Friday, January 26, 2007

Pelerin for President: Setting An Agenda

Greetings to all my Caribbeanists and I want to wish everyone a blessed Carnival season. The picture on the left was taken of me in Port au Prince prior to Karnaval in 1981. Twenty-six years later I'm still walking around with my little satchel, which I guess it goes to show the more things change the more they stay the same.

It has been a hectic two weeks since I announced candidacy for President of the Caribbean. That post left this blog teeming with comments, which led to my computer crashing. Unfortunately I was only able to salvage two of these millions of comments, and they are listed below the previous post.

Many of the emails were from readers asking how could I run for President of the Caribbean if I were no longer living in the Caribbean? As I said to these queries, Brooklyn is the epicenter of the Caribbean. Enclaves of migrants from every island are only a short train-or-bus ride away. If I were to try initiating this much direct contact with my constituents by any other means of travel, I would drain the public finance funds with which you have so earnestly entrusted me. I refuse to take the lead of my United States Presidential counterparts and run a campaign financed by big businesses while claiming to represent the people. This is a Presidential race that I am involved in and not a NASCAR race, therefore corporate sponsorship does not have the same allure.

My Metrocard Campaign Tour is an integral part of my Caribbean agenda. Noticing the rising tide of car traffic on our islands and the effect that this is having on commerce, traveling to work and further inciting wealth disparities, I plan to charter a committee to develop a public transportation system in the caribbean. The goals of the committee will be several-fold: (1) make bike transportation more palatable by creating measures to ensure cyclist safety, (2) provide a tax-incentive for companies to provide group transportation for employees, and (3) this is the most ambitious of all, create a Federal Tap-Tap Commission, which will nationalize our beloved Caribbean Taxis. The goal of this last measure will be to increase the ability of these drivers to service citizens and in return give them better health and personal security support so that they can better do their jobs.

The next two Agenda items are in direct response to the two rescued comments. I have included commenter Georgia's appeal to include the America's Site Feed on this blog and non-blogger members can now post comments.

The other concern brought up in these comments is the issue of "balkanization," and I could not agree with this commenter more. If by "balkanization" she means "colderation" as in worries about environmental and ecological damage that will make the Caribbean cold like the Balkans, I recognize that this is a serious problem for our islands. Along with "balkanization" and "colderation," I would also like to add "flooderation," "wastration" and "tourismserviceration" as primary environmental concerns.

Continued logging in Caribbean mountainsides increases the risk of major flooding in our countries. The initial signs of this are evident in our streets whenever there are large rainstorms, but if something is not done, the risks will only heighten. While it remains to be seen whether the global warming trends in other parts of the world will lead to "balkanization" or "colderation" on our islands, it is important to monitor whether our countries continue reporting milder springs and summers as they did this past year. "Wastration" is tied to "tourismserviceration" but is not part and parcel of our region's reliance on tourism. Tourists cart in a lot of waste, but dispensing of theirs is only problematic because we do not have a sensible plan of discarding of our own waste. If we want to retain our loveliness, then we must address this issue before it leads to any serious public health outbursts. To that end, I will not only have a cabinet level officer in environment manageration, I will make it clear that whoever I select as my vice-presidential candidate will be an expert in this area. Please, no race-horse breeders need to apply to my presidential cabinet, I will not be asleep at the wheel like G. W. Bush.

It will be the top priority of my vice president to set forth an environmental manageration agenda that will enable the Caribbean to thrive in the 21st century. Nothing less will be accepted and this will be the litmus test for whether you will want to choose my VP as the President of the Caribbean after me.

Til next time,



Blogger Alice B. said...

I was the author of the "balkanization" comment. Don't know why I cliked "anonymous" that time. But I'm glad I did otherwise folks might have thought Global Voices was behind your campaign. LOL.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Alice B. said...

Oh and now that i've actually read your post, what I meant by balkanization was the lack of political unity and the language barriers. Haiti's joining CARICOM was a good first step but not sure how well the "integration" will work in practice.

2:09 AM  

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