There is general agreement among many Saint Lucians that the operations of government, at all levels, must be improved. Steadily, we have seen an erosion of trust of the citizens in the institutions of government. Every administration has been plagued with allegations of wastage of public funds, inefficiency of operations, nepotism, and corruption. This has resulted in a dizzying cycle of administrations being voted into and out of office. Since 2001, there has been a change of administration at every general election. This is clearly a manifestation of the unhappiness of the electorate with the status quo and an unfulfilled search for something different and better.
At the core of the disquiet of the citizens with the status quo is the manner in which government operates. The public do not feel that their opinion matters at any time other than during an election campaign. There is a general lack of consultation with the public, either at the individual or the community/organization level, on the important issues. Regardless the administration, it is a very small group of people that makes the important decisions, and everyone else is forced to abide by these decisions, regardless the consequences on their lives or livelihoods.
Good governance and the elimination of wastage and corruption in government appear to be fleeting illusions, forever to be spoken about, but never pursued, far less attained.
Despite a wide-ranging, comprehensive national exercise to modernize our constitution, neither of the two established political parties appears to have the interest nor the willpower to implement the recommendations of the report of the constitution reform commission.
For our society to thrive, everyone must feel empowered to play their role in its advancement. Every citizen must have a vested interest in the success of the national development program. Responsibilities must be balanced by rights. The operations of government must be transformed to make them efficient, transparent, cost-effective, and honest.
Therefore, transforming government and the way it operates is an important priority for our movement.