Right Steps & Poui Trees

The Unelected Majority & the Elected Minority

12 Comments

The majority of us will never hold public office or lead the country or head a government ministry. We know the challenges faced by those who do are often great. But that doesn’t mean we must sit down and shut up in the arena of public discourse.

There are those who say that unless you can tell how to solve the problem at hand, you have no right to criticize. That would mean that most of us wouldn’t be able to say anything about the outbreak of infection in health care facilities or fires at open garbage dumps or the emptying of untreated sewage into our waterways. The thing is, we see and feel the effects of these things and as citizens in a democracy we have the right (the duty?) to speak out and ask questions; the right to indicate that we are not happy – are very distressed, actually – with what is happening.

We have a right to ask questions, to expect answers, to be told what happened, what went wrong and what is being done to correct the problem and prevent reoccurrences. We should expect journalists to have more than 5 minutes of answers. We should expect access to information contained in audits done of our health facilities. These are hardly unreasonable expectations.

We are the unelected majority, who have every right to ask questions of the elected minority and our public servants. And every right to expect forthright, accurate, comprehensive and timely answers.

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Author: rightpouitree

Navigating the real and virtual worlds and sometimes writing about what I observe...

12 thoughts on “The Unelected Majority & the Elected Minority

  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging, Susan! I notice your favorite poui tree is featured. Such an invigorating color! This is great. I ask so many questions – how…? and why…? are two common ones – that I get myself tied up in knots, sometimes. Problem is, most of the answers remain obscure…

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  2. I have been considering democracy and what it stands for and how it plays out in real time. At times it seems it is an illusion of participation – we elect representatives to represent us, but the reality is, they represent themselves or some other persuasive force. Democracy needs checks and balances (among other things through transparency), or it does´t work.

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    • So true, Jeremy, that our elected representatives seem to represent their own interest or those of “some other persuasive force”, as you say. Transparency really is one of the things that can make a difference, which is why there is so much resistance to it on the part of those holding power.

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  3. Reblogged this on Petchary's Blog and commented:
    Human rights activist Susan Goffe has now “joined the ranks of the bloggers” as she put it. This is very exciting! I know we will all benefit from her comments and thoughts on human rights and justice, democracy and the state of Jamaica today. I have truly admired Susan’s work over the years, and I’m proud to share her first blog post – punchy and to the point. And no, Susan, I am one of those who will not sit down and shut up!

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  4. I agree! And congrats on the blog.

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  5. Congrats Susan! Great to have your brilliant voice in the blogosphere!

    Yes, democracy is way much more than voting once every few years. We the people have fallen down in holding our elected “leaders” accountable EVERY DAY. Too many instances of crawling into our caves and “holding our corners”, rather than speaking out; too many official functions and cocktail parties where we hobnob with “honourable” politicians as if they are doing a great job, sipping wine whilst seething but saying nothing. I know … been there done that. And not proud of it.

    Continue blogging and inspiring.

    Blessings

    Marguerite

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  6. Nice to see your more developed voice, Susan.

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