‘How do we shake it up?’
March 31, 2006

‘How do we shake it up?’

St.Vincent and the Grenadines needs a shaking up as relates to critical thinking which can make of public policy more efficacious.

This is the view of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

“We need to shake up the place, borrowing Glenn’s language, but how do we shake it up and what are the new institutional arrangements to be put in place?” questioned Dr. Gonsalves.{{more}}

To arrest the problems that exist in the country, Dr. Gonsalves has called for an enlightenment period where deep reflection can be conducted on the existing bureaucracies.

And in addressing this problem he has called for forums where all stakeholders in the society can come together and make contributions that will lead to the development of the country.

The first in a series of these forums was held on Tuesday, March 28 at the Methodist Church Hall. It was dubbed the Senior Policy Forum, which focused on the topic: “Relevance of the Public Service Commissions (PSC) in the 21st Century.”

Dr. Gonsalves said he wants to develop more critical thinking in the society.

He said that is one of the reasons he has been pressing for the state administration to develop forums for the senior public servants, the private sector, the unions, the intellectuals and other interested persons.

He said he wants this done “so that if and when Ralph Gonsalves presents a paper it will not be a paper presented by him in his capacity of Prime Minister.” Rather, the ideas presented will be given more or less weight depending on their value and not necessarily on the office holder who present the ideas.

Dr. Gonsalves said Vincentians need to address a wide range of subject matters as well as challenge conventional wisdom.

Among the many reasons he gave for implementing the policy forums were our monetary and education systems.

Dr.Gonsalves said to put policies in place may well mean, “you have to break some comfortable eggs, maybe some inside of the unions, maybe some inside of the ministry”.

He said that some people might say it is the Government’s job to find the answers but people should remember that they did not elect a “philosopher king”. He said while Government has some answers, people must always be cognizant that it does not have them all.