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#1984: Re#1954 : Democracy for Haiti; Florestal responds to Poincy (fwd)
" I truly believe that "the old idea of a 'benevolent dictatorship'"
can be modernized to fit the democratic trend in reshaping a society
The difference would be that no one at all would be elected by the
masses. Town meetings would be conducted to assess the constituents'
needs and develop programs accordingly. People would not be persecuted
because of their differing views with authorities as they express them.
Instead they would be heard, but nothing says that the authority would
have to put some merit to these oppositions if they don't feel it good
for the collectivity…"
To believe that a dictator will not make use of his/her absolute powers when
his/her political survival or financial interests are threatened may be
wishful thinking. Differing views under a dictatorship is cause for
imprisonment, exile or death. Otherwise, it is political, if not physical,
suicide for the dictator. The only way to prevent abuses by those in power is
to provide checks and balances on the use or abuse of the powers granted to
them. This idea is the cornerstone of the U.S. Constitution, and its merits
are justified by the 223 years that the U.S. Constitution has been holding
To consider the enormity of the task of correcting problems in Haiti and
propose a dictatorship as the solution, regardless of the dictatorship's
form, is moving backward. If Haiti has made any progress recently, it's in
having political freedom and the ability of the masses to express their will
through their votes. Because political freedom did not translate into
economic prosperity does not mean that political freedom and economic
prosperity are mutually exclusive. Haiti is no exception, in the long run, to
the other countries that have both. What is missing in Haiti is education of
the people. It seems to me that our efforts are to be concentrated on
economic development while protecting our democratic gains. Instead of trying
to shut down the masses' voices in choosing their leaders, it may be more
productive to teach them how to make better choices.