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NDP clearly is in crisis

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04.APR.08

Editor: Over the past few months I, and all Vincentians have looked on as “another” so-called crisis in the governance of our country have played, and continues to play itself out. These so-called crisis as they are called by the opposition seems to arise about once every year since the present government of the governing ULP has been in office.{{more}} But I ask myself are these crisis of the governing ULP or a real manifestation of a real crisis within the opposition NDP.

The NDP as a party has never accepted that it is the opposition party of SVG. As a party it has never atone for its wrong doings while in government for 17 years. I dare say that the NDP acts as though the Vincentian populace owes it for removing them from the seat of government. They were humbled in the 2001 and 2005 elections but they have never acted as a humbled bunch. In fact while in opposition it has continuously kept the nation in a mode of heightened election tension. The party has continuously clutched at political straws which it hopes will propel it back into office once again. It has continuously elevated these political non-issues to crisis levels. These have clearly not enhanced the party’s political goodwill since they have merely shown how desperate they are to get back into power.

As a party the NDP have tried to emulate the strategies used by the ULP while in opposition. They have tried the marches, candlelight vigils, an even a road block of the wharf. But they seems to have forgotten one fundamental an important ingredient, that is, the issues which you raise must appear to be real issues and they must be of importance to the general public. The public have become weary of their constant agitation and electioneering and hence when a real issue appears the party is not taken seriously and the governing party can use the issue to reinvigorate and revitalize its supporters. Have you ever heard about the boy who cried wolf?

The NDP’s decision to put on its own talk show on a daily basis was indeed a wise one. But that is where the wisdom ends. This talk show instead of drawing the nation towards the party has in fact driven them away. Yes the program continues to inform the members and die hard supporters of the party. Yes it has kept the party’s name alive. But clearly its overall impact has been to drive the independent minded and most of the nation away from the party.

But the above reasons are not the only ones why I dare say that it is a party in crisis. The party clearly has a crisis of leadership. The party has put forward its current leader as a kinder gentler leader when compared to that of the leader of the governing party. But I dare say that this is just a façade. Their leader has never been able to stamp his authority on the party. He is unable to take the party by the scruff of the neck and whip in into shape. They often appear to be a very disorganized, raggedy bunch that is made up of various factions, each with their own agenda, but who come together under the banner of the NDP. Hence the need for the concept of a kinder gentler leader. The leader often appears to be led to the issues rather than leading.

Crisis? What crisis? The only crisis is one of a party that clearly has lost its way. The only crisis I see is one of a party that is in crisis. A crisis of leadership. A crisis of credibility. A crisis of a party that appears unable to lead the nation in the time of true crisis. The NDP is clearly in crisis.

Oswald Sutherland

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