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#4205: On the failure of a democratic success: reply to Poincy
"The shift that Aristide made from one party to another enabled him to bleach himself out of his former allies' wrongdoings (if there were any) that could have been attributed to him."
I am not sure that is what happened, Poincy. The schism between the OPL and Jean-Bertrand Aristide (if we can call it that way), was apparent for any astute analyst who was closely following Haitian politics between 1994 and early '96. OPL's leadership wanted a political party based on its own logic of government and politics. They in fact, crafted that party prior to Aristide's return to Haiti. No one knows for sure whether Aristide approved of it or not.
You went on to say, Poincy:
<Now that he is surrounded by different people, he can always use the "shifting party weapon", if he becomes a victim again of backstabbing. He can renew his surrounding. Doing so would keep his relationship with the masses intact and the latter would go again and again for whoever is from Aristide's circle.Because the people go elections to vote for Aristide and what he stands for. Would Pierre say that's logical?>
Regarding the last part of your analysis, it is correct Poincy that those who vote for Aristide do so, because they trust his philosophy of government. But I am also detecting in your line of logic, a tendency to focus on personality. I think we should try to make it clear here, that what Aristide stands for, is taller than him. In fact, I hope he thinks the same.
What the people vote for is a set of issues, not Aristide per se. Aristide is for sure the very adept messenger. He is not the message. But most of all, the Lavalas party stands for some very specific issues. One of them is civil rights. It may sound weird to some, to talk about civil rights in Haiti. But those of us with a conscience who have lived in Haiti, know well that the pauper has never had has much right as the rich. That is why the phrase "tout moun sť moun" (everyone is equally a human being) means so much for the masses, and hurts so deeply the traditional Haitian elite.
Also, what the Lavalas movement has been doing, is giving voice to the disinherited where they do not have any. Lavalas works with the poor and listens to their concerns. I suppose those who engage in that kind of politics and prove themselves to be sincere through their action will always be successful, even when Aristide would shift party affiliation, as you seem to imply.
Also Poincy, you seem to think that the people's vote overwhelmingly for the Lavalas party is a proof of their innate intolerance. Allow me to say that I think you are wrong there, once again. The people's vote was a choice for pragmatism. When the OPL decided to block Haiti's parliament between 1997 and 1998, the people took notice and understood one thing: if we need to have this democracy work, we need to ensure that there is a unified voice that can make it so. Since they trust the Lavalas movement based on its work and promises, they voted for that political party. The masses would have to be truly stupid to vote for an opposition that uses a language in the Haitian media, which is very firtatious with violence against the Lavalas movement. The opposition never brought a core of ideas either to the forefront, that could attract the electorate. They seem to have resigned themselves in the politics of individaul attack, their prime target being Aristide. Since you seem to be so interested in Haiti's politics, could you please tell me what the opposition stands for? What it wants for the country, what its political program is, etc? I honestly do not know. I have read "Investir Dans L'humain" and it convinces me that, this is a party with an agenda. The masses may have not read the book, but they took notes, Poincy. What is the opposition's agenda?