By Dickson Igwe, Contributor
The economy is front, centre and rear, of any disaster recovery effort post-hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Then the new government, after a 2019 General Election, must adopt a specific, and measured economic vision, spanning 10 to 30 years.
Effective strategic planning must drive this vision; add transparent, accountable, audited, compassionate, and equitable governance.
Politics in BVI has become volatile
Post-hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Virgin Islands political landscape is volatile and unpredictable. Irma devastated the visible and tangible, physical infrastructure.
The tragedies of September 2017 also smashed the invisible and intangible. Irma brought havoc to the economic, social, and political landscape. Irma turned the Virgin Islands upside down.
And with General Elections potentially months away, it is important voters and residents understand why a post-Irma General Election is the most important General Election in a generation.
The matter of disaster recovery will take up all of the time of a new government, post the next General Election. Voters and residents want to know which political party will best rebuild a devastated Virgin Islands.
Voters want a long-term strategic plan for these islands. Voters want visionary, transparent, and accountable governance. Voters want a better quality of life, and improved standard of living, that Irma ripped away from too many.
More people dying
And, the Virgin Islands lost both precious infrastructure, and even more, precious lives, as a result of the September 2017 disaster tragedies. The mortality rate post-Irma has risen dramatically.
A whole generation of Virgin Islanders and citizens is departing the islands to the great Beyond.
A number of these deaths must be stress related. It is very difficult for a man or woman in their retirement years, and in a matter of hours, lose everything they have worked for, over their whole span of life.
The proceeding is the first article in a series that will walk the voter and citizen into the next General Election which must be held before the end of 2019.
VIP has a fighting chance
Pre-September 2018, the National Democratic Party (NDP) had a lock on the districts. The governing party appeared to be coasting to a third term.
Post-Irma, that lock may have been smashed by a sledgehammer. The hurts and fears after the disaster, changed the political dynamic to one of volatility and unpredictability.
There was a backlash against the incumbents after the hurricane wreaked its havoc. This was not unexpected.
When people are hurting, a scapegoat is needed to feed their anger, disillusionment, and disappointment. The incumbent is easily blamed, as he and she has nowhere to hide.
However, a day is a long time in politics, and anything over four weeks is an eternity. In the political world, fortunes of politicians, and their parties, turn at the toss of a coin.
Recent mumblings, including the results of a recent and controversial survey, appear to have put some much-needed winds back into the sails of the NDP. However, that poll had encouraging news for the Virgin Islands Party too. The next general election remains winnable by both parties.
Then, there was the debate on the Disaster Recovery Agency.
Talk to any voter on the street, and it would appear that most voters are in support of UK oversight of disaster recovery.
Any politician against the idea of UK oversight is very brave indeed.
Add to the preceding, further mumblings of whether or not the Virgin Islands should go independent, or at the very least demand much greater autonomy.
A number of politicians are very vocal on the unacceptability of UK control of the territory.
However, once again, the man on the street appears to be quite happy with UK oversight of these Virgin Islands.
This writer believes that if a referendum were held on the matter of independence today, more than 90 percent of citizens will vote to remain citizens of an Overseas Territory of Great Britain.
Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.