25 June, 2008


To Strengthen Participatory Democracy. As we prepare for the run up to the 2010 general elections in Anguilla, a little review may be useful. The United Front Government has been in power now for two terms of five years each. Most of the politicians in power have been in office in one government or the other for the past five terms of five years each. They are experienced. They are good at winning. They know how to sound good. Their best promises are collected together in what is called a manifesto.

The United Front Political Manifesto was published on the internet in the year 2000. It is still there for you to read if you click on the link. The did not republish it on the internet for the 2005 elections. I have a paper copy, and it did not significantly alter. This is what they said were their general political objectives as they asked the people to elect them in 2000:




“The United Front is committed to the development of democracy and freedom and the maintenance and protection of the right of the people of Anguilla to self-determination”.


At the political level the general objectives of the United Front will be to:

a) Strengthen participatory democracy and the empowerment of the people of Anguilla through:

i) Expanding press freedom; and

ii) Promoting and supporting efforts to increase access by the people of Anguilla to the various forms of the media;

b) Return Anguilla to political stability;

c) Re-establish good governance and excellence in the operations of the various institutions of the Government;

d) Ensure that the principle of collective responsibility is observed by the members of the ANA-ADP United Front Administration and that the Ministers of Government operate as a team;

e) Achieve the political and constitutional advancement and maturing of the Anguillian political system particularly by:

i) Undertaking a major review of the Anguilla Constitution and electoral system; and

ii) Increasing the level of national and community consciousness, pride commitment and unity;

f) Increase the degree of transparency, openness and accountability to the people of Anguilla; and

g) Strengthen commitment to the basic principles of democracy in the wider community.”

Well, you tell me. Does it not sound good? No doubt, these promises helped them to win the elections. I have been an avid United Front supporter since day one. I voted for them then and I will doubtless vote for them again the next time. Not that my candidate has won for the past two elections!

Did they achieve any of these promised objectives?

Does anyone care if these words turned out to be hollow?

How long before they take these promises seriously?

Are we, their supporters, not the ones who should be complaining if we do not see increased transparency, openness and accountability? Who else cares?

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