What a year it has been for Haiti, 2010, that is. Early on, she was hit by Mother Nature in what is seen as the biggest tragedy in the Americas in recent memory, losing over 250,000 people in the earthquake of January 12th; a merely 9 months later, an epidemic of cholera intertwined with tropical storm Tomas, killing more than 1000 combined. Now, Haiti is poised to embark in yet another tragedy, but one that is avoidable.
In less than two weeks, Haiti will hold presidential and parliamentary elections; elections that Social Scientists, Political Experts and political pundits of all sectors concurred to be the most important elections in years to be held in Haiti. It is our hope that these elections will go forward peacefully and Haitians, including the international community, should have an open minded attitude that these elections will not be perfect and there is no reason we should expect them to be so; however, whatever the outcome of these elections, Haiti deserves a break from going through one nightmare to another. We should avoid any political stalemate and try to accept the outcome of these elections however difficult it might be; but allowing a political stalemate would simply imply dismissing the sufferings of the Haitians.
This is not implying or advocating for electoral fraud. This would not be the remotest possibility of the truth. This is about looking at the bigger picture and thinking out of the box. With so much going on in Haiti, so much to do to better the lives of the Haitians, we have a duty as citizens and friends of Haiti to stand together after these elections. A political stalemate would be a disservice to Haiti and it would undoubtedly shift focus off Haiti.
Imagine a scenario where the world gets tired of Haiti’s nonsense political controversies and shifts it focus to other needy people. With the world community out of Haiti, the country will be left alone to die. There is no reason to believe otherwise, for in these times of turbulence, we have seen the eagerness of the world to help; we have had financial pledges from most governments of the world except our own. We have no reason to believe that these individuals back home really understand the magnitude of Haiti’s problems, nor should we remotely think that in the absence of the world community, these guys would not have resigned from their official duties and that includes the office of the presidency.
The world rallied and continues to rally behind supporting Haiti; let’s give them a reason to stick around or to put up with our usual nonsense. Already, we have the so-called leaders waiting to sabotage and contest these elections. The Haitian people need to stand united against this irrelevant clan of the population, for it must be clear by now that these elections are the beginning of a new Haiti. November 28th is decision day; it is to either choosing between going forward or backward and the decision is only ours to make.
Haiti seems to always fail to seize its moment. This is Haiti’s time to rethink its future; a future which I might remind you that is heavily relies on these scheduled elections. So let’s not continue to further shame ourselves in these times of needs. For too long, we have blamed others for our misery, though history would not be too harsh on this claim, we have to bare some responsibilities for our failures to better the lives of the Haitians. At times, people doubt our love for this country. It is not a matter of loving Haiti. I believe that Haitians love Haiti enough but could it be that we love it so much that we don’t know how to care for it?
One important thing we can do in helping to resuscitate Haiti is to encourage a massive get out the vote, and that way, we would avoid a possible run off and set Haiti off to the era of prosperity. Otherwise, to borrow a phrase from one of my prior articles, a win for candidate X could very well be a loss for Haiti; and the question becomes, can Haiti afford another loss in any shape or form?
In the event that we see beyond our misgivings of each others and avoid a political stalemate after the elections, Haiti will be applauded and the world would be more enthuse to help and invest in Haiti. We have nothing to gain and everything to lose in elections contesting. So let’s show the world that once again we are the true sons and daughters of Dessalines and united we will prevail.
Edris Erisnor is a Political Analyst