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Tuesday, September 26, 2023
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Evaluating Available Candidates

Dear Source:
In our democratic system of government, the people get the government they choose, through the representatives they elect. It is normally expected that the electorate would have some knowledge of the candidates, such as their social status, their reputation and record of accomplishment, their community involvement and/ or service to the community. Another factor that needs to be known is the person's criminal record, if any. In a democracy the people get the government they deserve, the government they elect. Under normal circumstances people select then elect persons with whom they share some common values, political philosophy and governmental priorities; that would be using common sense.
If the electorate fails to objectively evaluate the candidates and ascertain that the candidates meet their acceptable standard, they have no one to blame but themselves when the candidates prove not to be up to their standard. There is a local saying: "Every stinking cheese ga he bread". I understand it to say there is a match for everyone, we pick the persons with whom we identify. You choose consciously or unconsciously the persons you identify with, unless there is some other factors affecting your choice. For that reason it is recommended that we through small groups, begin to identify individuals that meet not only our criteria but the criteria of the group of which we are a part, whether it be your relatives, friends, neighbors or some other associations of which you are member.
Politics is a game of numbers. The larger the number the more influence can be exercised to achieve political goals. That is why it is critical that we develop consensus on issues and then on candidates. We, as the electorate should establish a list of priorities that we would present to our candidates for them to promote for us. We should establish a priority list for the executive and the legislative branches of government that we want addressed, then we support those candidates that agree to promote our list of priorities. The candidates that betray our trust should be exposed and defeated at the polls. Another feature in the selection process is to find out what are the candidate's priorities and compare them to see if they are compatible or complimentary to our own.
We should develop our own position on issues critical to our territory. Issues such as: political status or a defined relationship with the USA. Which should come first, a definition of our status or a constitution that would require USA congress approval? The political reforms that we advocate. The reforms we want for our personnel system. Definite measures to save and safeguard the GERS. The institution of a comprehensive land and water use code. Most politicians shy away from certain issues, maybe because they have no conviction on any of those issues or they lack the courage to express their position on those issues. Realizing it take more than money to resolve most of our problems, it takes vision, integrity and courage to meet most if not all the challenges facing us as a community.
It is my view that we need a legislature that represents the different sectors of our community. We need persons who are successful businesspersons, successful professionals, and persons of different ethnic and religious background. We should have a legislature representing the various strata of our society. I think that would bring the balance that is needed in our public discourse and in our political growth. We, the electorate have the power to make the necessary changes for improvement of our government, let us exercise it correctly, deliberately. Let us join forces, develop consensus, promote our selected candidates, and work for their election. Choose people you can be proud of, people who share your values and political philosophy and agenda. Keep in touch with your representatives; let them know you are keep tabs on them. Let them know when you approve of their actions and when you disapprove of their actions. Boost them up when they are discouraged; pray for them, they are your representatives. It is our government let us work together for progress.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas

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