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An opportunity to focus in a positive direction

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As we prepare for next month’s general elections, it is heartening to note that serious attempts are being made to have voters make their choices, not based solely on party affiliations, but on proposals for propelling our country’s development.

This is a most positive sign which ought to be welcomed and encouraged for it can set a pattern for our young ones and their future.{{more}}

The Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has demonstrated to its critics that it can, and is prepared to do more than criticize, by making its manifesto available early. It has seized on the continuing concern about the health of the nation’s people, not just the health of the economy, to launch its apparent electoral flagship, the building of a hospital in the East St George constituency.

This has parked off a debate on the health sector which can only be good for us all. Only a couple weeks ago, the governing Unity Labour Party opened a new health facility in the Grenadine island of Bequia and used the opportunity to indicate the Government’s approach to the health sector, its accomplishments and future plans. In fact, the Government has already indicated its priorities in this direction by dedicating the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) to the health sector. How many of us have paid attention to this? They have also signalled their intention to build an acute referral hospital at Arnos Vale at the site of the ET Joshua airport, once the Argyle International Airport is opened.

So, the impending elections provide the opportunity for us to focus in a positive direction, to debate the proposals of the respective parties and to inject views of our own. It can be deemed by the most cynical among as but the proverbial “drop in the ocean,” but for those thirsty for such, it is a drop well worth having. We must pray for more such drops, for it nourishes healthy debate and discussion as to what is best for our people.

Naturally every such proposal, every bold announcement, will have to undergo scrutiny and stand on the basis of its own strength. Thus, we should avoid knee-jerk reactions, tinged with narrow partisanship, and the instinctive dismissal of any proposal simply based on its source of origin. That has been our historic approach, whether it has been the Argyle International Airport, the proposal for a city at Arnos Vale or now, the Opposition’s own hospital plans.

It is possible to welcome a good idea, a worthy project, but then indicate either the perceived weaknesses or how one can take this apparently good idea and make it better.

The black-and-white traditional attitude towards politics is not relevant in today’s world. There is too much “grey” around. It therefore behoves our political aspirants to lift their game and contribute to a positive climate of healthy debate and dialogue which can help us all in making rational choices about our future when we go to the polls on December 9.

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