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#2008: Re: #2005: Democratic Ayiti: Poincy replies to comment
From: Jean Poincy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Indeed, Ayiti did move on and is now in a "full scale democracy".
However, the shift was done not from a "benevolent dictatorship", but
from a "malevolent dictatorship" if I may say. At any rate, what we have
as a result is: disruption of the election process by burning voting
registration materials, throwing urine at political opponents and
scaring off candidates. The worst is: the very same people for whom
democracy is being introduced, is the perpetrator, it does not matter
what side causes it. I could understand if that was the action of some
"malevolent dictators". In fact Ayiti has an archive of such.
The recent events really make the democratic Ayiti an "oxymoron". Do we
call this going forward? Let's face the reality for what it is. Let's
not let our ideal leads us to what's impractical. Let's be objective.
How in whose name can a country hold a democratic election in such an
atmosphere? Whether it is for his own good, I think Gerard
Pierre-Charles makes good sense by asking for a halt of the election
Because we know something is good for our own sake ideally does not
necessarily mean it is expedient considering the circumstances we are
influenced by. Right now, what matters most in Ayiti is collective
security. Not even feeding the people comes before it. If it is so, what
form of government can best do it? Put our passion, compassion, pity and
humanism aside, we will agree that only a strong and forceful hand can
do it. Think about it.
We can't hide behind the idea that democracy is in progress in Ayiti
because steps are taken for elections to be held. We could say so, only
if it was moving forward while there were some imperfections to correct
later. The last disputed election that has disrupted the whole process
was a perfect state of progress with imperfection. Hadn't OPL requested
the cancellation of it we would be talking of democracy in progress
All they had to do is to concede defeat rather than playing hardball.
These irregularities are permitted in a newly born democracy until new
laws and procedures are put in place to fix them. That would be a
long-term strategy. OPL had the legislative power to shape and reshape
things as they please. Instead they wanted it all, right on the spot. In
search of a perfect democracy right at its birth and in a place where it
can't be, they committed political suicide and brought the whole country
and democracy down with them. At this point, democracy was aborted and
has been totally derailed.
No matter how much political education would the masses receive to
really participate in the process, democracy will never see light in
Ayiti unless some strongmen impose themselves and reform the
institutions with or without the will of the people. As Ayiti is today,
democracy is for tomorrow. Today it's the time to built foundation for
it, which is security. There is a strong urge of strong rulers to ensure
the transition, regardless how forceful they will be to their own
benefits or not, provided that they build and force others to build for
the collectivity. Don't we have Pinochet of Chile in mind at least?
A little American history will tell us that the new Republic had to
change its form of government from a confederation to a federation,
because a stronger central government was needed to have collective
security and prosperity. The confederation created a weak central
government, as more power was concentrated in the hands of the States.
The check and balance that works so well today was a work in progress
and still is. Look how at different periods the executive branch has
gained and lost more power. Gaining more power endowed president Lincoln
with the ability to keep the States united. (Please don't look at
context see the essence of strong hands to make things work as the
situation asks for it).
Just imagine the States as the people and who feel they have the last
word, all you will see in the background is turmoil. In fact it started
to be so, until the founders decided to revisit the old idea of strong
central government, they were shying away from in the first place. That
would remind them too much of the absolute power of the king. They
quickly understood they could not dismiss it totally. They had to adapt
it. After all, there is some good in revisiting an old idea. But when
doing so, we can't expect to transplant as is. It must be adapted.
Indeed our concern is the adaptation of "benevolent strongmen" to rule
Ayiti as is.
Remember, we are dealing with humans, we know that their minds don't
respond positively to abrupt changes. They need time to readjust while
nurturing the old ways until they fully blend them to the new ways. We
are dealing with Ayitians who have been ruled since day one of Ayiti's
birth by strong hands, how do except them to behave right in a sudden
Ayiti has lived, lives and will live