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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Said it before

If you took a poll for and against an oil refinery locally in Dominica it would be an overwhelming yes vote - for. The same masses wanted the Billion dollar lottery here as well, even when it was shown to be an IBC scam which amazingly was being allowed to offer the scam to people living in the jurisdiction of the IBC. (Thats one topic that people dont get...why would your govt allow a scam to hit your local populace). Personally I dont have a problem with scams run by governments. The local coffers get filled and when the scams collapse usually so do the governments involved. Voila...a double win. And as for the innocent person in idaho who loses his money ? Well...greed aint good.

The alternative voices are usually a middle class with a vested interest (ie the environmentalists, the hoteliers, etc) or opposition political voices. Therefore you have classic polarisation. And the issue at large really suffers.

I love the quote by Mo udall (the guy who lost to Jimmy Carter in the US elections). He said in his concession speech, " The people have spoken, the bastards".

This assumption that Dominicans know whats best for them is a false one. Its also false that we have to do the right thing. A generation of people like this cannot learn by being denied what they consider golden opportunities. it just increases the chance of one major fuckup one day.

The other point we have to remember, unlike the dissenting voices who are looking to contribute large amounts of air to the argument, and to the economy, Chavez is putting hard cash into the local population and promising to pay for his refinery. In Dominica more than most places, money talks.

So if you want to preserve your country people, get that billion dollar investment and that Marriott and that new offshore university. come with dollars or watch the ride.


TropicallyTied said...

CM I agree that unfortunately the people doing most of the shouting against the refinery are seen as the privileged few yet again trying to stop the less privileged masses benefitting from "development and progress" in the country. It's the same with the arguments to try and protect the environment by introducing land development zoning and with the arguments why we shouldn't give up the right to access all our beaches. It's very clever how the spin is put on all these debates so it looks like it's the privileged few trying to stop the disadvantaged many from getting on or those that shout are unpatriotic and trying to stop progress. Dominican is constantly pitched against Dominican. But How do we determine there would be an "overwhelming yes vote - for."? From what I hear most Dominicans are quiet quiet in public. It's only the same few people who voice their opinions on the talk shows etc. I hear plenty ordinary Dominicans talking intelligently about the issues and say they are against it but they only talk in private. Only a few are prepared to raise their heads and shout. I think we are still in the "So it is" phase that you mentioned in one of your previous posts and people feel powerless to do anything. I hear so many people are scared to voice an opinion because they run the risk of loosing their jobs etc. So do we know that the masses actually want the refinery or do we just know that the masses won't do anything to stop the refinery?

Steve said...

it's like the international airport idea - everyone wants one, but that doesn't mean it's viable!

Kenny said...

To both of you, you are technically right. Except you forget one very important detail.

This government has not built one hotel, developed one macro industry in almost 10 years of governance. Jobs are at a premium and people have gotten realistically poorer at every level.

This creates a pressure to do things. And right now, an International Airport and an Oil refinery and anything which indicates 'doing' is good. The masses themseolves have no real choice in this equation. Andrew Armour and Judith Pestaina and QAthie, and Wiltshire and betty Fingall et al all have their jobs and their comfortable lives.

The woman in Grandbay or Good Hope who is unemployed and her children are unemployed, simply wants a job and if an oil refinery brings that you really believe that woman cares about long term impact assessment ?

The pressure isnt being driven in the main by people being quiet actually. its being driven by people who are in the PM's ass every Thursday at his surgery, asking for more and more handouts, from Labour supporters who are asking for something, anything to feed them and justify their vote.

We dont hear them, but this government does. And they have tough decisions to make based on their promises and their agenda, which is driven by populism politics and not as you think, by simply doing the right thing.