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#5317: On a just cause for a "mono party" in Ayitian parliament (fwd)
From: Jean Poincy <email@example.com>
Most of us are worried about Aristide making a U-turn to dictatorship
without realizing the impossibility of it. First, the country is under a
democratic system and second the international community is no longer
tolerant of such kind of government. However, establishing a strong
government is quite feasible, in fact this is the kind needed in a
society where interests clash.
Aristide may rule with an iron fist within the framework of a democratic
system; for that matter, any one at any level of government can do that.
He may put in place a repressive/coercive force to shape the country,
but within the democratic rules of the game. We need not to jump and
understand the terms repression and coercion as purely dictatorship
under one man's arbitrary will.
If this is what Aristide has in mind, I am all for it, but with some
reserve due to the short period of a president in office. That can be
corrected, if the parliament is "lavalasly" controlled by amending the
constitution and prolonging the term of the presidency to 10 years
without being eligible for reelection, or to a term of 8 years with
re-eligibility status for a second term only. With this structure in
place, Ayiti can institute a strong/repressive/coercive working
government, for the benefit of the whole.
Individual freedom is quite limited in a working democratic system. In
Ayiti's case, it would be much more limited, if we needed to see real
changes. Gradually, with more experience in forming the people on how to
live together with respect toward one another, and the laws become the
guiding hand of the people without having an agent constantly reminding
them to observe them, then individual freedom can be less restricted. If
that's what Aristide has in mind provided the accusation of him wanting
to become a dictator proved to be correct, I am fully behind his thirst
to control parliament.
This is nice and pretty to view it that way, but the expediency of such
a scheme depends greatly on how governable the country is today. The sad
reality is that it is not. What I mean by governable is the willingness
on the part of all groups in the society to cooperate with the
government's endeavor to provide collective security and realize
The absence of such in the country and the failing relationship between
different groups and the government makes the country ungovernable;
hence, the necessity to have a repressive hand. It can be the system as
one unit, or one individual to impose on the people a way to live
politically. Boycotting the presidential elections which will take place
no matter what is a case in point.
I don't think that Aristide would expect, if president, that governing
would be easy with those determined to tarnish him or make him a
failure. They are important groups in the country's political affaires
and their unwillingness to cooperate constitutes a major roadblock for
Aristide to govern. Now, if Aristide is determined to do good, he has no
recourse, but to create a coercive government system obliging the
recalcitrant to bend.
Because, plain dictatorship becomes repulsive nowadays, Aristide's only
means to realize his wishes is to use the democratic system to
manipulate the constitution, to his liking as a reflection of the
people's will. If all the accusations are correct, it is good that
Aristide is showing his true self now. For when he has to use a strong
hand, which can rule Ayitians now (in fact it is the only form of ruling
Ayitians can truly understand), the masses can be effectively
My only concern is that will Aristide be able to control the unleashed
masses? If he had to use them as a weapon against his opponents to
achieve his political agenda, it was a very appropriate weapon today
considering the current situation; but will he allow them to get out of
hand to the point of being their toy himself. For him to be able to calm
the masses to get things done without much disruption will show an
excellent leadership skill on his part. It is a wait and see thing and I
wish him my best.
Ayiti has lived, lives and will live