Sunday, 27 December 2009

"No hay otro"

As elections approach, the oft repeated remark of electors is who can we vote for other than the GSD y Caruana "no hay otro ". Were this remark to be true, it would be an abject and absolute testament to the failure of democracy in Gibraltar. If indeed there is no one else that one can vote for then an election becomes otiose.

Simply because there are elections, there is choice. In an essentially two party system, the choices are more limited, but there exist two alternatives in Gibraltar today. A change in electoral law (promised by all including the GSD but never implemented by any) would result in more representative and wider consensus government; a debate better left for another day.

The decision to vote of each elector, if he is not happy with those who govern at present, is to vote for an alternative to the incumbent government. Change of government is invariably a catalyst for advancement and new ideas. Change can be feared but that fear is attenuated by very existence in our democracy of another election every four years that provides further opportunities to make changes, as necessary.

Even were Gibraltar to go back to the very same government that it voted out previously, those same persons will have learnt that they cannot run roughshod over the electorate without repercussion: a salutary cleansing event that results in improved and better government. Change of governments is a constant theme and occurrence in well developed democracies.

Think about what you want to achieve with your vote. If it is improved democracy that you want, then "no hay otro" is a mantra that is diametrically opposed to that objective. Make a change and see what that brings to Gibraltar. You may be surprised at the outcome. It may not be good in the short term but certainly it will bring improvement in a not very distant future, when you return to the polls.

It may even throw up better alternatives as has happened in the past, remember how the change from GSLP to GSD promised and for a while gave Gibraltar better times? Are they not disappearing fast now due to the ego of just one man? Gibraltar is bigger than one individual. It has more people that can offer good government than just one individual, who thinks he has grown bigger than Gibraltar. perhaps that individual will come back to earth and carry on his good works after a short sharp lesson!

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