Monday, 29 November 2010

Another Crisis for Haiti: No Legitimate Winner in Presidential Elections

Sad day in Haiti, as charges are flung around concerning the presidential election yesterday. Twelve of the 18 candidates declared it a "massive fraud" with ballot box stuffing as only one of the irregularities.

The Friday before Radio Canada had an interesting documentary about how non-governmental organizations, for good or will, are providing much of the aid and infrastructure in the country which was ravaged first by an earthquake last January and then by hurricanes and cholera this fall.

The two situations are related: the country has been without a strong legitimate government for far too long. How to provide wise leadership is always a big question, and here it reaches immense proportions. If one has any doubt, one need only compare the way that Chile--which has had its own problems of leadership in the past--pulled together to rebuild after its much larger earthquake last spring Or, to look further in that past, the masterful way that Portugal under the Marquês de Pombal rebuilt Lisbon in the 18th century.

Wise leaders, social organization, civil society: what every country needs, what every people deserves.

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