Earn trust of party, people first – PM Gonsalves
September 24, 2013

Earn trust of party, people first – PM Gonsalves

The three newly appointed senators of the Unity Labour Party (ULP) have been told that they must focus first on earning the respect of the party and the people, before considering contesting general elections.{{more}}

This advice for Camillo Gonsalves, Jomo Thomas and Luke Browne, came from Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves at the last sitting of the House on September 19.

According to Gonsalves, it had become inevitable that whenever someone was appointed to serve in Parliament as a senator, they sometimes also want to contest the general elections.

But nobody will give them that seat, the Prime Minister advised.

“You have to earn the respect of the members of the party and once you have earned the respect from the party, then you have to earn the people’s trust,” Gonsalves said.

“You have to go to the people and talk to them on an ongoing basis,” he continued.

Because, while someone appointed as senator may have been a good lawyer, that does not mean that they will make a good politician, he said.

According to the Prime Minister, there are certain questions that needed to be answered first.

“Are you being serious? Are you able to go to their homes and listen to their complaints and represent their interest with love and caring?

“These are the qualities you must display and you must have patience,” Gonsalves said.

He followed on saying that there were some, who after getting their feet wet, become overly ambitious, but Gonsalves said that he was offering this advice to those on both sides of the House, that politicians need to practise restraint.

Gonsalves, in his presentation, cautioned the new senators, saying that the Parliament in St Vincent and the Grenadines, like other parts of the world, is a difficult and unforgiving place.

“A number of persons have come here, some have taken my advice, others have not taken my advice,” he explained.

Gonsalves said those who were lawyers previously, must not attempt to come in the House and try to lecture the Parliament as if they were lecturing the jury, or the magistrates, but they need to be sure that they had the facts, be knowledgeable on the law and have an opinion and be sure that they spoke with relevance and try not to be overbearing or haughty.

“Because some come in here and don’t take this advice and they end up on their faces,” Gonsalves warned. (DD)