Dominica Labor Administration Motto: Waste and Frivolity to win Elections

Someone should tell the Dominica Labor Party Administration to stop abusing the country's resources for political gains. Political Parties in power will always have the advantage over opposing parties as they control the public purse. But, there is no justification for blatant abuse of the public purse for political advancement. In more
ordered, structured societies, this behavior has lead to leaders facing serious legal and political consequences. In this regard, we should consider what has happened in countries like South Korea and the USA where, parties or ministers who have abused public funds for personal advancement have faced serious consequences.
Can you believe that, at the last sitting of Parliament, the Minister of Finance disclosed
that his Administration had spent more than $150 million dollars over the budget?  This callous disregard for protocol and order is totally unacceptable. Is it because this money is from the CBI that the Finance Minister and his Administration be so reckless about such expenditure?  Or, is it because they have absolutely no respect for Dominicans who they consider to be so 'Dum and Docile' that the Administration is certain it will get away with this aberrant and devious behavior. How can they justify such thoughtless behavior? Such large expenditure and deviation from Fiscal 2016-2017 Budget should have been authorized through Parliament. Does Mr. Skerrit and his Labor Party Mis-Administration understand the concept of Long Term Financial Planning?  Do they have a strategic plan on how to spend the country's monies? How many times do they need to be reminded that the Commonwealth of Dominica is not akin to Labor Party's house or kitchen. The resources of this country belongs to all Dominicans and should be managed prudently to benefit everyone irrespective of political affiliation.  

However, people should not be surprised about unusual expenditures at this particular time. It is getting close to the General Elections and it seems that the Labor Party Administration has a habit of flagrantly spending massive sums on unplanned projects whenever elections are drawing near and during election campaigns. Their aberrant, deviant posture has been repeated several times over the past 17 years without consequence(s).  So, why stop now?  If you look at the array of money and projects that have been started since the beginning of 2017 you have to ask yourself if the Administration has lost all sensibilities.   The Labor Party Administration seem to hibernate after a General Election; nothing gets done, reflecting a total disrespect for the electorate that got them in power. However, they come alive before the next General Election and embark on massive spending spree primarily to win votes and secure a Parliamentary Majority. They specifically target competitive constituencies, that they are likely to win by escalating treating and, basically ignore the constituencies that they are less likely to win through this illegal maneuver.

Let us look at a couple scenarios. On June 8th 2017, Prime Minister Skerrit promised the Wotten Waven vendors that his administration planned to acquire land to build stalls to appeal to tourists. Now, are those the only vendors needing Government assistance? Is this the only location visited by tourists? What of the capital city, the main port of call for all cruise ships? What about the vendors in the Kalinago territory? Is it that they just don’t care?  In another of those nonchalant allocations of funds.  Mr. Skerrit announced that he (not Cabinet) had made $600,000 available for the people of Good Hope to repair their homes. Is this from his personal bank account? Of course not, but he behaves as such.  Under which program is this being done? Is there a Home Repair Initiative? How will such monies be monitored? What about the other constituencies?  For example, does anyone in the Grandbay constituency need their homes repaired?  These examples are just a taste of the reckless financial machinations undertaken by the Labor Party Administration in the past two months; there are many more.

No one is disputing the need for assistance. But, both the timing and targeted areas are suspicious. It is plain to see that many of these financial transactions of this Labor Administration are geared towards winning elections. Consequently, many of the projects are neither well planned nor properly implemented. There are no oversight or control mechanisms and, consequently, tremendous waste ensues because most of these unplanned expenditures are geared towards gaining electoral advantage. A country cannot be governed solely for the purpose of winning elections and staying in power. 

Can this Administration honestly say that the money they are spending is in the interest of the people. The country’s monies should be spent to benefit the majority of the people.  Just because you are the party in power does not mean that you are entitled to spend money with no regards for the country's needs. A Finance minister is supposed to be a good money manager and display fiscal responsibility.  He/she should not spend money only on a selected few. That is wrong!  The Administration should stop using the country’s money as their own piggy bank.
When the leadership of a small country such as Dominica squanders money it is setting the country on a path to failure. What will happen when the next storm hits? This Labor Party Administration is making it very difficult for donors to feel any sympathy for Dominica after a disaster, especially when the Administration is spending money like drunken sailors. Where is the “Rainy Day Fund"? Who is going to give money to a country whose leaders are so irresponsible? In fact, we saw this with respect to the International Response to TS Erika in 2015. How much funds were raised from International donors and philanthropic organizations to support the island's recovery? How does this compare to the response to Hurricane David in 1979?  When an administration so massively overspends its budget this should be seen as a waste of country’s money and not as developmental thrust. It should not be tolerated. Enough of the recklessness.

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