Friday, April 25, 2008

The Dilemma of Small Island Politics

The economies of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), like the Commonwealth of Dominica, inherited a political system from their colonial master, United Kingdom, known as the Westminster model. This model is anchored in a two-party system of popular representation which forms the basis of a House of Parliament involving the ruling government and an official opposition.

This two-party system of governing the islands has been a bone of contention from the word go. It is generally accepted that while it may be workable, even appropriate, for Britain, it has failed to provide the structures necessary for the socio-economic development of these islands, particularly the smaller states.

Since its adoption, it is generally agreed that the Westminster model of government and the two-party system on which it is based are mainly responsible for the following:
  1. Bitter division among relatively small populations characterised by personal animosities
  2. Lack of trained and competent representatives to manage the affairs of state
  3. A preoccupation with power and the ruthless desire to retain it
  4. The use of political position to serve the interest of incumbents and their families
  5. Blatant nepotism and financial and economic gain to party members and supporters.

These and other considerations have prompted debate on the appropriateness and applicability of the Westminster model for the Caribbean islands, particularly the small states. In the following discussions I will use the island economy of the Commonwealth of Dominica as reference.


© Raglan E. Riviere, B.Sc.(Soc), M.H.A.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good Independent Thinking, you Should run for Local Office!

Under The Double Eagle
A Nation Divided DEM v REP
A Nation United The Democratic Republican Party