I would ask all those persons that are offering themselves to represent the electorate in our government some basic questions. Do you believe in a democratic form of government where the people is the ultimate authority? Are you familiar with the USA constitution and the VI Code? What are your qualifications to represent the people of the Virgin Islands? Are you an active member of a political party or organization? If you are an independent candidate are you independent of the people you seek to represent? What motivated you to apply for an elected position in our government? Are you a good citizen, do you honestly pay your taxes? Are you a responsible parent and/or spouse? Have you been active in community forums and public hearings? What personal gains you expect to acquire from the elected office you are seeking? What is the longest time you have worked in any occupation? What preparation have you made to prepare for the position you are seeking?
Based on the reply to those basic questions I would decide if the candidates meet my standard of representation and I could endorse and/or support those candidates. I have been having difficulty accepting those candidates that uses party symbol to identify themselves but owes no allegiance to the party or what the party stands for, they are not involved in the affairs of the party. To me, that reflects a serious character flaw, dishonesty. They attempt to mislead the electorate. The 27th. Legislature is a prime example of that anomaly, there are ten listed elected democrats as, in the legislature's own directory, but they failed to organize and control the Senate. Why is that, many may ask? There are three listed ICM senators yet an ICM senator is the President of the Senate (??) There are two listed Independent senators, one is listed as Majority Leader the other is listed as Liaison to the White House (??).
I am sure that people who pay attention to the politics of our government, those who are serious and responsible citizens, have expressed their bewilderment of the way the legislature is organized. It is the situation as described above that has weaken the political parties in the territory. The Republican Party, VI is the second largest party after the Democratic Party, VI but there is no Republican senator. The No-party category is larger than the ICM and Republican parties total. That reflects the state of the party system in the US Virgin Islands. The causes are many, the most notorious is the lack of discipline and loyalty. Followed by the lack of respect for self and leadership. Lack of idealism and vision and ultimately the lack of strong leadership. The politicians in office are notorious for their lack of genuine humility and vision. Personal integrity apparently is not a quality that has priority, for many.
In this our democratic form of government we the people elect our representatives, therefore, we have no one to blame but ourselves for the quality of representation we receive. We can change that by being more selective in electing our representatives. We can ask relevant questions of the candidates such as the ones I asked herein and prayfully vote for the ones that answer your questions satisfactory. May Allah-God Almighty grant us wisdom and courage to take the best actions.
J. J. Estemac
St. Thomas, V.I.
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