So much focus has been put on the presidential elections that for a moment we might actually think the winner of these elections is actually going to do something different and beneficial for the country and its people. The elections have provided a great distraction for the authorities responsible for the reconstruction of the country. They have used this moment to do what they do best, which is practically nothing.
Almost a year since the earthquake, and the living conditions of many Haitians have never been worst than it is today. Many of us are falling for the illogical analysis that the elections are necessary to move Haiti forward. This is purely wrong.
The electoral season has created a euphoric atmosphere among many observers of Haitian politics that one would think the real solution of the country is directly tied with these results. Since 1990, Haiti has been practicing the art of holding democratic elections, and yet it seems that the electoral institution is only getting better in the art of trickery. As a result every election, except for 1990, has been contested and deemed to be marred by fraud.
The establishment of democracy in Haiti is not yet possible. The very term democracy is ambivalent to the Haitian population. We have a society that too often is unable to make the distinction between democratic institution and democracy by the people. As democracy is the rule of the majority, in Haiti no one wants to be the minority, and the basic lack of respect for the rule of law makes it impossible for true democracy to flourish.
Elections are supposed to be the clearest sign of a working democracy and can also be served to pinpoint the failure of a society. Logistically speaking, there is no reason why elections should be confusing or not executing properly. In society where elections are always baffled in trickery, one can easily deduct the presence of corruption and lack of a working democracy. In Haiti’s case, elections’ fraud is part of the failure of all public institutions within the country.
Everyone is trying to cut corners, is that what democracy is all about? Few people within the society want to play by the rules or respect of the laws. The electoral debacle has taught us that enforcing the law in Haiti is not always about what is best for the country, but rather what is more suitable for those in power. It’s all about who can benefit the most. We are practically witnesses or participants of a failing state.
Let’s go back for a moment to the idea of an illogical analysis. I maintain that moving Haiti forward almost has nothing to do with who get elected from these fraudulent elections. The Haitian people have been sold on a fake medicine that election can solve their puzzle of misery; hence each time election season comes around, the society finds it almost irresistible to focus on their own power and responsibility to make the country works. Elections happen so often in Haiti that we have little time to look within ourselves, and analyze our role in making our country better.
It is an easy scapegoat to lay all the ills of the country on the public institution that we can easily see, such as the executive, parliament and at time the judicial system. How often do we hear of demonstrations against the church, the financial institutions, the worker’s unions, among other important institutions that should be the voice and eyes of the civil society? Our society is being built on a false premise that each time something does not work, we need to only look at the government, but we forget that the state is composed of more than just the government.
At our own peril, we fall for the trap of believing that those illogical analyses are real. It gave many of us a great alibi for doing nothing or for not doing the most that we are capable of. I still do not understand how we have become so obsessed with such a failing system, and to continually believing that our welfare moving should be tied with such failing institution.
There is no doubt, until the people takes their own responsibilities seriously enough, government will continue to betray them. Our destiny must remain in our control and the only way to be sure of that is for society to play a greater role in the affairs of the state.
Because of the elections, the country has been paralyzed. The period immediately before and after the elections, the government has decreed that all schools should be closed, business should not be opened, and in essence they have successfully turned the country into a ghost nation.
It is those kinds of irresponsibility that have prevented the Haitian society from ameliorating its conditions, and the fact that few institutions even question such a decree makes it clear that indeed illogical analysis is becoming logical in a failing society.
We must deviate from those false perceptions, let each segment of society do its job and be accountable for their results. No longer should we buy into the idea that one rotten part of society is powerful enough to rot everything around it. When we find a piece that does not work, we should have the courage to fix it or remove it. The future of our country is dependent on what the society does as a whole, and it is up to us to carry our own weight.