WE are now counting the months to a general election and not years. In fact, even taking the Constitution into consideration, we are looking at less than a year before Saint Lucians go to the polls to elect a new government.
The choice will be between the two main political parties which are the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and the United Workers Party (UWP). The other political parties are simply ‘paper parties’, meaning that they exist only on paper. So far not one of the smaller political parties has shown a slate of candidates for the election.
Therefore the choice for Saint Lucians is the same as always. It’s either the SLP or the UWP. With that in mind the question each Saint Lucian of voting age should ask his/her self is which one of the two would make a better government in the democratic political system that we have?
It should not difficult to decide which of the two will provide better governance because both have been in power and in opposition over the years.
It must be pointed out that the opposition is also part of the government of a country and when the term ‘being in power’ is mentioned the opposition must be looked at as well as the government.
A look at the behaviour of both political parties over the years should be enough to make for intelligent voting this time around.
Electors should try to determine how accountable the political parties have been over the years, bearing in mind that the government of a democracy is accountable to the people. And in determining how accountable the parties have been to them, electors must consider whether the parties, whether in opposition or in government, have performed their responsibilities properly and did not abuse their powers.
To make better choices regarding who they should elect into political office, electors must also consider whether those presenting themselves for office ever behaved as the social servants they are supposed to be, while in office.
Electors must never forget that the responsibilities of government leaders are specific and it’s all about serving society and the people, which makes them social servants of the people.
But above everything else electors must look at the ethical standards set by each one of those presenting themselves for political office. Most of them have been in political office before and all have lived most of their lives here so it should not be difficult to make an assessment of their ethical standards.
Are those standards worthy of emulation?
This is critical in assessing the abilities of those who want to serve in the political offices of the land. This time around a special effort should be made by the electors to put into office true servants of the people and not those whose tasks is to serve their own designs and those of their political parties.