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News Article
Civil Society Bahamas engaged by Office of Attorney General

Nassau, Bahamas -

Civil Society Bahamas, in keeping with its
current operational theme, "Re-education, Training and Development,"
recently engaged with the office of the Attorney General. Personnel from
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration were also present. 
The purpose of the meeting was for Civil Society Bahamas to assist
further with the generation of the country's annual report (Universal
Periodic Review) to the United Nations on human rights issues.

 

During
the meeting, Senator the Honorable Allyson Maynard-Gibson and team
members facilitated an up-date of the representation made at the United
Nations. She thanked Civil Society Bahamas for its contribution to the
final report...

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News Article
Nassau Music Society's 2011-2012 season all about strings

The Nassau Music Society launched its 2011-2012 season last week with a concert by Dmitri Berlinsky(violin)and Elena Baksht(piano), setting the public up for a season of strings from soothing to exhilarating.

Indeed, with performers on piano, violin, cello and even classical guitar--covering classical to ragtime and jazz and music with a Spanish flair--there is something for everyone at an affordable cost, says Italia Watkins-Jan, vice president communications/public relations and administrator of The Nassau Music Society.

"We're trying to bring in quality musicians at an affordable cost because not everybody can afford to go away to see these artists,"she says."Our goal is to bring them here to the general public and to give audiences more exposure."

"Once you're exposed to a wider range of music, I think it gives you a better perception of culture in general and it makes you appreciate all types of music as well. Usually most of these artists have classical training, so we think it's important to show that classical music is the root of other types of music."

It's not all as classical as you may think, however--their next performances on November 4 and 5 actually focus on jazz and ragtime by Terry Waldo.

Soon thereafter in the new year, Marco Tamayo and Anabel Montesinos will present a performance on the rarely-heard classical guitar.

Then in February 2012, The Nassau Music Society will show another side of classical music when they present their special event, Bizet to Broadway, in association with the Bizet-Broadway Committee chaired by Cornelia Nihon, which will feature Canadian opera singers in a special night of opera performance.

It will raise funds for a scholarship program to help young Bahamian musicians train either at home or abroad--an important part of The Nassau Music Society's mission. In fact, points out The Society's President, Patrick Thomson, they entered into a 10 year agreement with The College of The Bahamas to fund two students a year pursuing music at the institution.

"We've had in the past students going abroad to study, but the cost of sending a student abroad is horrendous and we can't possibly find enough money to pay for their tuition, so they have to go out and find other funds and most of them find it very difficult to find that sort of money,"explains Thomson.

"So that's why we made the commitment to The College of The Bahamas--at least it gives them a start here and if they want to continue their music career we will try to help them, but it will be more up to them to find the funds."

In further support, their Member's Night--a special performance for members of The Nassau Music Society only, which they are bringing back after a 10-year hiatus--will feature students from The College of The Bahamas music department in Act II of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus.

Of course, more traditional classical evenings will be offered to the public like the one that opened their season, including performances in 2012 by the pair Robert Blocker(piano)and Ole Akahoshi(cello), the pair Gilad Karni(viola)and Donald Berman(piano), as well as Sophie Pacini on the piano.

Whether traditional or not, all audiences can expect a great quality performance where they can not only hear such gorgeous music, but also see such internationally-renowned and skilled musicians play up-close. It was, after all, the original aim of The Nassau Music Society's founder, E. Clement Bethel, to expose the public to this music which has such a rich history and range.

"We follow in the footsteps of Clement for our aim is to bring classical music to The Bahamian public and our members,"says Thomson."We really hope that everyone who comes has an enjoyable evening and takes away a great memory of the occasion."

It's therefore unfortunate that so few members of the public take up the opportunity of the affordable$25 ticket prices($10 for students). Furthermore, point out Thomson and Watkins-Jan, they have a lack of professional concert hall venues in which to display such talent, which proves not only to be an embarrassment to the country but also an unfortunate setback in their search for international talent every year. It's something they hope they can see improve as they design their many concert seasons to come.

"What we would like to say is here in Nassau it's very difficult to get venues and we'd hope the government can invest in one,"says Watkins-Jan."In the long run to continue to bring in this caliber of music, we need somewhere they can actually play."

"We would like the public to bear with us and keep an open mind when they come. Our main concern is to have something that's acceptable to the artists so that they can actually show their talent to the Bahamian audience."

For more information and to see videos of the performers below, check out The Nassau Music Society's webpage at www.nassaumusicsociety.org. You may reserve tickets online anytime at http://www.nassaumusicsociety.org/reservations or 10 days before any concert at the box offices: A.D. Hanna&Co., Deveaux St., Tel: 322-8306; Logos Bookstore, Harbour Bay, Tel: 394-7040; Custom Computers, Cable Beach, Tel: 396-1100; Moir&Co., Lyford Cay, Tel: 362-4895.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE NASSAU MUSIC SOCIETY'S 2011-2012 SEASON

Terry Waldo--Ragtime, Jazz&Blues: The Roots of American Pop

Friday, November 4, 2011 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Terry Waldo presents one of his very popular programs featuring the music of America's greatest composers including The King of Classic Ragtime, Scott Joplin; Tin Pan Alley's most famous song writer, Irving Berlin; New Orleans Jazz pioneer, Jelly Roll Morton; and the legendary Ragtime and Broadway genius, Terry's mentor, Eubie Blake. Terry will also include famous tunes from"The Great American Songbook"and some of his own original numbers.

Member's Night--Act II of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus

Saturday, January 14, 2012 Government House(TBC)7:30 p.m.

Light, funny and entertaining performance in English. Cast entirely of students from the music department at COB except for the two more"advanced"roles of Rosalinda and Eisenstein which will be played by Candace Bostwick and Wil Adderley respectively.

Marco Tamayo&Anabel Montesinos--Classical Guitars

Friday, January 27, 2012 Government House 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 28, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Marco Tamayo was born in Havana, where he started to play guitar at the age of three. Winner of major international guitar competitions like the Michele Pittaluga, Città de Alessandria, in 1999, Marco Tamayo has performed concerts together with the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Turin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Aix en Provence, the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland and the Havana Philharmonic, among many others.

Anabel Montesinos, one of the leading figures of the classical guitar worldwide, is"a promising star of the classical guitar"according to Maestro Antón García Abril when he heard her play. Montesinos is the winner of several major international guitar competitions like the Francisco Tárrega competition in Spain and the Michele Pittaluga competition in Alessandria, Italy. Her musical expression and taste has enthralled audiences wherever she has performed.

Gilad Karni(viola)and Donald Berman(piano)

Saturday, February 18, 2012 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Sunday February 17, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 5:30 p.m.

Gilad Karni has been praised throughout the world for his tone and interpretation. His technique and musicality have earned him countless honors, from first prizes at competitions to leadership roles in some of the world's finest orchestras. Equally at home in orchestral and solo or chamber music settings, Karni can be heard on concert stages around the globe in a range of repertoire, as well as on recordings.

American pianist Donald Berman is recognized as one of the chief exponents of new works by living composers, overlooked music by 20th century masters, and recitals that link classical and modern repertoires. His reputation as definitive interpreter of the American new music canon is unsurpassed. He has established an extensive discography in the works of major American composers, including Ives, Ruggles, Kernis, Levering, Wheeler, Boykan, and many others.

Bizet-Broadway--Special Black-Tie Fundraiser--Dinner&Concert

Saturday, March 3, 2012 Old Fort Club

This special event"Bizet to Broadway", in association with the Bizet-Broadway Committee chaired by Cornelia Nihon, features Canadian opera singers and its goal is to raise funds to allow young Bahamian singers to train either at home or abroad.

An enormous success last season, the evening was sold out before tickets were even printed.

Robert Blocker(piano)and Ole Akahoshi(cello)

Friday, March 23, 2012 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 24, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Robert Blocker began his study of piano at the age of five, presenting his first public recital two years later. Today, he performs throughout the world with concerts in the United States, Europe, Mexico, China, Korea, Thailand, and several Pacific Rim countries.

Recently hailed by theLos Angeles Times, German cellist Ole Akahoshi began studying cello at the age of four in Berlin. Akahoshi is principal cellist of the Sejong Soloists in New York, as well as member of Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra since 1998 and the Opera Nomori Tokyo.

Sophie Pacini(piano)

April 13-14, 2012 One night only open to the public

A special concert sponsored by Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Ltd. to present the winner of its annual music competition held in Switzerland.

Sophie Pacini is 19 years old and was born in Munich. At the young age of eight she had her debut with Haydn's Piano Concerto in D major and started to study piano at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria at the age of 10. In February 2011 she performed a recital at the International festival"Sommets musicaux de Gstaad"and won the desired festival award"Marguerite DAtschler". Thanks to the generosity of the Banque Prive Edmond de Rothschild Ltd., we are able to share the exceptional talent of this young piano virtuoso with the Bahamian public.

The Nassau Music Society would like to thank its sponsors, ColinaImperial Insurance Ltd., Societe General Private Banking, PICTET Bank&Trust Ltd., RoyalStar Assurance Ltd., and Banque Privee Edmond De Rothschild Ltd., plus many private sponsors, for making it possible to hold this series of concerts of such great quality this year.

read more »


News Article
Nassau Music Society's 2011-2012 season all about strings

The Nassau Music Society launched its 2011-2012 season last week with a concert by Dmitri Berlinsky(violin)and Elena Baksht(piano), setting the public up for a season of strings from soothing to exhilarating.

Indeed, with performers on piano, violin, cello and even classical guitar--covering classical to ragtime and jazz and music with a Spanish flair--there is something for everyone at an affordable cost, says Italia Watkins-Jan, vice president communications/public relations and administrator of The Nassau Music Society.

"We're trying to bring in quality musicians at an affordable cost because not everybody can afford to go away to see these artists,"she says."Our goal is to bring them here to the general public and to give audiences more exposure."

"Once you're exposed to a wider range of music, I think it gives you a better perception of culture in general and it makes you appreciate all types of music as well. Usually most of these artists have classical training, so we think it's important to show that classical music is the root of other types of music."

It's not all as classical as you may think, however--their next performances on November 4 and 5 actually focus on jazz and ragtime by Terry Waldo.

Soon thereafter in the new year, Marco Tamayo and Anabel Montesinos will present a performance on the rarely-heard classical guitar.

Then in February 2012, The Nassau Music Society will show another side of classical music when they present their special event, Bizet to Broadway, in association with the Bizet-Broadway Committee chaired by Cornelia Nihon, which will feature Canadian opera singers in a special night of opera performance.

It will raise funds for a scholarship program to help young Bahamian musicians train either at home or abroad--an important part of The Nassau Music Society's mission. In fact, points out The Society's President, Patrick Thomson, they entered into a 10 year agreement with The College of The Bahamas to fund two students a year pursuing music at the institution.

"We've had in the past students going abroad to study, but the cost of sending a student abroad is horrendous and we can't possibly find enough money to pay for their tuition, so they have to go out and find other funds and most of them find it very difficult to find that sort of money,"explains Thomson.

"So that's why we made the commitment to The College of The Bahamas--at least it gives them a start here and if they want to continue their music career we will try to help them, but it will be more up to them to find the funds."

In further support, their Member's Night--a special performance for members of The Nassau Music Society only, which they are bringing back after a 10-year hiatus--will feature students from The College of The Bahamas music department in Act II of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus.

Of course, more traditional classical evenings will be offered to the public like the one that opened their season, including performances in 2012 by the pair Robert Blocker(piano)and Ole Akahoshi(cello), the pair Gilad Karni(viola)and Donald Berman(piano), as well as Sophie Pacini on the piano.

Whether traditional or not, all audiences can expect a great quality performance where they can not only hear such gorgeous music, but also see such internationally-renowned and skilled musicians play up-close. It was, after all, the original aim of The Nassau Music Society's founder, E. Clement Bethel, to expose the public to this music which has such a rich history and range.

"We follow in the footsteps of Clement for our aim is to bring classical music to The Bahamian public and our members,"says Thomson."We really hope that everyone who comes has an enjoyable evening and takes away a great memory of the occasion."

It's therefore unfortunate that so few members of the public take up the opportunity of the affordable$25 ticket prices($10 for students). Furthermore, point out Thomson and Watkins-Jan, they have a lack of professional concert hall venues in which to display such talent, which proves not only to be an embarrassment to the country but also an unfortunate setback in their search for international talent every year. It's something they hope they can see improve as they design their many concert seasons to come.

"What we would like to say is here in Nassau it's very difficult to get venues and we'd hope the government can invest in one,"says Watkins-Jan."In the long run to continue to bring in this caliber of music, we need somewhere they can actually play."

"We would like the public to bear with us and keep an open mind when they come. Our main concern is to have something that's acceptable to the artists so that they can actually show their talent to the Bahamian audience."

For more information and to see videos of the performers below, check out The Nassau Music Society's webpage at www.nassaumusicsociety.org. You may reserve tickets online anytime at http://www.nassaumusicsociety.org/reservations or 10 days before any concert at the box offices: A.D. Hanna&Co., Deveaux St., Tel: 322-8306; Logos Bookstore, Harbour Bay, Tel: 394-7040; Custom Computers, Cable Beach, Tel: 396-1100; Moir&Co., Lyford Cay, Tel: 362-4895.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR THE NASSAU MUSIC SOCIETY'S 2011-2012 SEASON

Terry Waldo--Ragtime, Jazz&Blues: The Roots of American Pop

Friday, November 4, 2011 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 5, 2011 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Terry Waldo presents one of his very popular programs featuring the music of America's greatest composers including The King of Classic Ragtime, Scott Joplin; Tin Pan Alley's most famous song writer, Irving Berlin; New Orleans Jazz pioneer, Jelly Roll Morton; and the legendary Ragtime and Broadway genius, Terry's mentor, Eubie Blake. Terry will also include famous tunes from"The Great American Songbook"and some of his own original numbers.

Member's Night--Act II of Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus

Saturday, January 14, 2012 Government House(TBC)7:30 p.m.

Light, funny and entertaining performance in English. Cast entirely of students from the music department at COB except for the two more"advanced"roles of Rosalinda and Eisenstein which will be played by Candace Bostwick and Wil Adderley respectively.

Marco Tamayo&Anabel Montesinos--Classical Guitars

Friday, January 27, 2012 Government House 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 28, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Marco Tamayo was born in Havana, where he started to play guitar at the age of three. Winner of major international guitar competitions like the Michele Pittaluga, Città de Alessandria, in 1999, Marco Tamayo has performed concerts together with the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg, the Turin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Aix en Provence, the Tampere Philharmonic in Finland and the Havana Philharmonic, among many others.

Anabel Montesinos, one of the leading figures of the classical guitar worldwide, is"a promising star of the classical guitar"according to Maestro Antón García Abril when he heard her play. Montesinos is the winner of several major international guitar competitions like the Francisco Tárrega competition in Spain and the Michele Pittaluga competition in Alessandria, Italy. Her musical expression and taste has enthralled audiences wherever she has performed.

Gilad Karni(viola)and Donald Berman(piano)

Saturday, February 18, 2012 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Sunday February 17, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 5:30 p.m.

Gilad Karni has been praised throughout the world for his tone and interpretation. His technique and musicality have earned him countless honors, from first prizes at competitions to leadership roles in some of the world's finest orchestras. Equally at home in orchestral and solo or chamber music settings, Karni can be heard on concert stages around the globe in a range of repertoire, as well as on recordings.

American pianist Donald Berman is recognized as one of the chief exponents of new works by living composers, overlooked music by 20th century masters, and recitals that link classical and modern repertoires. His reputation as definitive interpreter of the American new music canon is unsurpassed. He has established an extensive discography in the works of major American composers, including Ives, Ruggles, Kernis, Levering, Wheeler, Boykan, and many others.

Bizet-Broadway--Special Black-Tie Fundraiser--Dinner&Concert

Saturday, March 3, 2012 Old Fort Club

This special event"Bizet to Broadway", in association with the Bizet-Broadway Committee chaired by Cornelia Nihon, features Canadian opera singers and its goal is to raise funds to allow young Bahamian singers to train either at home or abroad.

An enormous success last season, the evening was sold out before tickets were even printed.

Robert Blocker(piano)and Ole Akahoshi(cello)

Friday, March 23, 2012 College of the Bahamas Performing Arts Centre 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 24, 2012 St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay 7:30 p.m.

Robert Blocker began his study of piano at the age of five, presenting his first public recital two years later. Today, he performs throughout the world with concerts in the United States, Europe, Mexico, China, Korea, Thailand, and several Pacific Rim countries.

Recently hailed by theLos Angeles Times, German cellist Ole Akahoshi began studying cello at the age of four in Berlin. Akahoshi is principal cellist of the Sejong Soloists in New York, as well as member of Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra since 1998 and the Opera Nomori Tokyo.

Sophie Pacini(piano)

April 13-14, 2012 One night only open to the public

A special concert sponsored by Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild Ltd. to present the winner of its annual music competition held in Switzerland.

Sophie Pacini is 19 years old and was born in Munich. At the young age of eight she had her debut with Haydn's Piano Concerto in D major and started to study piano at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria at the age of 10. In February 2011 she performed a recital at the International festival"Sommets musicaux de Gstaad"and won the desired festival award"Marguerite DAtschler". Thanks to the generosity of the Banque Prive Edmond de Rothschild Ltd., we are able to share the exceptional talent of this young piano virtuoso with the Bahamian public.

The Nassau Music Society would like to thank its sponsors, ColinaImperial Insurance Ltd., Societe General Private Banking, PICTET Bank&Trust Ltd., RoyalStar Assurance Ltd., and Banque Privee Edmond De Rothschild Ltd., plus many private sponsors, for making it possible to hold this series of concerts of such great quality this year.

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News Article
Governor General and Lady Foulkes, host reception at Bahamas Red Cross Society

Nassau, Bahamas -

Their
Excellencies Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes,
hosted a reception at the Bahamas Red Cross Society Headquarters, May 8,
to celebrate International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) 150 years of commitment to Humanitarian efforts.
Pictured from left: Ms. Pauline Allen-Dean, former president; Lady
Ingrid Darling, former president; Brendon Watson, president (greeting
Governor General); Sir Arthur; Caroline Turnquest, director-general,
Bahamas Red Cross Society (in background).

Governor General Sir
Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes strut their stuff at the Bahamas Red
Cross Society reception in celebration of the International...

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News Article
Secretary General Insulza Highlights Role of Civil Society in Hemispheric Agenda

The
Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José
Miguel Insulza, participated today in the opening of the Forum with
Civil Society Organizations together with the Vice President of
Colombia, Angelino Garzón, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of
Colombia, María Ángela Holguín, as part of the pre-summit meetings ahead
of the Sixth Summit of the Americas which will take place this weekend
in Cartagena.

Secretary General Insulza stressed the important
contribution of civil society to the continental debate and to the
summit process. "The efforts of civil society to contribute to the
design, formulation and implementation of the hemispheric agenda are
proof of the dynamics of the region," said the chief representative of
the OAS...

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News Article
 Bahamas Humane Society Meet With the Governor General
Bahamas Humane Society Meet With the Governor General

Members of the Bahamas Humane Society paid a courtesy call on the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes, at Government House on Wednesday June 19.

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News Article
Presidents Santos and Morales and the OAS Secretary General highlight role of civil society in the Summit of the Americas Process

TheSecretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Josť Miguel Insulza, stressed the growing role, in number and importance, of social actors in the definition of public policies in the hemisphere, during his participation today in the inauguration of the meeting of civil society organizations and delegations attending the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), which had as special attendees the Presidents of Colombia and Bolivia, Juan Manuel Santos andEvo Morales, respectively.

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News Article
Opening statement by Attorney General Bahamas Delegation at Universal Periodic Review
Opening statement by Attorney General Bahamas Delegation at Universal Periodic Review

Mr. President, first of all, on behalf of my delegation, I congratulate you on your election as President of the Human Rights Council for this 7th cycle, and also to the members of the Bureau. Let me also extend sincere thanks and appreciation to Her Excellency Laura Dupuy Lasserre, former President, for her able leadership of the Council during the previous cycle.

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News Article
Our Caribbean: The politics of social harmony

A former prime minister of a Caribbean country, on the eve of its independence, stated that a nation had been born, but a society had not been formed.
He said that because, going into independence, his country was carrying with it inherited racial divisions causing social disharmony, splintered political groups, extremists making demands on the system, and unresponsive colonial institutions in need of reform and redirection.
All of those issues required immediate attention if the country was not to experience a downward spiral into divisiveness and disharmony among its population, leading to social tensions and instability with political implications.
The philosopher Plato stated, in reference to social peace or harmony that the political community consists of different classes with different values, the same as the prime minister mentioned above found on assuming office. Plato noted that social peace or harmony is to be obtained through the cooperation and friendship of all, and that the best form of government seeks to reconcile different interests. When competing interests are reconciled, social harmony results.
Politics therefore becomes the means by which the society is ordered, where each social group adds to the common good. Plato then argued that the quality of human life can be improved if people learn to be rational and understand that their real interests are in harmonious cooperation with each other, and not in partisan strife. To me, this is the essence of social harmony.
Generally, social harmony is seen as the peaceful interaction of members of society irrespective of different social groups, and this is based on trust, and respect, and is an antidote to social injustice and inequality. Plato also stated that justice is the foundation of a good political order, concerns the common good, and provides a sense of unity.
My view is that when justice and harmony are preserved through just acts, this is the basis for social peace. If justice is seen to be massaged, or staged, so that a particular result emerges, then fairness is sidestepped, and this results in ramped up political activity with un-needed after effects. Politics should promote social harmony, justice, and fairness. When this happens, the society becomes ordered and rational, and is guided by informed judgment.
An editorial in a Caribbean paper recently referred to the country concerned as having a bloated public sector. It further noted that politicians had created a bureaucracy to serve their interests, that people were hired to bolster political support, and that politicians rewarded their friends and associates after general elections, and gave them contracts to do government work whether they were capable or not. This was payback for political support.
These kinds of actions cause social unease, and breed social discontent. If a bureaucracy serves the interests of politicians, this causes social mistrust, and people lose confidence in what it does, since anything would be regarded as politically motivated, and serving partisan interests. These acts challenge social harmony, and where political friends are rewarded, it means politics contributes to a system of social bias, and not social harmony or peace.
In a non-English speaking Caribbean country, the maximum leader recently signed a bill into law to toughen measures against government functionaries and others involved in corruption, which includes illicit enrichment, money laundering, over-billing, influence peddling, bribes, and nepotism. These are activities that deprive the state of resources, and put them into tainted pockets. It means less revenue for the state, the curtailment of social programs, and an inability to implement policies on infrastructure projects in a broad way.
When the society finds out about this, it sees the government as unfair, as catering to a few at the expense of the many, and as showing preference for some over others. This causes disharmony in the way people feel about their institutions, and they could withdraw their support as a result, which translates into using their political power to change the status quo, and restore fairness and the values that bring about social harmony.
An opposition leader in another non-English speaking territory is suspected of money laundering and forgery. What kind of political soil produces this mental outlook and psychology? When the populace sees its leaders who should be among its best and brightest engaging in such activities, it brings a sense of political shame on the country and its people. They feel violated, and this translates into a temporary withdrawal from the political process, creating disharmony among citizens. Social harmony therefore can be restored through the elimination of those acts that brought about disharmony and disrupted social peace.
It is clear, then, that social harmony could be impacted on by political acts. When some politicians feel they are the law, this leads to illegal and anti-social behavior. This negatively affects the image of the country, and causes splits in the community, since there are some groups who give their support one way or the other. Ethical behavior in office on the other hand, brings about respect. For a rule-governed society, this means fairness, and a common acceptance of what is desirable becomes the way of life, as a result contributing to the social harmony of the community.
When life in a society is lived in harmony, economic growth increases, since people invest in a situation where confidence and decency prevail. A society that exists in harmony lives a positive social and cultural life. Its people are happier, because of shared values, civic affairs are conducted in a principled way, and mistrust as a practice is absent. The need to cheat, and to breach social norms, does not arise, since these are alien to the culture. Social affairs can therefore be conducted nobly, since the new role of politics is to create a just society, individual happiness and well-being, and an environment where division ends, and where harmony becomes a social value.

o Oliver Mills is a former lecturer in education at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus.
Printed with permission from Caribbean News Now

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