SAINT LUCIA politics delivered just as expected when the mystery surrounding Stephenson King was revealed. But it came with an added twist – a stand-a-lone King riding a blue wave all the way to July 26, Election Day.
Our political history has shown us that such a move by King, even its suddenness, is not new. Saint Lucia’s political landscape is littered with occurrences of similar moves that could serve as an example or rule to authorize or justify King’s action.
The revered (by some people) John Compton, a master of political intrigue in his time, may very well have been the one to have either first engineered such a precedent or solidified it, meaning make it stronger.
Those who know well the political history of our land could speak on that subject, however, it is not far-fetched to believe that Sir John played a part (small or large) in a significant percentage of the political maneuverings which took place during his political life.
Despite the brave front put on by the leadership of the UWP, King’s move to cut ties with them at this juncture, did hit them hard as evidenced by pronouncements made by the party’s leader Allen Chastanet shortly after King’s announcement.
“We were surprised, but not surprised,” are telling words, words with a striking or revealing effect said by Chastanet at a press conference as he tried to explain the UWP’s take on what King did.
But this body blow delivered by King on the UWP, which literally made him who he is today, did not halt the party’s stride in this chequered political game. A quick circling of their wagons resulted in a counter move which saw the party, not only saving face by announcing a replacement for King in the Castries North constituency, in the person of Jeannine Giraudy-McIntyre, but giving the impression that it is capable of overcoming whatever is thrown its way.
With a third party in the race known as the Green Party, alongside two independent candidates in the persons of King (Castries North) and Richard Frederick (Castries Central), two constituencies the Saint Lucia Labour Party will not be fielding candidates in, the stage is set for political history making.
Now all eyes will be on the citizens. It is in their hands that the aspirants’ fate and the future of this country now lies. They are the ones to make that all important decision as to the best group of persons to lead the country.
Many will seek guidance in that regard. The best guidance we can give them is to say to them to consider these three things: the purpose of political parties; how important are their rights to each political party; and how satisfied are they with the way this government has worked over the past five years and other governments before this one.
An example that we came across on the internet during our research on democracy may help.
Imagine that you hire a company to repair your bicycle. Before you hired them, you would want to be sure they could repair bicycles. Then you would want to make sure that they did what you hired them to do. Suppose the company did a good job. Then you would not worry about checking on them if your sister’s/brother’s bicycle needed repairs a few weeks later.
Suppose the company did a bad job on your bicycle. Then you might want to replace them or watch them even more closely when your sister’s/brother’s bicycle needed work.
The same is true with the government. We should be sure the people we “hire” (elect) can do the job we are hiring them for. Once they get the job, we should keep an eye on them to make sure they are doing that job. If they do a good job, we may not watch them as closely. If they do a bad job, we may watch them very closely and may even decide to replace them – if there is an alternative that is more credible.
We end with these words: Always remember that voting the right party in government is always in our own self-interest.