Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dare to debate

I have come to the sad realisation that there is no or little appreciation in this beautiful nation of ours for the opinions and thoughts of others.

Once we have a perspective (turgid or flaccid) on an issue, any variation from that requires one to rise up with gasping bewilderment or contemptuous disgust at the intellectual incapacity of the person(s) who dared to challenge us or even merely seek clarification on the position.

It would seem to me that if our leaders truly believed in what they say, and that could be contrasted with the opines of a contender, one should not have a problem engaging in discourse - and by that I mean, a debate.

A battle of words - not the "you begged me for money when you were doing your studies" kind, rather I envision a more eloquent, graceful speeches with non-antagonistic approach.

There is no doubt that our politicians have voices - their performances of wit, wisdom and wasted energy on the political platforms dotting our community corners of recent allude to that fact. But where are their "inside voices" - the same message of "vote me, vote me" with your mother's best manners and etiquette lessons on display.

Is it that there is no true message, no unique propositions to challenge today's issues or a genuine fear of being reminded of the failures of our past or even present existences?

Frankly with the ULP we all know who runs the show - the Comrade's cronies/constituency contenders are rehearsed (some better than others), with little or no self-understanding of what they have been schooled in saying. Granted I don't think he actually conducts weekend seminars but any discerning individual would notice his uncanny ability to speak about anyone not aligned with him, with an limitless incredulity. His constantly raised eyebrows and chuckle in almost every conversation and press conference is geared to make one think "how could they ever come up with this idea" or "how dare they?".

With the NDP, the Son is on a seeming verbal rampage and apparently no one in the party is aware of the fact that he is not contending a seat, is officially retired from public office and has a solid resume of statesmanship behind him. Everyone else in the yellow hues only have voices for complaining and identifying to the Vincentian public the follies of the reds. I was relieved to read of their ideas for home health care provisions for the elderly in one constituency with the hope of making this a national project - how refreshing. But my cynical nature asks, if implemented is its longevity dependent on success at the polls?

I would think that the true passion that everyone presumably has for this nation would cause to build up a desire to meet opponents across a table, with a well-placed moderator in the center. I would always give Ken Boyea some respect for the fact that he showed up in the only known (to my knowledge) attempt to debate around 2001, if memory serves me well.

But let me be the philosophical shrink - our society has taught us to be dependent on what we have to determine what measure of respect we have for ourselves -the family names, lands and companies, the titles and the spouses - the house in this or that neighbourhood and the social association factors. My generation has added to that the degrees, the cars, the "it places" to be on Friday and Saturday nights, the bling and the sugar daddy element - these are the THINGS that define us.

Once mankind allows the material elements in life to become a determination factor, the elements of true humanity are shelved in the recesses of our minds - and if it were ever to face a revival, one would have to contend with the reminders of when we first dismissed it.

When one shrugs off the seeking of knowledge, wisdom and experience through life lessons and drape on the pride of what we have and who we know - we lose confidence in ourselves, we stop believing in who we are and stop dreaming of what we can be.

We cling to coloured flags for self-determination, we chose to believe in only what favours us and we wallow in speculations of today. We fear the opportunity to shine under spotlights not created by our 'own' - forgetting that we all have blood running through our veins. We fear that our childhood speech impediment may make a comeback when faced with unrehearsed answers to unexpected questions - we fear that the other person may use a word we don't understand, since we tout paper knowledge but not comprehension.

In essence, we fear ourselves because we know that we are not whole, we are impure creatures with decomposing bodies in the closet.

And the response to the rare calls for a debate is full of denial in the ability to find an objective personality to moderate - uncertainty as to its structure - a blatant refusal to seat oneself across a desk from a person that could challenge us in ways known and unknown.

AH HAH - now I understand why talk radio is so popular - here and elsewhere -challenges and undesired responses can be so well disregarded. The control principle along with the perceived anonymity factor are essential in allowing hosts/moderators and callers alike to run amok on the airwaves.

Sigh, I think that my blogs of late and of future are and shall be reflective of a cry for what we can do, who we can be - simply because I firmly believe that I have a duty as a citizen of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to vote, not merely in ode to the achievements of blacks and women, but as an individual who wants to be a part of the formulation of my government. In my mind, it would seem to be hypocritical to continue this blog if I refuse to stain my finger on general elections day simply because I am sadly unimpressed with the Parliamentary buffet line. But is it wrong for me to desire a Sara Palin attitude when she shook Joe Biden's hand and said "Can I call you Joe?" - she may have been poorly prepared but she made up with enthusiasm.

(P.S.) I always seek a graphic element that encapsulates the underlining theme of my blog - hence the cartoons (no credit to me, except to my googling capabilities) but like this chosen one - we all want what is best for the country, the same way we all want to be able to wipe our asses.


  1. Whats the point in having a debate?

  2. Simply this - handle the issues in the best compare and contrast scenario - side by side.

  3. Hey Epiphany, just saw your comments...

    Are you serious? I do not believe that a debate is the best compare and contrast scenario for the simple reason that there is NO GURANTEE that the players will ever play by the rules.The players will do the same bullshit in a debate; i.e SPIN and mislead.

    Look, what we need is the media to do their job and stop being the mouthpieces for the respective political parties. We need an independent media to call out these politicians on their bullshit. We need investigative journalism to bring the issues to the people in an impartial manner. Maybe I am being naive; but I will say the same of believing a debate is the best scenario to "handle the issues"...

    By the way; if the Prime Minister refuses to answer questions in Parliament; why do you believe he will do so in a debate?

  4. But Sadiss, I want to hear the bullshit handed in a debate - because it would make the voters realise what utter crap is being handed to them and also it may just engender someone to prepare something of substance to say.

    And if we have the independent media, that we both want, they will be able to handle a debate situation well.

    But to each her/his own, maybe I am looking for an alternative to attending political rallies.

  5. i visited on a cruise last year, from the caribbean, not from st vincent, from the virgin islands, came back to houston did some research on your country, and sorry to say i think that the prime minister is trying, no one is perfect thinks he means, god you all hate him, it comes over like a lot of negative people there. Actually, i sympathize with him, very eloquent speaker, and seems like a genuine person based on my research. I also listed to programs coming from there and it seems like everyone blames him for all wrongs even though others do bad things, just an observation from someone who is listening from abroad.


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