Books about Anguilla


Sunday, 30 May 2010


Elections 2010 ended with a resounding win for the Anguilla United Movement (AUM). There has been a clamour of the electorate signalling disappointment at the Anguilla United Front’s (AUF) dismal performance. Few have condemned Anguilla for a future five years with statements on how uninformed voters have led the country into a downward spiral. Some are thrilled, on the other hand, that the present AUM Administration’s foot is nowhere close the acceleration pedal or having a comfortable view of the road ahead, and is incompetent of driving. In fact, the majority are convinced that the chauffeur never had a qualifying driving license.

Others concluded that their existence depends on the pandering and keeping the uninformed voters at bay, an area other political parties on Anguilla have ignored and taken for granted – a method that works every time in the Caribbean. However, the less informed is not the majority and should serve as an aphrodisiac for changing our electoral system - Westminster’s First-past-the-post system – a system responsible for so many hung parliaments on Anguilla... political parties committing political suicide.

Urgently needed political reform will increase the legitimacy of our candidates, increase choice and is more democratic. We need to seriously consider - polling cards; postal, proxy and overseas voting; tactile device voting (for the disabled); and set-dates for elections.

With older conceptions of citizenship becoming increasingly irrelevant with the growing acceptance that individuals have multi-layered identities, It’s time for Anguillian-progressives to engage in serious constitutional politics on behalf of the right to all Anguillians to vote, by all means necessary, in an effort to redeem such an assault on our democracy. It’s clear that a major rethinking is necessary in order to address the growing political impasse between Anguilla’s vertical structure and the horizontal dynamics of diasporic transnations.

The Anguillian Diaspora has grown significantly worldwide, with a maintained level of constant and immediate contact through contemporary communication technologies which have developed that sense of being a global community. Transportation has also become much faster and relatively cheaper, enabling Anguillians to peregrinate frequently. However, government’s legislations and policies regarding citizenship in light of these developments have remained unconstitutional, discriminatory and inhumane, if not apartheid.

National values and social cohesion initiatives are seriously harmed and become baseless in such divide; and very little attention is given to the possible influence of the transnational and cosmopolitan outlooks on the dominant national discourse. In today’s global-village there is that need for policy-makers to seriously focus on developing ways to integrate that extra-national worldview ingredient for developing a stronger nation.

The concept of a homogenised national citizenship has become strained as individuals develop hybrid identities where a cosmopolitan outlook has been fostered by global mobility and Anguillians with diasporic connections through family, friends, business and other economic interest, and who participate in different national public spheres given their dual or multiple citizenships. Should this make them less Anguillian or deplete their constitutional or human rights?

It’s a shame that governments’ selfish political advantages have viewed participatory democracy specifically to jurisdiction, which maybe contravening United Nations accomplishments in the field of human rights: “Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives” (Article 21). This nation's tolerance for disenfranchisement in the twenty-first century is too uncomfortable moreover that its constitution explicitly guarantees citizens the right to vote and to be represented at all levels of government.

It has been said that a country gets the government it deserves; of which we are that image.

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“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” – MLK.