By Alex B. Montgomery
IT is a regressive observation that certain key proponents of the Saint Lucia Labour Party and their followers are hell-bent on assuming an anti–patriotic posture, as a result of their dissatisfaction that their party did not register victory at the polls on Monday, June 6.
We urge the incoming SLP leader and executive to collaborate with other more politically mature members of the party to continue to appeal to their supporters to desist from this unproductive behaviour. Perhaps they can go further to hold a workshop or retreat for those persons so that they can get an opportunity to properly detoxify and neutralize to a level that will allow a return of rational thinking, personal responsibility and sense of nationalistic consciousness. This post – election activity should engender healing, peace and positivity. Hopefully that will allow them to quickly join the rest of the populace in working for the good and advancement of Saint Lucia. There is no need for anyone to alienate themselves, or withhold their valued contributions, nor is it necessary to spell gloom and doom for the country where you and your loved ones live, just because the government has changed.
We have come down to the shameful truth of realizing that too large a section of our island’s electorate and wider public are angry in the aftermath of free and fair elections. Evidently they do not understand what democracy and a two party system is all about. In such a political climate where the people exercise their right to elect their political leaders, one should never, ever condition one’s mind to have forever and ever one supreme leader of Saint Lucia be it Dr. Kenny Anthony or any other politician. Such thinking embodies ignorance at the most basic level and for this we blame the education system. The Saint Lucia education system needs to teach the rudiments of political science at secondary Schools and also encourage more vigorous school debates. This will banish ignorance so that our children will avoid the pitfalls of becoming compulsively one – sided thinkers, but will nurture the healthy ability to perceive both sides of issues and appreciate the nuances involved, while respecting and tolerating the various views of others.
It cannot be acceptable that persons emerge from the formal education system of this island with such low levels of tolerance and high resentment for the existence of a healthy democracy in their country. Labourites who are incensed that flambeau is in power now seem to be implying that they want dictatorship in Saint Lucia. They represent a segment of the society that does not want a democratically elected leader, which is to say, elected by the majority, and therefore subject to change. Their attitudes can be summarily construed to be an endorsement of dictatorship.
It was our learned former Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony who said on the eve of elections in an address to the nation, that we should all consider ourselves a part of “Team Saint Lucia”. Well-spoken Sir, but your good intentions and spirit of patriotism have not resonated with your many followers who are now bitter and vexed because of the SLP’s defeat at the polls.
They do not know how to be honourable in defeat. They are yet to comprehend the categorically unambiguous statement made by the electorate of Saint Lucia on the sixth of June through a free and orderly elections process. They fail to accept that the people have spoken and that it is their preserve to know what is good for themselves, their country and their future.
The reasoning has been conveyed to Labourites who doggedly put party first that this incoming UWP administration were not imposed on the people in any shape or form but they still do not get it.
Many have taken to their Facebook pages to vent all manner of venom and senseless and reckless statements. Such unpalatable posts serve to deepen and reinforce the conviction of the majority that they made the right decision in voting out the SLP. The question must be asked, are these the attitudes of the individuals who want to hold the reins of leadership of this country?
“Jason Hollingseed, I trust that you are not a proponent in the concealment of criminal activity and you have reported the vandalism to your vehicle at the Micoud Police Station.
“It cannot be right that whilst you were asleep at a residence at New Extension in Micoud over the weekend, someone would maliciously smash the windscreen of your vehicle. Let’s avoid someone else’s vehicle getting the same prescription. I expect this to make the midday news on Monday ending with, “Jason Hollingseed reporting”
Jadia Jn. Pierre
“Oh? So you thought the Labour Party was wounded and would be in mourning for five years? You expected us to go into hiding?
“After serving Saint Lucia honestly…After transforming lives and communities…After looking after the poor and vulnerable…After delivering NICE, laptops, bursaries, scholarships, farm assistance, health centres, bridges, roads, new and refurbished schools, you really thought we would be down and out and embarrassed by the election results?
Think again darling. We are proud we delivered what we promised. We are proud we did not give anybody cocaine and money in exchange for their votes. We are proud we did not promise to ease the police off drug runs in Vieux Fort. For us, it was a clean and honest campaign. We did not believe in winning at any and all cost.
“Each team member is at peace. We have accepted your choice. It is our right and our choice to gather and celebrate our hard work. If our smiles offend you, GO SO”
Last Weekend’s VOICE carried a feature on a young Saint Lucian who currently is in a state of apology after she renounced her flag and country just because she was unhappy with the election results. Other individuals continue posting negative comments like “St. Lucia end” and “St. Lucia finish”. One wonders why the island has even made it to the middle of June, judging by their apocalyptic predictions.
This type emotionalism of is unnecessary. When the electorate spoke 16–1 in 1997 was it not to a large degree the same electorate? Likewise wasn’t the anticipated euphoria of the UWP cut short? What about the members and supporters of SLP and the other smaller parties whose hope of leading this country as a powerful party is for now all but a dot on the horizon? How do those people feel? Kudos to them for they are truly a personification of political maturity.
Let’s face it, inducements of money, drugs, or personal favours as implied by some sore losers, could not have brought about such a major swing against the former government. The temptation of underhanded campaigning cannot guarantee the outcome of democratic political elections. If so it can be argued, that inducements are present regardless of which party wins general elections. The fact is: the electorate has been dissatisfied with the performance of the former SLP administration–– period. It does not mean they hate Dr. Kenny Anthony or the SLP. That does not mean that Saint Lucians are not grateful for the genuine efforts of the former administration. It means by all accounts that the electorate wants a more compassionate government that will employ a more incremental approach in governance as opposed to Dr. Anthony’s big bang strategy which was exacerbated by the negative and personalized campaign he chose to run against only two UWP politicians, Allen Chastanet and Guy Joseph.