December 3, 2010
Green Party hopeful

Ivan O’Neal announced this week that the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Green Party is of the view that the General Elections race is wide open, and as a result, his party stands a great chance of winning.{{more}}

“In my opinion, in our opinion, the election is wide open. No political party can say they have it,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal told SEARCHLIGHT that his party nominated 15 candidates; nine females and six males.

However, when the list of candidates in the December 13 poll were published by the Electoral Office on Tuesday, November 30, only 13 candidates from the Green Party were listed.

O’Neal said on the issue of policy, the Green Party, founded in 2005, believes that it can win the elections, because up until Monday, the incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP) and the New Democratic Party (NDP) had not presented their manifestoes to Vincentians. The Green Party launched its Manifesto several weeks ago.

“I want to say loudly, the NDP and ULP are handcuffed to Mustique, Canouan and Taiwan, and that is a major problem for us in the country,” said O’Neal, adding that this has been proven by the two major parties’ tax exemption policies to the parties mentioned.

“The policy was put in place by Sir James, the NDP. Ralph [Gonsalves] came in 2001 and he concurred the policies. The same with Taiwan. Sir Louis Straker said the relationship between Taiwan and SVG is like a marriage…and the same policy adopted,” said O’Neal.

O’Neal expressed that a vote for the NDP is like a vote for the ULP, and vice versa.

“That cannot move this country forward, and history will show that,” said O’Neal.

He contended that the Green Party’s tactical approach for its campaign in the 2010 General Elections is to do house calls instead of staging mass political rallies, such as those by the ULP and NDP.

“The advantages of house to house is that you hear the voice of the people, you see the situation and you get first hand feedback,” said O’Neal.

“Mass rallies is like fooling the people, giving free food and so on. So that is not a good effort,” said the Political Leader of the Green Party.

“We believe greeting the people is better than mass rallies,” said O’Neal, adding that the Green Party’s candidates will be going through the various constituencies and will take questions from constituents.

He said the Green Party’s vehicle will be used throughout the constituencies in the remaining days of the election campaign to do whistle stops.

“You notice they’re painting up the road; the Green Party don’t paint up the road,” said O’Neal.

It has been some time now that Ordan Graham, the Green Party’s former General Secretary, has not been seen in the company of O’Neal. O’Neal told SEARCHLIGHT that Graham had migrated to the United States and there was no fall out between them. (HN)