Our Readers' Opinions
April 29, 2005

Candidacy selection critical

Editor: It is the duty of every citizen to gave validity to his convictions to political affairs” Albert Einstein.

There is little doubt from the present actions of the different political parties that their campaign machinery is being mobilized for general elections constitutionally due in 2006. {{more}}

While the election hype is up, only Prime Minister Sr. Ralph Gonsalves knows the election date.

The Unity Labour Party administration has performed creditably and deserves another term in office.

The New Democratic Party or any new entrants in the race will therefore have an uphill battle defeating the incumbents.

While some aspiring candidates are locked in races to determine who will get the nod to represent the different constituencies, some are still emerging. The competition for candidacy appears to be creating very interesting run offs and debates.

There is little doubt that our local political landscape is changing gradually. Today’s political climate favours party over individual candidacy. But it is obvious that as our nation matures politically the focus will be on candidacy.

While there is no perfect candidate, we must set criteria of a high standard for those seeking elevation to our country’s highest offices.

What are the qualities of a good and able candidate? Who should qualify and how?

A model candidate should possess dynamism, wisdom, will to serve the people and a good fighting spirit.

Dynamism is important especially in the socio- economic climate of local, regional and international happenings. Individuals who are dynamic possess the creativity to come up with innovative solutions in order to negotiate the situation that awaits them.

Wisdom is critical in the decision making process, especially where potential pit falls and potential traps are to be avoided to safe guard the interests of the people. The will to serve the people is extremely essential and is the most fundamental reason why political aspirants should choose to offer themselves as candidates.

A good fighting spirit is also a major attribute of a model politicician. In time of adversity leaders with a good fighting spirit will set an example, boosting the moral of the people.

A good candidate is someone who according to former US President John. F. Kennedy will say: “Ask not what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for St.Vincent”.

A good candidate should be someone who looks ahead and not behind; someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people he chooses to represent.

He or she must be someone who knows the good.

Surely you will want a high level of demonstrated competence, knowledge and experience, intelligence, vision, communication and relationship skills and the ability to motivate others, manage and solve problems.

Candidates should possess unquestionable and impeccable character, integrity to admit mistakes, apologies when necessary, show genuine compassion and put the common good ahead of personal egos.

Should we allow the political processes to be used by aspiring candidates to settle personal differences or vendettas or boost inferiority complexes? As we attempt to ennoble our civilization these are critical issues for discussion.

We can and should continue to debate the issue of candidacy selection seriously. We cannot continue to leave it all to politicians to decide. Let us too be authors of our fate, after all it is in our names that decisions are being made.

Brenton Milligan