“Leadership is not about the next election, it’s about the next generation.” Simon Sinek
The announcement of our upcoming general elections came like a thief in the night. While most persons claimed that they were not surprised, many in my view sought to save face and tried to stand erect. It was a surprise. There is no more uncertainty in the minds of the electorate. We now know for sure that Friday, July 16, 2021 will be Nomination Day, and Monday, July 26, 2021 will be the day that Saint Lucians go to the polls. Rumours are running wild. I am not in the rumour business but I will ask my readers to keep on the lookout for surprises on Nomination Day when we will know who are the candidates contesting the general elections on July 26, 2021.
By the time, this issue of the newspaper hits the newsstands on Saturday, July 10, 2021, there will be sixteen days left to Election Day. This weekend will see a coming together of party supporters to launch their campaigns for what can be deemed the MOTHER OF ALL GENERAL ELECTIONS in Saint Lucia. Saint Lucians will be given the opportunity to access the performance of the Government and make a decision whether they wish to give the incumbent another five years or seek a change. I am tempted to make a pronouncement here and now, but I will not jump the gun. The results of the elections could easily be projected by the end of Nomination Day when all candidates would have submitted their documentation.
In keeping with my suggestions about governance and economic development in my last column, I hasten to continue in that vein where I encouraged voters to demand the things that are necessary to move their communities and nation forward. In preparation for this week’s column, I decided to revisit the Manifestos of the two major political parties and found that both parties covered many areas that are necessary to advance the economic and social progress of the nation. It would be instructive for those in the present government and other nominated candidates who plan to contest the upcoming elections to review their parties’ Manifestos and see what has been achieved and what should be executed under the next administration. The microscope is on the incumbent. While the Opposition has a right to look into the achievements and failures of the governing party, it would be also instructive for them to review their own 2016 manifesto to see what they would have done differently and decide upon what modifications and inclusions they should make going forward.
I spend a lot of time watching cable networks in the U. S. A. and feel that we allow our Caribbean opposition politicians too much of a free pass. Here are a few suggestions going forward:
(1) The opposition presents Bills in parliament to be debated that can stand alone without assistance from the parliamentarians in government, and in other instances seek reconciliation where necessary, even if amendments would have to be made.
(2) The Parliamentary Committees be put into operation and be maintained throughout the life of parliament.
(3) Those persons seeking office in Government and Agencies/Corporations must present to the Integrity Commission, an audited statement of their assets and liabilities before taking up their positions.
(4) Reactivate the Constituency Boundaries Commission and take all necessary steps to remedy the situation that currently exists in the Gros Islet constituency and others.
(5) All constitutional appointments must be made without any unnecessary delays. Parliamentary procedures must be upheld and not left to the will of individuals.
Whether you believe this or not the two major parties have set out to the electorate what they will do for the citizens of St. Lucia if elected. Not much can be done to change minds at this stage. After months of aggressive bombardment by talk show hosts, there is not much left to learn about who will best serve the needs of the nation. However, this is commitment time as we move closer to Election Day.
As we move towards the first weekend of political campaigning in earnest, let us be mindful of the COVID 19 pandemic. Take every precaution to ensure that you use MASKS and follow the protocols in general as you go out to meet and greet your candidates and fellow party supporters. The Delta Variant is not on our shores, do not invite it. If you are not vaccinated as yet, explore every opportunity to do so at the earliest.
Keep the Faith, expect miracles, and the will of our Creator will prevail.
Freelance Journalist/Realtor/Business Consultant