Our Readers' Opinions
December 3, 2004
Civilization or partisanisation?

Editor: The party political conflict that abounds drains the intelligence and creative stamina of the nation and plunges us into a quagmire of jealousy and hatred. This is anti-creative and destroys the very essence of what constitutes the development of a Caribbean civilization. {{more}}

The partisan perspective that shows strong, biased support for a political cause and a tendency not to listen to other people’s opinions has a stranglehold on our country. In the absence of other role models, the politicians, and partisan media personalities define our thinking. The partisan perspective represents only one biased interpretation of any issue.

It is naïve to expect politicians and their affiliates NOT to be biased – each party has an agenda to govern by grasping power and remaining in power. But when this perspective dictates the thinking of the general populace it creates the divisiveness that infiltrates our daily lives.

Many peoples’ decision to side with one party or another is based on limited and biased information and a dependent mentality that allows others with set agendas to think for them.

While colonial powers suppressed through biased information in educational and other institutions,the present education system still does not encourage children to analyse or question, to think independently. They depend on an authority figure to think for them and are primed to become partisan, eventually substituting the teacher with a politician as the authority figure.

By allowing political partisanship to wholly direct our thinking and interactions, influence our choice of friends and associates, we eventually become fearful and guarded.

We give those in power and their opposition control of our lives. We give up our freedom to think and create. At this point, freedom embodied in democracy is seriously undermined.

A balanced non-partisan perspective involves questioning, listening to a range of viewpoints, finding out more information and forming an independent opinion.

With few alternative perspectives presented through the media, enforced mental dependency in the educational system and biased role models ensure they are seriously constrained in their thinking and rally behind someone else to do their thinking for them.

Most politicians are happy to play that role; it serves their agenda well, and once in power few possess the political courage to attempt to end the vicious circle of dependent thinking fostered since emancipation.

But we still live in a democracy where as individuals we are free to choose an alternative – to inform ourselves, to validate information, to look at the truth, to use our own experience to come to our own common sense conclusions.

We are free to choose balance instead of bias. We can express dissatisfaction with and resistance to indoctrination. We can take more control of certain aspects of our lives.

Vonnie Roudette