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Whose Responsibility is it? #16

By the time many or you read this results of the US elections may be known, or may be contested in many electoral disputes that may leave the final outcome uncertain, and in America at this time, certainty may be the difference between peaceful acceptance and civil unrest.

It is an ugly possibility and one that may fly in the face of the most powerful Nation’s willingness to exclude and sanction other countries on the basis of “democratic practices”. It could be a real tipping point for US leadership of the “free world”, and a real loss of influence in defining world politics and trade. It is the classic “physician heal thyself”.

The “old allies” concept is now falling apart as Britain, Germany, France, and Russia seem disunited in their ability to deal decisively with either political strife or with China’s overt trade dominance. America and the others are abhorrent of the refugee fallout from the political strife in the Middle East, and at the same time concerned with domestic jobs and production going overseas (mainly to China and to a lesser extent Mexico).

At this time the “old allies” will be unable to adopt a single strategy and therefore they fall to the “united we stand, divided we fall” syndrome and leave the path clear for a third country succession. This is one symptom of the end of an Empire and we may well be witnessing the emergence a new dominant force in world affairs and trade.

I did not realize the complexity of elections in the USA and I suppose many others are similarly confused. I will attempt to compare the process especially as we have a Local Government Election in November with all the costs and party hype mirroring the General Elections.

The USA ballot is not only about the election of a president, and each city has a list of local issues on the ballot. In fact the voting in Pembroke Pines has all of the following: Presidential four candidates; Senators for the State; Congressmen; State legislation; County Legislation; City Legislation; Judges; Court Officials; Sherriff; legislation for medical marijuana; and others too numerous to mention here. Four pages!!!

It is an admirable system that encompasses national, state, county, and city in one go, and is not only based on the Presidential outcome alone. We on the other hand, only vote for MP’s and Councilors in the usual partisan way and have no way of expressing views on taxation or expenditures or other issues. We are therefore victims of the hegemony of the two Party duopoly.

I have no hope that this will be voluntarily reformed in any meaningful way that would allow for a more inclusive participatory process that would encourage a higher interest in our own futures.

The question is therefore can we get issues addressed through local government of should municipal operations be handled in another way? The discussion would not be so complex if access to communities were not controlled by political and also gang motives. For example if we could drive a garbage truck in every street and lane without having to contend with violence, gunshots, and gangs, then every citizen could have a clean environment for a fraction of the current cost.

Gangs dig up infrastructure in order to restrict the passage of other gangs, police, citizens, and even politicians are afraid. We restrict our own progress because of fear, or maybe even to participate in the spoils of the illegal activities. So as a result we live in nasty conditions like refugees from a civil war. It is not a way for Jamaicans to have to live, work, and raise families.

The process of elections should be to create new options for progress and not to condemn us to the failed strategies of the past. If we fail to change towards greater accountability then the missed chances will have missed us forever.

Change is imperative within the changing world order. Whose responsibility is it to lead and to follow?

Executive Insights
From the Desk of James Moss- Solomon
Executive in Residence, MSBM
November 6, 2016
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