Thursday, February 09, 2006

Haitian Elections

I spent February 7 knitting and playing x-Box. I did make it to the pool to sip a fruit punch, too. Admittedly, these probably aren't normal Election Day activities. Other people were voting to change the direction of their country. Since I wasn't eligible to vote anyway, I don't feel guilty.

Despite the gross unorganization of the elections, here are a few positives that I heard from first hand observers or saw for myself:

1. A few policemen put on their uniforms and patrolled the streets and election areas even though they weren't required to work. They were able to bring order to more than one line of waiting voters and helped ease tensions amongst the impatient.
2. The director of a school acted as a responsible citizen by posting signs for voting booths to smooth organizational problems and by using his own diesel to run a generator so that there would be light for voters and election workers.
3. As has already been widely reported, there was a massive turnout from all social classes. Some of my friends were amazed that so many upper class people took the time to stand in line with everyone else to have their vote counted.

All of these examples remind me that it is the action of individuals that can make a positive difference. We each have choices to make everyday on which actions we will take.

Now for the cynical part....
"Pa enkiet' ou. Yo pral tou'l kand menm." There are people who want Preval and others who don't. Yesterday I overheard the previous quote from someone who was telling her mother not to worry. "If Preval is president, they'll probably kill him anyway." Unfortunately, with Haiti's history this is more likely than not. Let's hope and pray that the democratic system will be allowed to work. This country needs a bit of stability for a while so that processes of development can actually work. Without a central authority and local officials to appeal to and to work with communities, development work is stuck in the mud spinning its wheels. And for Haiti, those wheels have been spinning for quite a while.

2 comments:

MissDe said...

Hey Miss Charite! Congrats on the blog. I think you almost complete my list of people I wanted to blog.

I just read a good article in the Christian Science Monitor about the elections. I'm glad you kept the Kinam pool looking happy. Can't wait to come down and see it all again in June!

MissDe said...

Hey Miss Charite! It's great to see that you have a blog! I'm glad you decided to grace the Kinam with your presence, I'm sure they could use it at a time like this. I read a good article about the elections in the Christian Science Monitor.

Can't wait to see you in June. Keep up the blogging! :)