent
institution, the interference of foreign governments and international
organizations in national matters, etc.

What I can say is this:
1) The people voted with their feet and their choice was v-e-r-y clear.
2) Yet, I would have felt dejected if I voted and my personal vote was
discarded and not reflected in the final results, because I did not go
along with a larger group of people, no matter how many times this
had been done before, and no matter how inconsequential my vote
would have been.  Inconsequential does not mean insignificant. No
amount of rationalization has so far convinced me that this was the
best way of counting the votes.  The resulting percentages of the
adopted counting procedure are pretty much meaningless (in my
point of view).
3) Haiti's electoral process is too taxing for our resources. It cries
for simplification and better implementation.
4) The "option zero" calls for the annulment of the elections, the
resignation of the President and Prime Minister of Haiti, are nothing
but opportunistic non-solutions that betray the divisive mentality
which continues to hamper Haiti's progress.  Surely you should not
burn the house down simply because you have not been invited to
the party.  Consider that unless you opt to become a friend to the
people, there is no way you'd ever be let in anyhow.  Except by
another God forbid people-be-damned coup d'état.  Reform and
Respect yourself.
5) There is blame to go all-around.  Most glaring is the lack of
political leadership and the art of compromise.
6) Haiti has no friend at the moment.
7) Haiti needs to develop alliances based on human exchanges,
other than strict reliance on foreign aid, that ends up costing too
much anyway, in tangible and intangible terms: psychological,
financial, political.
8) We need a national assessment of what Haiti has to offer
today (other than her poverty), and forge policies based on that
assessment, for the benefit of her children.
9) Politics is Hell (the way it is commonly practiced in Haiti).
10) Politics is Everything. Haitians everywhere need to unite
to save the country with a new brand of politics, and in spite
of the majority of its politicians today.

What should be done now?

That's the $64,000 question, and it will be monumentally difficult
to build a consensus at this point.  But this is what needs to be
debated, not another way of annulling the choice of the people of
Haiti.  Not another way of prolonging the misery.  Not another way
of punishing the masses for the misdeeds of a bumbling institution.
But a way to regroup and prepare for tomorrow: an abundance of
food, jobs, literacy, education, reforestation, roads, renewable
sources of energy, electrical power, telecommunications and other
necessities of modern life, a refreshing and ecologically sound
environment, a renewal of our lands and our seas, and hopes.  By
then we should have learned to stop fighting over scraps, and sit at
a table together.

Let the real debate begin.

Guy S. Antoine
Ba pèp la yon chans mezanmi!