A message of civic responsibility to Haitians and Haitian-Americans...
There are over 100 presidential candidates running in a country that is the size of the state of Maryland. Haiti has a total land mass of 10,714 square miles. With a population of over 8 million citizens, it is one of the most populated island in the Caribbean and the last thing that the people of Haiti need is an over-populated ballot box.
Remember to choose wisely on November 13, 2005 when you go to the ballot box to choose your next legislators and president. It is crucial that this time around that you do not repeat the mistakes of the past. However, remember to choose wisely.
Here what you should do when deciding on a candidate for president. Ask the following questions:
1. Is he or she a facilitator?
Can that person be the president of all Haitians regardless of his or her ideologies? Haiti needs a president who can help heal the wounds of the past while uniting the nation toward one goal, building the national infrastructure.
2. Is he or she a performer?
Not only does the next president of Haiti need to be a facilitator, that person needs to show to the nation, based on past performance indicators, that he or she can deliver performance. Being charismatic is good. However, what is important for Haiti now is someone at the helm who knows how to lead. Haiti cannot afford a president on job training. It is about time that we elect a successful Haitian with a business background to get the job done by serving the needs of the customers, the Haitian people.
3. Is he or she a leader?
Not only does the next president of Haiti need to be a leader, that person needs to know how to lead, based on past records. That person should be able to prove to the nation, at least one or twice, a project that he or she has lead that was successful. In addition, a leader must be able to serve the people. Too often, the leaders of Haiti have gotten the concept wrong, they have a tendency to squander the national treasury, invest the money in Swiss banks in preparation of their forced exit from power.
4. Is he or she a global partner?
The international community has become a global village through the use of the Internet. No nation can hide behind a curtain and exist as an island. It is a paradox not to believe that Haiti is an island. However, the Haitian people can not afford to continue functioning in isolation any longer. Haiti’s best hope, at this time is to hire an executive with extensive macro-management skills in the area of business creation, opportunity creation, multi-lateral collaboration and international support. Given the history of Haiti, that global partnership can only exist with someone with a proven record.
5. Is he or she a realist?
Can that person look at the reality of Haiti and admit on Haitian national television that Haiti has been left behind in the following areas: economic opportunities, educational opportunities, health care, basic sanitation, adequate housing, environmental issues, social issues and conflict management. We need an elected citizen who can tackle those issues head on. Haiti must end the era of political cartoons or comedy. Let us be real for a change!
6. Is he or she a visionary?
Moreover, Haiti needs a real visionary. I am talking about a visionary like Louis Borno, who, from 1922 to 1930, created opportunities for Haiti through the creation of “Damien,” a school for agriculture and other technical schools by taking positive action to move the country forward. We need a president, like Antoine Simon, who, in spite of his limited educational preparation, surrounded himself in 1908 with competent cabinet members to help bring electricity in Haiti and built the Port-Au-Prince main seaport. We need a visionary with an action plan.
7. Is he or she a success?
Finally, if the next candidate for president can respond to the above questions, he or she needs to have his or her portfolio ready for scrutiny by the people of Haiti and the international community. Remember to choose wisely because we can no longer continue to exist in isolation. Having been the first black nation to become independent from colonial France was a success story. Nevertheless, being able to bring Haiti to the table of economic opportunity, educational opportunity, health care opportunity, basic sanitation opportunity, adequate housing opportunity and conflict management opportunity will be real success.
Recommendation to Haiti for the Next President
Sixty years ago, Haiti had a president named, Dumarsais. My father used to say under him, there was “Anpil roulman,” which means "intense monetary circulation." I believe Haiti is at a crossroad and needs a businessperson who can create that kind of opportunity once again for the people of Haiti. From 1946 to 1950, Dumarsais did the following for Haiti:
a. increased minimum wage
b. voted a law to allow the central bank to loan money to the state to create national projects and employment opportunities
c. the city of Belladere was asphalted while erecting some of its most beautiful buildings
d. a suspension bridge was built between the south and southwest Haiti, and
e. The Port-au-Prince Bay was lit while the business district was booming during the bi-centennial celebration of the city of Port-au-Prince’s birthday.
This year, Haiti has a myriad of presidential candidates. However, there is another Dumarsais in the list. Here is why I am recommending him for president:
1. He had a humble beginning like most Haitians;
2. He became a self-made millionaire through hard work and determination;
3. He is a proven leader in business. He is known worldwide for his performance.
Regarding Dumarsais Simeus’ platform for president, I agree with him on his promise to
4. make investing in Haiti easier
5. promote jobs
6. root out corruption by making government accountable
Haitians, remember to choose wisely! I hope you would consider being the next customers of Dumarsais. He has served the following customers honorably for many years through his company, Simeus Foods International: Quizno’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Hardees, TGI Friday’s, Walmart, Olive Garden and Red Lobster, among others. Consider him when you go to the polls on November 13, 2005.
August 12, 2005
By Manes Pierre