Experience or Change

The candidates are: the former first lady turned senator touting experience; or the popular, anti-establishment candidate based on change and electrifying the youth movement.  Sounds familiar but these are actually the two candidates in Haiti’s recent presidential election.

Last Saturday, Haitians turned out to vote for more than a president, they were voting for a future.  Still reeling from last year’s earthquake and a continuing cholera epidemic, Haiti is at a tipping point.

With the right leadership and organization, the billions of dollars of international aid that has been pledged could rebuild the country’s infrastructure and go a long way to establishing the economy, thereby surpassing the pre-earthquake way of life for many of its citizens.

On the other hand, the wrong choice could drive the country deeper into financial ruin turning off potential donors and sinking the country deeper into disorder, distrust, and unrest.

Who’s got your vote, experience or change?

One comment

  1. Change and experience. At this point, Haiti is in desperate need of a president who is willing to instill radical change in the Haitian government and it’s political practices. For years, Haitian politics has been riddled with corruption, ranking it as one of the most corrupt countries in the world on the Corruption Perceptions Index. The country lacks sufficient infrastructure, its people suffer from numerous diseases, and it’s education system is extremely lacking. Many of Haiti’s past presidents were experienced politicians, yet they succumbed to corruption and violated human rights among other things. Haiti’s newly elected president, Michel Martelly, a former musician and political newcomer, ran on the promise that he would end Haiti’s corruption and break with the old ways of past rulers.

    However, without the relevant political experience, Mr. Martelly’s talk of change could remain just that: talk. Recently, Haiti’s parliament has refused to accept Mr. Martelly’s nominees for prime minister, and as a result, the new government cannot be sworn in. According to a recent article in The Economist, it seems that his political inexperience is not helping the situation. “He has not shown himself to be a builder of consensus…he doesn’t understand cohabitation…and he is still adjusting to the demands of governing”. Even though Michel Martelly spoke of reform and somewhat ignited the people of Haiti behind his cause, his lack of a political background could hinder him from inhibiting the change he initially promised.


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