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5529: On the immaturity of Ayitian politicians (fwd)

From: caineve@idt.net

Ayitian politicians, specially the opposition, should learn a lesson from the 
current election saga in the US. That is: imperfection is inherent to elections 
involving masses of people. Subsequently, they need to accept it for the sake 
of an election to be only just. The US election turmoil shows that democracy is 
at work. Frictions and cooperation are its essence. Now the US is at the 
friction stage where imperfection reveals itself, but cooperation is soon to 
come and pave the bumpy road. Holes will be patched like they were never there. 

Given the pressure the US was putting on Ayiti for its own election problems, 
it might seem fair to make of the US a laughing stock. Doing so would dismiss 
the fact that these are normal election occurrences. For one reason or another 
they explode today. This is an event that would happen anyway at some point in 
time. Otherwise the long due tune-up would never take place. This time around 
it will. Many expect a society to exist “frictions free.” If it were to be so, 
such a society would bound to disappear. Put differently, frictions make a 
society dynamic and cooperation irons out the differences. All together, they 
fine-tune the society and make it working, sustainable and prosperous.

Failing to pass the stage of accepting frictions for what they are, identifying 
their causes, living and dealing with them, and having the will to prevent 
their re-occurrences through cooperation is failing to assume one’s moral 
obligation toward the society and lead. This is where Ayitians falter and the 
US will succeed. Any student of society is quite aware of these problems when 
different individuals’ interests are at play and one is trying to outdo another 
to maximize his interests. Irregularities, fraud, corruption are at the heart 
of mankind interactions, regardless the society one lives in. 

Nowhere in the world that one will find elections not tainted with fraud and 
irregularities. In societies where politicians are mature, these faults are 
ignored they are inherent to the election process. Whatever one does, it can 
never be corrected. Hence, they would never blow it out for the sake of the 
nation pride, statesmanship or a wise strategy for a later battle as Samuel 
Tilden did in 1876 and Richard Nixon in the 1960 to the advantage of Rutherford 
B. Hayes and J. F. Kennedy respectively. All the first world politicians know 
it. There have always been irregularities in US election process from day one. 
Being aware of the impossibility of freeing elections of public officials from 
irregularities, the framers of the US constitution and others after them did 
their best to make the process just, but not perfect. 

Ayitian politicians show great immaturity or lack of understanding of what 
elections are all about. They failed to recognize these irregularities as 
inherent to the process. Instead of accepting them today, deal with them and 
find ways to prevent them from, or diminish the odds of, them to reoccur, they 
go crazy over things they, themselves are not immune to. Advocates of democracy 
criticizing the process in Ayiti are so hooked on an ideal for Ayiti that they 
fall into delusion. Consequently, the country has come to a full stop for many 
years and we don’t know if it will ever budge from that point if these 
realities are not assimilated.

In 1997, all that the opposition had to do was to accept the result of the 
elections instead of engaging in this hoopla that lead to the resignation of 
the prime minister and a constitutional \ administrative “zip lock” to name 
another and get public activities underway. Now, Ayitians embark on the same 
road in regards to May 2000 legislative elections. Today’s situation is a 
mirror image of the 97 elections. The complaints boil down to the same thing. 
That could be avoided for their own good and that of the Nation by conceding to 
Aristide’s gains and move on. They could begin to think how to either be in the 
winning situation through the same kind of irregularities or find a legal way 
to prevent this from happening again the same way. 

An election process can never be perfect, when there is a massive population 
partaking in it, and more so directly. The masses are too emotionally excited 
not to be confused in the process to the point of derailing something good they 
intended to do for themselves. Ayiti is a just born in this business: 
imperfections, frauds, irregularities, human rights violations, corruption and 
all other tares are to live with for a while, Ayitians must learn how to cope 
with them and be willing to resolve them later. It is a learning process. 
Perfection and ideals are to be factored out.

Ayitians and defenders of democracy in Ayiti don’t understand that. They just 
don’t know how to play the game. If the opposition leaders were not making a 
big fuss about the outcome of the elections, the international community would 
go along with it. Both in 1997 and in May 2000, they were praising it to start 
with. Believing that they did not notice any irregularities during the 
elections until after is political immaturity? Of course they (international 
observers) had to back the participants as they began to raise concern about 
the flaws in the process which they themselves had noticed and chose to ignore? 

As promoters of democracy around the world they had to save their face. They 
know firmly that Ayiti could live with them for now. Opposition leaders have no 
grasp on these “delicacies” of politics and this is where Aristide keeps 
beating them. Objectively, on what ground OAS has returned to Ayiti to bring 
the two sides together after leaving Ayiti protesting against the May outcome? 
Coming for negotiations while the Preval government maintains its position on 
the May election means that all the irregularities are history. They just want 
to salvage the presidential election so these irregularities won’t come back in 
the same form and shape. Regardless of what they say of the past elections. To 
the OAS and the international community the May election is history. 

Their threat not to assist Ayiti financially directly is sheer pressure. Any 
mature politician knows that’s what must be done, that’s what they are doing 
and the opposition has not come to grip with notion of losing today for a 
bigger win tomorrow. They go on believing that the international community will 
back them up all way, and come and extirpate the Lavalas government from power 
like it has happened to Cedras. It is to wonder if they still hold such 
thoughts after witnessing the US election drama that will likely weaken the US 
voice on matter of elections in one’s country. 

At any rate the point is not there. The international community gave the 
opposition enough room to get by and think of new strategies that would empower 
them in the future when they acclaimed both elections before retracting their 
approval. Opposition leaders did not seize the opportunity, as they feel more 
comfortable in a political stalemate. Now for good, they have much more to lose 
as Fanmi Lavalas gains more psychological strength and will not back down to 
the international pressure.

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live

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