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ULP, NDP must do more to attract people

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Fri, Feb 3. 2012

Editor: There is a considerable number of persons who chose not to vote in the last elections. It would do each party well to seek to attract most of those persons to their party, for it can determine the success or failure of either party.{{more}}

It is true to say that many of those persons who chose not to vote were once supporters of the ruling ULP, but have become dissatisfied with its governance for various reasons and were not attracted to the opposition NDP. Some of these persons who stayed at home were fed up with the ruling party. They were disappointed in some areas and were expecting better performance, e.g in the introduction of the IINTEGRITY LEGISLATION and other areas, including some issues in the public service and the failure of Government to address them and also poor representation by some area representatives.

However, amongst those disappointed persons who did not vote, they did not see NDP as an alternative. Also they saw NDP as not yet ready to take the realms of Government. NDP had its best chance of winning in 2010, but squandered the opportunity. They were not able to attract the disgruntled voters, since they themselves were not offering, in many cases, solutions to the various things they would criticize. They were never convincing on how they would reduce the debt and still provide jobs or at least avoid retrenchment of workers.

The New Times programme, which was hosted by EG Lynch, failed to deal with the real issues and how the NDP plans to deal with it. It is to the NDP’S downfall that they failed to capitalize on such a programme rather than slandering, disrespecting and speaking half truths, and being sued so often. NDP should have used the programme to zero in on the major issues with facts and solutions rather than majoring on the minor issues. Indeed they were not in touch with the real bread and butter issues. Instead for ten years, they tried to demonize Ralph Gonsalves, while the real issues were left unattended. This demonizing of Ralph Gonsalves has only given the advantage to Ralph Gonsalves, for it made him stronger and his followers more sympathetic to his cause.

NDP are the ones to be blamed for their failure to win last elections, and ULP has a lot of catching up to do to ensure they retain government. Both parties must take their defeat seriously and improve their performance.

The persons mentioned above don’t vote along party lines, but rather intelligently, where they look at the issues from a non partisan point of view and vote accordingly. Thus the NDP must give clear direction as to where it intends to go, such as its foreign policy, economic development, health issues and job creation. It is not enough to criticize ULP for its relationship with Venezuela and Cuba and yet fail to say how it is going to guarantee the population that we would not lose any of the help and scholarships we are currently receiving from these countries. It must also seek to be decisive on its way forward and gain the confidence of not the upper class, but the ordinary man, the civil servant and the middle class.

The ULP, on the other hand, must seek to strengthen its constituency base, be in touch with its people, and seek to deal with many issues affecting the public service. By doing so, it can regain the confidence of this group of people who look at issues intelligently and not just from a political point of view. If the ULP must retain its power, it must seek to be regain the confidence of those who feel they are neglected.

Kennard King

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