University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer Doctor Tennyson Joseph has warned against the rise of the businessman-politician in the Caribbean.
According to media reports, Joseph cited Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and US President Donald Trump as examples of why businessmen as politicians are bad for society.
He expressed the view that elections in both Saint Lucia and United States were fought on the basis of an electorate frustrated with established politics.
The Head of the Department of Government, Sociology and Social Work at the UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados said the electorate opted to vote for something ‘new’.
He was delivering a public lecture on the topic “’Any Cook Can Govern?’:Plato, Donald Trump, and the rise of Caribbean Businessmen Politicians’.
Joseph, who unsuccessfully contested the 2006 general election in St Lucia against the United Workers Party (UWP), rejected 20th century Trinidadian intellectual CLR James’ theory that any ordinary person can become a leader.
The UWI lecturer argued instead in support of Greek philosopher Plato’s view that business people should not be political leaders.
Joseph said he was moved to think about the specific questions that he addressed in the lecture when in April 2016, “an untried and untested son of a Saint Lucian businessman, Allen Chastanet, emerged as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia after successfully wresting power from Dr Kenny Anthony”.
Joseph worked as political attaché to Anthony between 2000 and 2003.
According to CMC, Joseph sought to present Chastanet as an incompetent leader and showed a news clipping of the prime minister experiencing great difficulties piloting a bill through the nation’s national assembly.