PM Gonsalves shares recipe for political success
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, on Sunday, gave a simple recipe for political success, which involves, among other things, loving and believing in people.
Last Tuesday, February 21, Dr Gonsalves celebrated 23 years as the Member of Parliament for North Central Windward, making him the longest serving parliamentarian in the country.
On Sunday, Gonsalves and members of his Unity Labour Party (ULP) and a number of their supporters journeyed to Colonarie, where a rally was held at the George Stephens Senior Secondary School Playing Field, in North Central Windward, in celebration of Gonsalvesâ achievement.
Addressing hundreds of red clad supporters, the political leader thanked his family and friends for the support over the years, without whom he would not have been able to accomplish what he has in communion with other persons in government.
Giving advice to the younger members of the ULP, the seasoned politician said that persons in government and those who aspire to be representatives of the people must first have love for people.
âThe first qualification to represent people is that you must love themâ¦unless you have love in your heart and in your mind and in your soul and in your being for those you want to represent, do not get involved in this business,â said Gonsalves.
ââ¦and it has to be a love which is steadfast,â he added.
Gonsalves, who will, on March 28, have been Prime Minister for the last 17 years, said that secondly, a representative must have confidence in the ordinary men and women of the country.
âI have come to learn of the possibilities of ordinary men and women who make St Vincent and the Grenadines a great nation, though a small country, and as a leader it is important that you access the strengths and possibilities and weaknesses and limitations of the people whom you are leading,â advised the Prime Minister, while the younger politicians like Carlos James and Luke Browne listened attentively.
He said that as a leader, one must make every single effort to draw out of people their strengths and possibilities and to reduce as far as is practicable their weaknesses and limitations, as at times, persons do not know that they possess certain strengths and possibilities.
ââ¦ because you better believe it, though we are not better than anybody else, nobody is better than us,â said Gonsalves to loud applause.
The Prime Minister, giving more advice, said that if one wants to represent people, one must be disciplined, organized and every single day be ready to study and learn things.
Gonsalves stressed that as a leader, anytime there are difficulties and challenges, one must speak honestly to people and find answers.
âOnce you have taken the people into your confidence and the people trust you, there is no way, no power on earth that will be able to shake their confidence and their trust in you,â said Gonsalves, asking party members and supporters to understand that this is a country without a lot of material resources, so we have to make the most of it.
A number of politicians and supporters also paid tribute to Gonsalves among them, Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker, Minister of Housing Montgomery Daniel, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis and chair of the North Central Windward Constituency Council Trevor Huggins.
Huggins described Gonsalves as a man of vision who has done a lot for the country, while Francis said that Gonsalves was a special human being whom the people of the country love.
Francis said that this is evident, as Dr Gonsalves became leader of the ULP on December 6, 1998 and led the party to victory at the polls soon after and has set records in his own constituency when it comes to voting numbers.
Caesar added to what Francis said, noting that Gonsalves is filled with love and has the young people at heart.
The event also saw the North Central Windward Constituency Council honouring 10 persons from North Central Windward who have made contributions to the various communities in the area of farming, nursing, sports and community development.
The night saw entertainment from Rondy âLutaâ McIntosh, pannist Rodney Small, junior calypsonian Kristian Christopher, Bomani Charles, Shevrelle âCandy Manâ McMillan and âRawloâ.(LC)