What have you done for your coun­try?


Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Now that we have of­fi­cially en­tered the elec­tion silly-sea­son, vot­ers should con­sider John F. Kennedy’s fa­mous com­ment in his 1961 in­au­gu­ral ad­dress be­fore go­ing to the polls next May – “Ask not what your coun­try can do for you, ask what you can do for your coun­try.”

So, the ques­tion is very sim­ple: what HAVE the cur­rent deputies done for their coun­try?

We all know what the coun­try has done for the 56 mem­bers of par­lia­ment.

Apart from their priv­i­leges and fat salaries (plus ben­e­fits), the cur­rent par­lia­ment has been on au­to­matic pi­lot for the past four and a half years, with the com­mu­nists deny­ing the cri­sis had any­thing to do with their in­com­pe­tent regime and the rul­ing DISY hop­ing that a “deus ex machina” will get them re-elected. As for the smaller par­ties, well, let’s not waste any space or ef­fort on them.

True, we can­not dis­re­gard the gen­uine ef­forts of per­haps a hand­ful of deputies who have done good work, or at least have seemed to be do­ing so. And they de­serve to be in the next par­lia­ment.

But the vast ma­jor­ity, who showed their “ex­per­tise” when their ar­ro­gance in March 2013 plunged us into the cur­rent eco­nomic cri­sis, do not de­serve to be on the elec­tion tick­ets, let alone get re-elected.

They have yet to con­vince us that they are com­pe­tent enough to han­dle leg­is­la­tions and draft new laws. For all we have seen from them is to amend pro­posed bills, sim­ply to prove a point, and, in the worst case, de­lay cru­cial leg­is­la­tion, such as those that reg­u­late fore­clo­sures and in­sol­ven­cies, that caused a chain re­ac­tion (in­ac­tion, rather) with the banks un­able to re­struc­ture loans and re­cover debts, thus also not pour­ing des­per­ately needed cash into the mar­ket.

The stage we are at, only those who have no party af­fil­i­a­tions or friends and rel­a­tives in high places in gov­ern­ment will be hunted down to pay up or hand over the keys to their homes. The rest will make sure that their greed will con­tinue well into the next year and noth­ing is done be­fore the May elec­tions.

This is why voter ap­a­thy is ex­pected to rise, es­pe­cially among the youth, which is surely a mis­take.

We are stuck with the in­cum­bent Pres­i­dent who was elected on the premise of a busi­ness-friendly at­ti­tude, whose record so far has been half­con­vinc­ing. At least, he may com­pen­sate for his in­abil­ity to slash the vast num­bers of civil ser­vice if there is true progress in the Cyprob, as he has let us be­lieve in re­cent days.

So, in or­der not to be stuck with the same par­lia­ment we have to­day, vot­ers should se­ri­ously con­sider go­ing to the polls and mak­ing their frus­tra­tion felt, by vot­ing for any se­ri­ous al­ter­na­tive.

Is there an al­ter­na­tive out there?

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