The Importance of Midterm Reviews

The ruling Saint Lucia Labour Party is presently reviewing its two and a half years in office, and from all indications the party and its supporters are of the view that they have done more than a favourable job at the helm of the Ship of State.

The opposition, United Workers Party (UWP), as expected, does not share that view and in typical Saint Lucia opposition fashion, has painted a different and an ugly picture of the SLP term in office thus far.

Sadly, we cannot say where Saint Lucians stand regarding the SLP governance over the past two and a half years due to the absence of a national poll. The utterances of hacks in both political parties are not credible or trustworthy sources worth mentioning, and ought not to be taken into consideration when determining the success or failure of a government at the half-way mark of a five-year term.

That being said, we must point out that a review of a government at its midterm is a necessary exercise for the electorate.

By reviewing the government’s two and a half years in office the electorate can determine whether government’s policies on economic and social fronts are, or have been in their interest, and/or have moved the country’s development in a positive direction.

A midterm review of how the (political party) government is doing must be something that the electorate should be interested in, that is, if it is done impartially.

An objective and honest review could either shatter the image of the government or strengthen certain claims of the opposition; it could also do the opposite.

Such reviews can reveal interesting and surprising bits of information on weaknesses in government, and in the opposition as well, which could spring surprises when general elections are called.

Furthermore, with the SLP and UWP fairly evenly matched in the fight to form the government of the day, such a review could present both sides with data to plan on how their respective party could successfully compete in the general election, which is less than two and a half years away.

The review should assist strategists on both sides of the political divide in presenting to the electorate programmes sympathetic to them. The party that is most able in doing so may stand a better chance at forming the next government.

Another important aspect of a midterm review of the ruling party’s stewardship (in government) is the focus it places on its leadership, Prime Minister Philip J Pierre and the public trust in him.

Such a review could either uplift or downgrade him in the eyes of the public. The role of public trust in the leadership in government is crucial. We have enough history to show how detrimental a lack of public trust could be to the leadership of a political party.

We urge all eligible voters to look out for any honest review of the midterm governance of the ruling party, particularly its leadership.

What we all want is to know is that the government, being accountable to the people, for the assets of the Country, passes on, at the end of its tenure, to the next custodians, both an accounting and a report of its fulfilment of the obligations of trust given to it by the people.

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