History and governance emphasized

Dear Editor: It has been said that history is the clock that tells our political time of day. History is also the compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography.

History is our guide, because without the knowledge of history, we are lost. History has taken us back to the general election of 1972 and introduced us to the youngest member elected to parliament at that time.

As a member of the Progressive Liberal Party, this young and brilliant chartered accountant was elected to represent the Constituency of Grants Town.

Unfortunately, because of a position he may have taken; he was denied nomination for re-election in 1977. But as a private citizen, he went on to become one of the most successful businessmen of our time.

Now 41 years later, history has made another turn as the youngest member ever elected to parliament, is the member for the constituency of Grants Town. What irony of history could have arranged to have two individuals elected to parliament for the same constituency 45 years apart; with the latter potentially facing similar fate?

This is truly one of the great contemporary myths of our time.

As a young member who no doubt wants the best for his depressed constituency, and with all the hypes about the government position on taxes, this member may have allowed himself to be carried away. It is heartwarming to see our young people, especially the males, who sometime seem to be an endangered species, excel to lofty positions in their lives.

Leadership comes with responsibility, so one must prepare to play and abide by the rules. In our Westminister System of governance, cabinet ministers and any other positions at the table, must operate in unison or as a team.

However, those at the table with independent views must prepare to resign their position or face their leader’s wrath. There are no shades of grey.

It is inconceivable as to why those who are most depending on government’s assistance are the ones against increase in taxes, when they are the chief beneficiaries.

According to the prime minister he wants to embark on an ambitious venture to revitalize the inner city. So, should he look for funding through cook-outs? Or, taxes? Government does not function on cook-outs. All revenues derive through taxes.

Nobody wants to pay exorbitant taxes but in order for the government to function everyone must sacrifice for the cause, because the people are the government.

In a civilized and democratic society, governments are mandated to manage the affairs of its citizens, and, are empowered to borrow monies on their behalf.

Therefore, it is the people’s responsibility to pay back those loans, and the only way to do so is through taxes. In essence, the people are the government.

We looked to government to provide security, and rightfully so! But these services are not free! For every service there is a cost.

When we elect a government, we entrust them with our security, education, health care, and every other service. If these entities are not funded by us, then who? If everyone regards their government as their own household with such awesome responsibilities, they would understand. The taxes we pay are to service the debt. We are the government. Those we elect are there to manage our affairs. There are no red, gold, or green.

However, those elected to govern, at the end of their term, if the bills remain unpaid, and there is nothing to show how the monies were spent, with our votes let us show them the door.

~ Prince G Smith

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