Leadership does not guarantee success, but good leadership can inspire people to do the unthinkable. At a crossroad between development and total failure, Haiti is reeling to find a way towards progress. The country is set to hold one of the most important elections in its history, but so far the aspirants have not been able to convince anyone that better days are ahead. Besides the aesthetics revolution that Haiti needs, we need leadership that can inspire. These elections should present us with this possibility, but with each passing days, the dream to hope of a better Haiti seems more like a never-ending nightmare.
Towards the path to progress, we must ask ourselves what these elections will mean for the future of our children, and exactly how the winners plan to govern the country. It is no secret that a lack of good governance has been the plague destroying the crust of Haitian society; at this point we need a clear and precise strategy for governing the country.
What is the model that the Haitian political class wants to instill? For so long, there have been talks about bringing Haiti on the road of the development, but few have taken the time to draft a plan of what that path would look like. We need to know if we are going to be a country of imports, as we currently are or if we plan to produce most of the raw materials that we consume. We need to know if we want to build physical infrastructure before we can truly invest in human capital.
A clear layout is important because it would help set the priority for those in positions of power to implement, and also set the expectations of the people, so they know where the country is going. We cannot continue to shoot in the darkness, and hope that by chance, we might hit the target. We have to know the game plan before the game starts and sticks to it.
Our schools are still teaching our students that the country is an agricultural one, and yet our import of agricultural products far exceed our exports, then how do we continue to tell ourselves that we are an agricultural country. We seem to be very content to play with the words without realizing their true meanings.
A complete lack of policies, failures to set reachable goals, an avoidance to lay out clear objectives have been at the core of the mismanagement of the country. More than ever, we need leadership that can address these deficiencies, and set the country on the rail of progress that it has so longed for. How do we accomplish these task is no easy endeavor, but it is very much doable. It starts with sound leadership that believes in empowering every single individual.
Haiti must break completely from the past. Nothing that we have tried in the past sixty to a hundred has proven to be beneficial. From dictatorship, to military rules and for the last twenty years with civilian or a so-called democratic rule, we have no precedence of success that we can duplicate to build our country anew. There is no doubt we have plenty to learn from our mistakes, but the inadequate situations that the people are forced to accept as normal are obvious signs that a new game plan is needed.
As it is currently in vogue to talk about the reconstruction of Haiti, maybe it’s time that those who are vying to occupy the highest public office in Haiti tell the rest of us how they plan to govern. Among the many presidential candidates few have any plan on how they will become a successful head of state for a country deeply marred in poverty.
The head of the executive without any doubt can enjoy great powers, but without a good working relationship with members of the parliament, there is no doubt that implementing any good plan won’t be as easy as those candidates might portray. Over the last few years, we have seen how crucial and powerful the parliament can be. They were able to censure two prime ministers in a span of less than two years, which literally means each time the government had to start over. For these current elections many of the presidential candidates are running a solo show, where their parties are weakly represented for the parliamentary elections, which by all means cannot be good news as far as governing is concerned.
Haiti is running the risk of becoming more fragmented at the end of the elections season than it already is. Not only that the legitimacy of any winner will be questioned by the population and many foreign countries, but the risk of a president with weak representation at the parliament is a recipe for disaster. Again, we are observing a lack of leadership from many of the presidential candidates for they have not spent enough time to think of a strategy of how they will govern, if elected.
Many of those candidates might be talking the talk of change, but few of them are offering anything that looks like change. Most of them simply want to become president, so that they can continue the policy of the status quo and infiltrate the system with their close friends by giving them jobs that they are not qualified to do. We are so far away from effective governance that I cringe each time I hear the word elections or a candidate claims to be the one who is going to make change happen. I am optimistic by nature, but lately I am having a hard time convincing myself that real change is near. Until I see a leader who is ready to inspire and empower the people, I would remain skeptical of progressive change taking place in Haiti.
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