Letters & Opinion

In the Politics Of Saint Lucia – Will it be Continuity Or Change?

“To thine own self be true.” Shakespeare

Image of Edward Harris
Harris at Large by Edward Harris

I am writing this column with a prayerful mind, in the hope that through this medium, I will bring honour to my Creator and by extension to my Bible Believing Faith. I am pleased to hear many new voices since my last column when I called upon Influencers to make their voices heard.

This is decision time, and those who consider themselves in the category of the Moveable Middle must take a stand and do what is right for their country. I mentioned in a previous column that the 2021 General Elections in Saint Lucia will be the Mother of all General Elections. Saint Lucia is at the Cross Roads.

All politicians who seek the endorsement of voters must commit to all of the principles that contribute to GOOD GOVERNANCE. When I listen to the political rhetoric, certain words move me and I pray that those words will not be taken lightly but will be translated into action. Words like Inclusive, Integrity, Transparency, Honesty, Respect, Empathy, Leadership, and Fairness, just to name a few; these words should be posted in every office as a constant reminder to those politicians who gained the voters’ confidence and are elected to govern.

Both parties have presented their manifesto to the electorate and it is now for the voters to decide. It is my opinion that the incumbent is always at a disadvantage as their manifesto promises in many ways could be measured by their performances during their government’s term in office. It may be possible that in some cases the incumbent failed to prioritise effectively and as a result, there is always a rush to deliver projects in the final year, leaving many projects yet to be executed. On the other hand the Opposition in their manifesto is allowed to present policies that are based on their vision for the future. In the context of Saint Lucia, a lot of initiatives can begin in the first year. It is also very important to keep the citizens informed on how the government is progressing in achieving their stated goals as presented in their manifesto. I recommend that you read both manifestos and arrive at your decision sooner rather than later, so you will be able, willing and ready on the 26th of July, 2021 to exercise your franchise. Go out and vote as it may be your vote that will make a difference in the outcome of the elections for your party. Elections are never won by the noises you hear; instead, they are won in the ballot boxes. Go out early on Monday, 26th of July, 2021 and VOTE.

Here are my predictions regarding the results of the upcoming elections. 1. I continue to maintain that the next government will have a two thirds majority in the house of assembly whether independently, or by relying on the support of Independents. We should all hope and pray that a two thirds majority will be achieved at the polls, if we are to progress at the rate that will be required to transform our nation.

2. There is a possibility that the front runners in Castries Central and Castries North can win their seats. This will be a loss to the UWP. If we are to accept the foregoing projection, on election day, the UWP will be at the starting gate with 9 seats and the SLP with 6 seats. With the possibility of the support of the 2 Independents, the SLP will only be looking to take one seat from the UWP to form the next Government. Here is where the situation gets interesting. Each of the two major parties is exuding confidence and already claiming victory. The UWP is seeking at least to maintain its nine seats while the SLP is looking to convert 1 seat from Yellow to RED. This is a simplistic approach, but the reality is that the tide can change and any one of the major parties can win a majority of seats. I anticipate an upset as the youth votes are very likely to push the party of their choice to victory. May the best party in the judgement of the voters win.

Finally, it will be remiss of me if I failed to turn my attention to the COVID 19 pandemic. I expressed my concern in one of my earlier columns that the U. S. A. returned to normalcy too fast, and today, we hear that COVID 19 Delta Variant cases are on the rise, and many states are going back to demanding the wearing of masks in public places. It is reported that almost 90 percent of new cases are not vaccinated. Please get vaccinated at the earliest so that together, we can save lives. I recommend that we keep our eyes on the COVID 19 pandemic and maintain the protocols as citizens seek to get involved in pre-election activities. Please exercise caution. It is my wish that all those who are alive today, will live to enjoy the benefits of the next elected government. Will it be Continuity or Change?

I look forward to congratulating the winning team next week.
Stay safe!
Edward Harris
Freelance Journalist/Realtor/Business Consultant
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://stluciagreatpropertydeals.com

1 Comment

  1. Indeed, St Lucians stand at the crossroads between party politics and genuine representation for every St. Lucian citizen.

    For the past ten years or more, the people have been led to see elections in the prism of gang culture. En rouge, en Jaune – yellow or red were the gang colors that guided the thinking of St. Lucians as they voted for their representatives. The morbid rivalry and violence pitted a father against his son, a mother against her daughter. The flambeau burned its opposition just as the Labor star refused to shine for its rivals.

    At no time in the history of electoral politics in St. Lucia has St. Lucian citizen been so lethally polarized. In the center of the fray; stoking the fires of division are the politicians themselves.

    The shameless business of election bribery quickly became the status quo of election practice The voters soon learned to demand.

    Payee moi cinq cent dollar Avec-nai vote ba-ou.

    Politicians bought an entire bar to get the voters drunk enough to cull their votes.
    And the people, so besotted fell under the weight of voter bribery.

    After having wallowed in the vomit of this drunken stupor, St. Lucians wake up year-afte-year to discover that the politicians didn’t; wouldn’t keep their promises. Instead crime and violence rose like a snake in the community and people found they and their family trapped in the “bossman” sub culture of violence and drugs. The island was being stripped of its young people in a spate of shootings and a type of morbid fear which St. Lucians had never known slipped into the social fabric of the island.

    Yes, indeed, Mr. Harris, our people are at the crossroads. Will they allow the politicians to make them drunk so they can spend the next five years laughing at the stupidity of a people drunk on the poison of party politics?

    Or will they splash the rum back into the politicians’ faces and tell them – pas pwa-moi sevir wezib Chen l’argent-ou ec wome -ou. Es-ou cai tewa nou en misere-ah zote ca-metay nous-en?

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