Is 70 votes a mandate to Govern?
EDITOR: What a relief! The elections have ended. Congratulations to the Unity Labour Party on their victory. A win is a win based on the rules of the game.
The campaigns of both the ULP and NDP was a hard uphill fight for both camps. The ULP with the machinery of the state, plus strong financial backing, had the upper hand on the NDP. The NDP, on the other hand, campaigned on taking the country in a new direction. They put forward, in my view, the best plans and ideas to develop this country economically. Their ideas were largely based on empowering people to develop themselves, their businesses and take charge of their own destiny. The ULP maintained its popular social agenda, while mainly promoting its past performance. Their campaign and manifesto were largely a report card on their prior 20 years in Government.
The vote on November 5, 2020 is a clear view that the majority of St Vincent and the Grenadines do not support the Unity Labour Party and their style of governance. Not only losing the vote of the majority, they have lost 5 percent support in 2020. More importantly, they have won the government by a mere 70 votes. That’s not a mandate for the vile celebratory posture of its supporters seen over the last few days. A skillful opposition can and will make it very difficult for the ULP and surely sweep it out of office in the next General Elections.
The parliamentary representatives and the leaders of the ULP who operate an autocratic style of governance need to change their behaviour. Also, those other junior ULP parliamentary representatives need to function from a position of strength. A Prime Minister who brags that only one representative comes to him the most for help for his constituents is an indictment on the various ULP parliamentary members who are elected by the people. They must demand the respect and backed by the budget to effectively address the needs of their people. The power is in their hands. The November 5th vote has shown that those who are vested as the future leaders of the ULP party are losing support. The citizens are not satisfied that some of these leaders are governing in the best interest of all the citizens, be it ULP or NDP. The 70 votes mandate demands that they do better.
On the other hand, the NDP needs to expand its tent. Publicly leave behind those internet supporters and so called activists who are driven by hate of the Gonsalves family and supporters of the ULP. As was said on one radio station, some supporters are like a blight on your ambition to win Government. The NDP message of one people, one nation, lowering taxes, improving health care and attracting investment through economic citizenship was very effective. This resonated with the average voter who is not dependent on political affiliation and is considered a swing voter. The NDP appears to need stronger financial backing so that it can campaign harder in the communities and hold more mass events. A renewal in the NDP is urgently needed to attract more new, solid, candidates, as seen in North Windward, South Central Windward, East St George and East Kingstown.
The country needs to move forward. The mudslinging by respective citizens and party hacks need to end. I see no reason for anyone to be riding on their high horse to demean the losers of this election. Let us all work together to lift SVG higher with the ideas put forward by both political parties.
Just A Citizen