Tuesday, 24 April 2012 02:30
By Vere Aaron
“Effective listeners remember that words have no meaning - people have meaning” - Ralph Nichols. The assignment of meaning to a term is an internal process; meaning comes from within us.
And although our experiences, knowledge, and attitudes differ, we often misinterpret each other’s messages while under the illusion that a common understanding has been achieved.
In the 2004, 2009 general elections, the United Progressive Party (UPP) campaigned on a wave of accountability and transparency.
There is no doubt in my mind that the UPP was very careful with its word selection, for many of us thought we were on the same level with the party.
However, as the party acts accordingly, the electorates began to see things differently. At this present moment, no one can doubt that the UPP’s definitions of accountability and transparency differ from that of the electorates.
The electorate thought the party was looking out for its best interests, but it is clear this was the last thing on its agenda.
Let us take a look at the ongoing power plant fiasco, which is not only a total embarrassment to the government, but a slap in the face of Antiguans & Barbudans.
It is not a disease, but a natural thing that mankind loves to boast and brag of his achievements. Whether it’s academics, sports, business, religious, or work. Furthermore, you can bet your life the detractors would be put to shame, with evidence, if they ever try to “diss” the achiever.
However, it seems to be a different situation with the UPP. The power plant, within their eyes, is an accomplishment, but such a milestone is not receiving the credit which usually comes with such an occasion.
Just like the Chinese government, the UPP has become very picky when providing the general public with specific information. Why?
Remember China is a power house, and it is my belief the UPP is afraid of exposing China, thinking it would spoil our longstanding relationship.
With China being the party’s main source of investment, do you thing the UPP would want to rock the boat so that it sinks?
It is obvious to me that the electorate did not receive value for money, but just imagine reading an article on Google or MSN entitled “Antigua Exposes China.” Do you think the Chinese government would let it slip and slide? Do you think China will continue to strengthen its relationship with Antigua & Barbuda?
Of course not, and this is what the UPP is trying to escape. Look at the bigger picture. I mean, our stadium, the airport, the schools, the Lenovo computers. When you think of all these, what really comes to mind? China, of course.
Keep your eyes on the bigger picture, and remember election is just around the corner, and after receiving such tremendous support from the Chinese in the 2009 general elections, who do you think they will turn to in 2014?
Once the Chinese government is convinced that its influence on the Antiguan government is producing significant results then it will, by all legal means, shed its support for that party, in situations such as general elections, trade etc.
During a time like this, when the world’s economy is at its worst, an opportunity like this for the UPP is seen as a stepping stone. This power plant issue has put Antigua’s democracy to sleep, and only the Most High knows when it will wake up and reign like it once did in the days of the great VC Bird Snr.
Antiguans and Barbudans, here we have another situation where Cabinet rejected the call for an inquiry demanded by one of their very own, Minister of Health Wilmoth Daniel, and I will even go on to say, Daniel is not the only minister or high-ranking government official at a loss for answers with the negotiations surrounding the power plant.
But as the great saying goes, “When you are in Rome, you do as the Romans do.” Power they love, power they crave, and many government officials have become “dumb” as a result of this “power”.
I thought by now the UPP’s wrong and strong attitude with the power plant would have triggered a revolution in the country, knowing slavery has been abolished since 1834.
Judging from what I have observed, I can conclude Antiguans & Barbudans are very tolerant. The former prime minister, the media, and the electorate are hungry for information on this power plant issue, and because a few officials within Cabinet are against this, their words and cries should fall on deaf ears.
Cabinet is satisfied with the information presented to them by APUA, but are we dogs? Can’t we be satisfied also?
APUA convinced you guys that all is well, so what’s there to hide? If it continues like this, then rest assured you guys will be in hiding for good next election.
Antiguans and Barbudans, read between the lines and open your eyes. The UPP is only being accountable and transparent to themselves and countries or parties directly involved in their “so-called” negotiations.
The Chinese government is convinced the UPP government is standing firm by its side; moreover Cabinet “UPP officials” are even more convinced there are no “bubbols” surrounding the power plant. So, it all boils down to, who wants to talk just talk; after all speech is free.
The electorates in 2004 and 2009 thought they were reading the same book as the UPP, but what they didn’t realise was the ministers’ books had some extra pages which outlined their intentions.
Check their actions, and you will definitely conclude their definitions of transparency and accountability are way beyond the boundaries of democracy.
Next election, do not be persuaded by these “power ghosts” and their ability to use “sugar words”.
Listen keenly and question them effectively, for effective questioning brings insight, which feeds curiosity, which cultivates wisdom.See related stories:
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