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Underneath it all

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Editor: I am a young person, a product of the ‘Education Revolution’ and a recent graduate of the University of the West Indies. I have a keen interest in politics and an even keener interest in the development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

I attended the recently concluded 21st ULP Convention held on Sunday, April 19. It seemed a successful event, as thousands of supporters came out to show support and allegiance to their party. I attended with an objective ear and mind, because although I supported the ULP in the 2010 general elections, my support for them in 2015 is not automatic. Before making a determination on who will get my vote, I intend to fully examine the plans of each party for governing the country and the slate of candidates proposed to implement these plans. Underneath all the campaign rhetoric, I want solid information to make an informed choice.

The atmosphere at the convention rocked with excitement, elation and youthful exuberance. Supporters and candidates fed from each other’s energy. One of my most astounding observations was the large number of young people that attended. I observed similar events leading up to the 2010 elections and the gathering of young people at this convention was arguably the largest I have seen at any party event. It is apparent that the ULP has aroused the interest of the nation’s youths, a phenomenon not entirely surprising since candidates like Luke Browne, Carlos James, Saboto Caesar, Camillo Gonsalves and Cecil ‘Ces’ McKie, present themselves as progressive and intelligent young candidates.

Underneath it all, I am curious to find out whether the ULP’s blend of maturity, experience, intelligence and youthful energy has not only served to refresh the party, but has put it in a state of readiness to capture victory in the next elections and to take SVG to the next level of progress.

I would like to hear the plans of all parties for the development of the country and in particular those for young people, in the area of education and the emerging industries, like ICT and the Creative Arts. I would like political parties to keep the conversation on issues such as poverty alleviation; energy security; gender equality; foreign policy; education; housing for the poor and marginalized; the protection and preservation of our fragile environment; curbing crime and general economic development.

The convention was ablaze with red hot passion, but underneath it all, and between the concentric bands of youthful energy, I was enraptured by the more tempered speeches of Debbie Charles and Prime Minister Gonsalves. Teacher Debbie addressed my mind to the choice I will face at the next elections and Prime Minister Gonsalves articulated his views on the ‘Power of Love’ versus the Love of Power.’ It is my considered opinion that all politicians love power, but very few understand and demonstrate the power of love.

Underneath it all, I urge all young voters to put a high value on their vote in the upcoming election. Differentiate between the politics of scaremongering and doom and gloom and move towards the politics of implementable policies and programmes that provide inspiration and hope for this, and the next generation.

Underneath it all, I make a plea for young people to go out and vote in the next general elections.

Young Voter

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