Letters & Opinion, Politics

Futile and Senseless Debate

FROM the inception of Allen Chastanet’s entry into local politics. The SLP has remained on the attack because of fear. Nearly every form of tactics has been used not excluding the lowest type of gutter politics, especially from a syndicate of party hacks remaining in one room with many cell phones and penetrating the incoming telephone lines to the various radio programmes. Little do those vampires realise that over time, talk show hosts will be forced to circumvent and screen this type of behaviour and non-productive contributions which only degrade the quality of the shows. It is this substandard fashion of discussions which has contributed to the decline in our economy and our social standing.

When instigators from the opposite side promote futile and senseless discussions like colour and the importance of communicating fluently in creole, this only tells us where our priorities lie. We as a nation, need to concentrate on international languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian and Portuguese which can enhance our education and tourism product in more ways than one. A perfect example is the Cuban population who speak Spanish but provide a number of services around the world including St. Lucia. Do they speak Creole? NO, yet they provide various services which contribute immensely to our health and infrastructure. One simply has to reflect on the comments of many ordinary St. Lucians on television who clearly reiterate that making Creole a priority is not particularly imperative.

Creole in one sense has been a drawback to St. Lucia as many St. Lucians continue to think in Creole and then try to communicate in English, resulting in a horrible way of communication. The closest nation that we can communicate meaningfully with in Creole is Haiti which indulges greatly in Creole and if one only has to compare the backwardness of Haiti vis-a-vis other nations which have concentrated on a particular national language to further their progress, the results are as clear as daylight.

English is our language and we need to encourage our people to improve upon their grammar as it is only through education we can elevate ourselves from the doldrums and menial work which we so often discuss and bring to the forefront. Some of our most educated St. Lucians holding top positions both home and abroad express themselves so poorly that on many occasions, we shy away from being a St. Lucian as this remains a reflection on the nation.

As Allen Chastanet has indicated time and time again, he remains fluent in English and Spanish which is a far cry from many of his political peers who may be conversant in Creole but decidedly limited in their English pronunciations. The SLP needs to be more creative when creating stumbling blocks as those very blocks will return to haunt them as we have recently witnessed. The UWP and SLP each represent some 50% of the electorate and when the delegates of either party choose a leader, 50% of the electorate indirectly endorse that leader for and on behalf of the nation. Allen Chastanet has been decisively and democratically elected in two conventions against different candidates and acquired 72% of the votes cast, unlike some parties which only appear democratic.

N. PHILOGENE

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