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Former Grenada Lawmaker says Caribbean Crumbling under Poor Leadership and Divisive Politics

Joan Purcell is a former Grenada Minister of Government and Senate President

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN):  The humanization of power is the main affliction affecting good governance in the Caribbean.  That’s the view of Joan Purcell, author of the book A Vision for Change.

"To begin with, power has been humanized...power resides in a man, either the Prime Minister - well I would say for our Caribbean region Prime Minister of President to a lesser degree.  Power has been taken away from its moorings," she said Thursday, on WINN FM's Voices programme.

"Although...almost all our constitutions we say 'God is supreme,' but it's more lip service than anything.  Power resides in a man, power resides in a party. Our politics have become very tribalistic, very, very divisive.  The Cabinet has assumed more power than our Parliament and yet our Parliaments the bastions of democracy are the overseers of the Executive, but it seems to be the other way around now."

Ms Purcell also argues that politics is occupying too much space in the Caribbean societies 

"Politicians offer more than they can ever deliver.  The political sphere has overrun all the other spheres," she asserts.

"Whereas there should be varying spheres of governance like self governance where the individual through responsible living governs himself of herself.  The Church government which should be the conscience of the state, and which should be willing to say yea or nay whether its beheaded or heeded.  The sphere of civil governance, the population, the people, the electorate.  We have all narrowed it down to an election every five years, putting a group in power who undo everything that was done before, and the Opposition on the other hand seeks to tear up everything the government does.  The Parliament has become disrespectful and lacking in civility."

The former Government Minister and President of the Senate in Grenada, Ms Purcell also delivered a lecture in St Kitts recently on the issue.  The bane of Caribbean development she contends, is poor political leadership  

"I recently read an article published on April 5th 2014, talks about the gathering storm in the Caribbean by Jean H. Charles, and he talks about the fragility of our economies and...that they're really on a razors edge, on a knife edge...and just before that our own Prime Minister Kenny Anthony talked about Leaders in self denial even as the economic crisis worsens," she said.

"Our poor and bad politics is reflected more clearly, more obviously, where perhaps you cannot see - well except for corruption, corrupt practices and so on - where you see the Caribbean crumbling is in its economics because of the poor leadership in its politics in, its policies...etcetera."

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