As I listen to some people talk about candidates for the Governorship of the US Virgin Islands, both those who have declared their candidacy and those who have not but are suspected of having intentions of doing so, there are so many issues that are ignored. What causes me great concern is the fact that most of the arguments advanced for supporting a particular candidate has little to do with the candidate's character or reputation as a citizen of this community. Some people select candidates based on their perceived win-ability, as they would in selecting a race horse, not for their competency or leadership qualities. That to me is risky politics. I believe we should have learnt some lessons from past elections. We usually end up being dissatisfied with our choice for Governor. What happen to basic common sense in selecting and electing our representatives in government?
What do we really know about the candidates? Have they been in public service or active in community affairs or in government prior to their candidacy? What kind of reputation do they have as a father/mother, spouse, son/daughter or public servant? What kind of family life do they have? Are they raising their children to be responsible law abiding citizens? What kind of public image do they have in the community? Do they display behavior that go against the social and moral standard of the community? These are questions that I believe are basic in screening candidates that we would select and then elect, if we think we deserve good representation in government. In our democratic form of government we are to select and elect our own representatives in government. That is the reason it is said that we get the government we elect and probably deserve. We have the power of choosing our own representatives in government and when we fail to exercise that right and responsibility with prudence we have no one to blame but ourselves.
The individuals who have declared their candidacy so far seem to have some questionable qualifications for Governor, unless we have a low standard for qualifications and believe we do not deserve better representation or maybe we believe we cannot find better qualified individuals to represent us. Persons we can identify with, who share our moral values and political goals. When we have selected our candidates it is our responsibility to support those candidates with our resources, including our time and money. Do you encourage others to vote for your selected candidates by presenting your candidate's qualifications and political goals? Does your selected candidate has a good track record as an administrator? Can they command the respect and the following needed to be successful as a Governor? Do they have a good track record of getting things done through others? Do they have people skills, do they get along well with subordinates and others? Do they have the respect and admiration of their own family and associates? Do they have above average intelligence and speaking skills? Are they a team player? Can they lead? We should be asking these and other relevant questions that would satisfy our concerns. Who we get is who we choose, who we elect. Let us take seriously the responsibility of choosing our representatives in government, do not pass the buck, do your duty, select then elect.
J. J. Estemac
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to [email protected].