22 February, 2007

United Front - Unfinished Business

United Front – Unfinished Business. In a moment of boredom, and with nothing more interesting to do at the time, I was trolling through the 2000 campaign Manifesto of the United Front political party. The United Front is our governing party. A Manifesto is a political party's list of promises they make to encourage the public to vote them into power. The United Front won the elections on the basis of the promises they made in their 2000 Manifesto. Promises are meant to be kept. In the absence of a good excuse, we tend to think very poorly of persons who do not keep their promises. The United Front are now in their second term, having won re-election in 2005. I idly turned to examine the list of the promises they made in their 2000 Manifesto. I was struck by this list of unfinished business:

Excerpt from the United Front 2000 Manifesto:

Development and refinement of Codes of Conduct for:
a) Ministers and other members of Executive Council;
b) Members of the House of Assembly; and
c) Politicians in election campaigns;

Creation of the office of Ombudsman;

Reintroduction and development of community councils and consideration of the decentralization of responsibility for some local community services;

Funding for local community based democratic agencies involved in governance;

Development of constituency offices for elected representatives paid for or subsidized by the Government;

Review the powers of Executive Council and of the regulations governing its operations;

Review the policy on appointments to statutory boards and committees to ensure that the selection is more participatory;

Establishment of a process of public hearings, referenda or other mechanisms to involve the public in making decisions on major political, economic or social issues inclusive of large-scale economic or social development proposals.”

Out of curiosity I then turned to their 2005 Manifesto. I was disappointed to see that there was no reference to most of these issues in the 2005 Manifesto. None of these promises has been kept. No one in government has even mentioned them again after the 2005 elections.

All of these were significant promises on which the governing party was elected. I wonder what caused them to lose their importance. Why do we not complain that the platform upon which we elected this government is not being carried out? Could it be true, as many cynics claim, that Manifestos are useless documents that no one reads after the election is over? Has the opposition been silent because they also want to make empty campaign promises that they do not expect anyone to hold them to? Is the press quiet because no one writes in to complain? I am complaining. I would like someone in government to tell us what they are going to do about these matters before the next Manifesto is published. There are only three more years left before elections are due!


  1. Just a glance at the Manifesto of 2000 compared to the fact that serious issues were not points for the subsequent elections shows us that the UF is not concerned about the social problems that plague Anguilla. A strong focus on village councils would have gone a long way in stemming the gang violence and fostering improved relationships between the villages.

    Unfortunately much support for the persons elected came from abroad from people who live out of Anguilla and return only to vote a government in power then leave and the rest of us must sit though the mess that has been created.

    Anguillans must begin to move out of their state of "learned helplessness" and begin to take Anguilla back. Our forefathers fought much too hard for this to be happening to our island.

  2. Just out of curiousity, what is our youngest minister doing to tackle the social problems of Anguilla? Could he not refer to the manifesto of 2000 and attempt to address some of the issues that were posited at that time? They are still very relevant.

    From what I have gathered, he may have to consider changing his portfolio to that of "Minister of Overseas Affairs." Because of the amount of travel that he has been engaging in he is out of touch with the realities of Anguilla.

  3. I keep hearing people talk about the overseas ANguillians is the reason why the UF was re-elected. This misinformation is the reason why other parties are kept out of government. Lets look at the registered names and tell me what percentage of them would you not want on the list. Then look at the number of voters who did not vote for the UF and tell me if you still believe it. More people voted for the opposition than the ruling government. The reason the UF was elected is too many greedy individuals want to run for political office in a district of 400 eligble voters. Until political parties learn to organize and rally really behind one individual to go up against the ruling party, change will be very difficult in our system.

    Please stop blaming overseas ANguillians for the funk you are in. Anguillians all over should be encourage to vote once they meet the necessary requiremnts.


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