Matthew Chapter 7: Verse 7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
I cannot ignore the fact that the COVID 19 vaccines have been recognised for helping persons to achieve some form of normalcy. However, I bemoan the unfortunate reality that there has been a falling off of interest in persons presenting themselves to be vaccinated. Every effort must be made to get those persons sitting on the fence to get vaccinated. There should be some kind of incentive given to get jabs into arms again, at a rate that will get us to the level of immunity in the shortest possible time. The Delta Variant is coming. Let us do everything possible to save lives.
While we continue to cope with the challenges of COVID 19, as we ease restrictions and open up our border, Tropical Storm Warnings were issued last Wednesday with the possibility of Dorian strengthening. Hurricane conditions may be expected as well. It is my prayer that we will be saved from these weather systems. A disaster of any kind at this time will be more than our nation can bear.
It is very clear that General Elections will be announced within the next three months. Already, the protocols governing normal election activities have been announced by the Commissioner of Police. The leaders of all political parties and independent candidates have begun to lay out their plans to the electorate for the next five years. It is important to note that it is the political leaders laying out their plans to the citizens who are expected to buy into their programmes. I am of the opinion that it should be a two-way process where the aspirations of the people must also be taken on board.
There is hardly a time of day when politicians and their surrogates are not actively campaigning on the airwaves. The campaign has been ongoing for several months now to the frustration of many that an election date has not been announced. Timing is everything and in the end, it boils down to one simple question – did the timing of the elections give the incumbent party an advantage? I have witnessed at first hand that the lack of proper timing caused the incumbent to suffer loss at the polls. It is unfortunate that on a few occasions, it would have been so much better had the incumbent remained in office.
Which political party will have the political will to take the necessary steps to enact the legislative reforms to ensure better governance? I am ready to predict that the next general elections will not produce a simple majority but will give the winning party a two-thirds majority in parliament. My projection is against the background that both major political parties are already claiming landslide victory at the upcoming polls.
With an effective majority, legislation should be instituted to:
1. Streamline and strengthen the tendering process.
2. Introduce elected Local and Municipal Councillors, allowing party and independent candidates to freely contest the elections.
3. Establish closer ties between the leaders in Government and the membership of economic, social, and cultural organisations.
4. Regulate all professions to ensure ethical standards.
5. Allow citizens to freely participate in all categories of economic opportunities with supporting incentives from the Government.
The foregoing suggestions are by no means exhaustive and as the election campaign continues, I will further highlight areas of concern that should be of interest to every Saint Lucian.
It can be assumed that politicians during their term in or out of government would have been exposed to the basic needs of the people in their constituencies. However, there must be a mechanism for getting the people to talk about things that affect their communities and themselves, and together with their Parliamentary Representatives seek to find solutions.
During the run-up to elections, the voters must ask for what they need and hold their candidate accountable when he/she enters office. The term is five years and things must not be left to the run-up of elections when there is a hive of activities. Now is the time to Ask, Seek and Knock on the door of the politician you propose to vote for, so that when elected, he/she can begin to look into your needs from day 1. Let your needs be known.
It is my hope that when we meet again through this column that all will be well with us.
Keep the Faith, expect miracles, and the will of our Creator will prevail.
Freelance Journalist/Realtor/Business Consultant