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What is wrong with the New Democratic Party?



Editor: It is difficult to understand why the NDP lost the just concluded election, and even those in that party are still at a loss as to what happened. But careful study will indicate that there were a number of faults that affected the party, despite all the assistance provided by the company called Strategic Communications Limited, SCL, the robust propaganda, and the large sums of money that, in my opinion, the NDP spent on the campaign.{{more}}

In fact, truth be told, the NDP should fire SCL, withhold any monies outstanding, and have no further connection with that organisation. They did a poor job of advising the NDP, and the marketing plan they devised for Arnhim Eustace and his gang was terrible.

One of the problems affecting the NDP was that their campaign was not national in terms of its focus. All their politicians concentrated on winning their own seats, and there was no national appeal that would create a swing to help them in the strong ULP seats, especially those on the Windward side of the island.

The ULP marketed its record of development, and outlined clearly its strategy for the future. Not so the NDP, not with a manifesto arriving late, and with Arnhim Eustace unable to tell the country what items he will include on the no-VAT list.

Their problem was the way that they flipped and flopped over issues that were bringing direct benefits to all Vincentians, even supporters of the NDP. So how could the party be critical of issues such as the international airport project, the education revolution, housing development, and the foreign policy strategy of the ULP that provided benefits for Vincentians? And then, thanks to poor strategy by SCL, the party portrayed Arnhim Eustace at a media conference to indicate support for the airport project, after a six year period of damnation!

Their propaganda was terrible. The dirty lies and half-truths by Elwardo Lynch, Junior Bacchus and others could not match up to the truth campaign pushed by Sehon Marshall, Elson Crick, Hans King and the other members of the supporting cast on Shake UP, Star Street Beat, Morning Scoop, and so forth. Nothing beats propaganda like the truth and the facts!

Finally, leadership. The NDP had to portray Arnhim Eustace as a leader who could match Ralph Gonsalves. That was an impossibility, and many Vincentians could not see Arnhim Eustace as a Prime Minister, particularly at this time of the world financial and economic crisis. The NDP would have been better off portraying itself as a better party than the ULP, but again that would have been a stretch.

Finally, the ULP made a big mistake by launching some of its candidates just months before the general election. If people like David Browne, Luke Browne, Elvis Charles and Michelle Fife were on the ground three years earlier, the story would be different in those seats. Remember Leacock, Cummings, and Stephenson campaigned for five years.

So now the NDP must go back to the drawing board, and the first issue on the cards must be the issue of leadership. If Arnhim Eustace is not leading the party to the 2015 elections, then he must give way now, so that his successor could begin to mould a new team, with a new philosophy and vision.

Then the party must begin attracting professionals who can spend propaganda time discussing the issues. The electorate is getting brighter and smarter, thanks to the education revolution, so all the old talk, lies and rumours etc, can’t work. Overall, the party must put itself in a position to take advantage of the mistakes that the ULP will make over the next five years. Ralph hating must go out of the window, and loving Vincies and wanting the best for the country must now be the core factor.

The Prophet