Reconstructing a Meritocracy


With every passing day, the disenchanted voting population sits on its hands and shakes its head in obvious disapproval. It’s difficult for anyone to understand much less approve of the madness that seems to be happening across the Caribbean in political circles. What once started on a platform of meritocracy now is left teetering on the brink of a well established kleptocracy. The most depressing fact being that many cannot see a way back.

The word, democracy, comes from two Greek words: demos, which means “the people”, and kratein, which means “to rule”. This “rule by the people” was first practised in Greece in the sixth century BC and has been evolving as a system of government ever since. We are regaled with stories of our heroes who sacrificed life and limb to ensure that we all had the ability to exercise a right to vote. A right to claim who we would be led by. Unfortunately the democratic process seems to have been corrupted into ensuring that the easily led will always choose the leader who seems devoid of a true commitment to ensure that the needs of the many are truly served. How do we move back to a system of mutual accountability that builds a path to progress?

Prove your worth to lead before you can lead

It is quite amazing that you have a multitude of prerequisites for the lowly bank teller and apparently none for the Ministers and Senators. Many who have not demonstrated even the spirit of service have been elected to provide service when their very nature means they are ill equipped to do so. C.G. Jung once said:

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”

It’s time that more than money determines your aptitude for office. Its time we demand that elected officials can demonstrate a successful history of service prior to being appointed to any government position. In a culture fraught with corruption, we need to put in place checks and balances against nepotism and cronyism.

Ensure a limit on the time spent leading

There are a plethora of candidates available but we are stuck with a stagnant slate. Why is this so? How can we ensure that we have some semblance of evolution in the individuals appointed? Much can be said of the tried and true candidate but in many instances this is the exception rather than the rule. The party stalwart is less likely to challenge the status quo so a moratorium is required.

Separation of powers

The foundation of democracy is built around a separation of powers, yet still we are finding creative ways of accruing power in areas that should not have it. Do we not see a fundamental issue with a representative elected by the people distributing scarce benefits to those self same people? What happens when the electoral process comes around again. Will he be evaluated on his ability to speak on behalf of his people or on what he is able to deliver to his people?

Exercise the spirit of inclusion

In this day of Information and Communication Technology, it is simply amazing that the process of governance is even less transparent or inclusive. At most your are notified, not consulted even though, thanks to social media, consultation should be easier. We use the need for pomp and pageantry as an excuse not to engage and represent. Where are the politically driven feedback mechanism embedded in the everyday technology? How is it that the voice of the people have gotten weaker not stronger?

At the end of the day. One has to ask the question,  how do we reconstruct the meritocracy we once had? A system that ensured us those who led were fit to lead and not just a select few leading us down a dismal path that only shows promise for a few. Its time to critically analyse whether we want to continue with the current consistent habit of failure.

What are your thoughts on the matter? We’d love to hear what you have to say on the topic.


A lot on the crazy side a little on the sane. Always willing to step up on the soap box and seemingly unwilling to get off. Yet still, I beg of you, don't judge me too harshly.