Home Letters Fully-informed people are essential to a democratic State
President Abraham Lincoln, in his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863, intoned that the sacrifices of the Union’s soldiers were for freedom and democracy, so “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
This is the clearest and most concise description of democracy. To illustrate the essence of its concept, let us look at the upcoming National Budget.
The budget will be prepared and presented by the Minister of Finance, who is a representative of the people. It will be debated by the Members of Parliament, who were elected by the people; and thereafter, the budget is made public and implemented for the people.
The information contained in the budget, the grand plans and intended programmes of the Government, will be carried on all media and social outlets, so that the people will have an informed idea of what the Government is trying to achieve. This is precisely how a democratic state works. No information is too much or too little.
It is because, as informed people, we were able to decipher truth from fiction when the APNU+AFC were speaking through their rear portal about Russians and the dead voting in their attempt to rig the 2020 elections. It goes to show therefore, that if politicians believe that voters cannot be trusted with the truth, democracy is seriously at risk.
For a democracy to function, it is essential that a Government respects the people and takes them seriously, not only those who voted for the Government, but all the people. Furthermore, in order to exercise their democratic rights properly, people should be informed as fully as possible.
So, whether it is onshore or offshore oil and gas projects; fishing or rum shop licences; town or village projects; regional or central government projects; once it is the business of the people and for the people, then all information must be made public.
Let us progress toward more information and enlightenment. Leave the Dark Ages behind.