Time to End Toxic Politics in Saint Lucia

There is no escaping what this country is going through at the moment as it counts down to yet another general election. The politics that are on display every single day; from the airwaves to social media, to Constitution Park, even in households are disconcerting.

And by politics we mean the activities of the government, opposition, people and law-making organisations in trying to influence the way a country should be governed or is governed.

History has shown us that those who today try to dictate certain activities to influence how things should be done in a country, usually find themselves in uncomfortable positions tomorrow when their words and actions of yesterday are thrown right back at them today.

It is in this light that we are calling on persons on both sides of the political spectrum, who are presently in full political battle mode to be careful of the things they say and do, as their words and actions could come to bite them, should their roles be reversed after the general elections. The possibility of change is, after all, the essence of democracy.

We offer up this piece of advice as we note that this is exactly what is taking place today. This Newspaper is very much aware of what went down during the campaigns of both the United Workers Party and the Saint Lucia Labour Party for the June 2016 general elections.

The words and actions of the leaders of both parties during that time are still fresh in our minds. We have done our research and see where the government, which was in opposition back then used words that today could be used to shame-face them. The same can be said for the opposition party.

This type of ‘no holds barred’ politics we in this country are practicing is toxic and could lead to major problems, not only for those who insist on practicing it but for the rest of society.

Sadly, involved in this type of toxic politics are politicians, who on one hand talk about being the representative of all the people, but on the other hand create divisiveness amongst the people. Then there are Prime Ministers, famous for saying that the government they lead is a government for all the people but not far down in their reign, it becomes clear that such words were just political chaff, idle talk, as their actions prove otherwise.

There is no doubt that in this democracy that we have, entrenched and bitterly divided politics is destroying us as a people and as a country. There is a need for Saint Lucians to end this type of politics as the type of development needed to really push this country forward will not be forthcoming in this type of environment.

We know that calling for an end, right now, to the type of politics we are witnessing today may very well be wishful thinking, but it is not impossible if we act together as one people.

What is happening now is pushing us down a slope that inevitably would lead to heightened forms of civil disobedience, a state of affairs we certainly do not want to be in. We have only to look North at our large neighbour, the mighty USA, to witness the destruction that can be wrought by unyielding prejudice which passes for politics.

And so, as both political parties move deeper into their political campaigns, we appeal to them to spare a thought for country. What we do not want is to pass that point of no return where the political divide cannot be bridged.

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