St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The divisive nature of politics in St Kitts and Nevis and its impact on the society is again being commented on by QC Charles Wilkin.
“We live in tiny society which has prolonged for fifty years a political culture based on enmity over a turbulent birth in which no one was seriously hurt. The same society is unable to come to grips with the murder in fifteen years of more than 300 of its young men, that is a telling indictment of dysfunction.”
QC Wilkin who delivered this year’s History and Heritage Month lecture, mentioned what he described as other manifestations of the dysfunction he referred to.
“A win at all cost mentality leading to consecutive governments failing to create a structure for fair elections. A my-turn mentality that means that all the spoils of government must go to the supporters of the party in power, the opposition must suck salt. An entitlement mentality, with constituents expecting government largess, and government squandering public money in pandering to them for votes. We know what that mentality did to the national debt also it decimated the SIDF. Low productivity has been the natural result, politicians seem afraid to address this, but it is a reality which we continue to ignore at the peril of our economy. Conflict resolution is rarely practiced, animosity and hostility rules, the politicians lead the way and the public follows. The inevitable decline in social discipline, and crudeness in social interaction. Look around the streets and elsewhere in public and you will see the disorder. You see how public vending is uncontrolled, littering is rampant in an island which when I was a boy was acclaimed as the cleanest in the region without doubt. Everybody wants to do as they like.”
However, there were some positives mentioned by the prominent lawyer, including the progress made by women, followed by what could be considered a pertinent question.
“On a more positive note, I am pleased to acclaim the more prominent role that women are playing in business, in the professions, in the civil service and every other area in society except politics. I must ask, why aren’t more women going into politics or speaking out more on national issues? Perhaps because politics has been a man’s ego game for so long and women do not wish to play by its unpalatable rules. We as a society should be debating this paradox.”