11 Nov 2010

Choosing between corruption or incompetence

THE EDITOR:

A couple evenings ago I ran into one of my past lecturers from the University of the West Indies while waiting to cash my goods at a popular supermarket. In catching up I asked how is the university and he responded “how did you leave it?”.

As the discussion journeyed on he expressed his satisfaction that a new government was in power and that we should never return to the old corrupted regime of the past. The question was then asked about the performance to date of the new government and his views on specific matters such as the laptops, extradition, smelter, OPVs, public servants and Clico.

It was impressive to note that his responses were fair in their assessment and somewhat unbiased to any particular party. I then asked the vital question based on similar views on issues arising from both sides, “how would you choose between corruptions of the past regime as opposed to incompetence in the current regime?” To my surprise he answered “I choose incompetence any day.”

Well I stood there in shock because for a moment there I thought I had him cornered and caught off guard to take a position and probably he would have to rethink his initial stands on the performance to date of the present regime. Of course I had to engage his indulgence of an explanation to his confident response.

So I asked, “why would you choose incompetence?” My past lecturer responded with a thought-provoking question “when you first entered university, were you competent or incompetent?” He then said “don’t answer; it was your journey through the university that made you competent”. Those who understand what it takes to undertake anything significant would agree that incompetence is most times the start of the journey.

He then proceeded to state that on the other hand a corrupt mind is extremely difficult to change. That mind may find innovative ways to continue in corrupt practices but the intent is not significantly different. However the timeframe for incompetence is short especially at a national level so if one cannot prove himself within the time he is allotted by stakeholders he will be asked to rescind his appointment.

Therefore it is expected that a healthy discourse would always take place when we put country first. Those that hold to any particular political party as the know all and end all have not put their country first. These fixations on self opinionated unquestioned doctrines make way for such extremist leaders as Jones and Hitler.

That evening I took the opportunity to be schooled in the line at the supermarket on what I may have never learnt in the classroom. By giving support based on a genuine interest in the future direction of the country we take an objective look at our environment and take the opportunity to make more meaningful contributions intended at moving our country forward.

Let high moral and ethical standards along with financial prudence guide our choices in politics.

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Ronald Huggins

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