Our Readers' Opinions
August 24, 2010
A youthful change for next Election

Tue, Aug 24, 2010

Editor: Please permit me a space in your newspaper to pen my suggestions and to relay some comments on the ground to the Unity Labour Party (ULP) for the upcoming elections.

I must commend the leadership of the ULP for giving young people the opportunity to contribute to the political process and the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}} First, I applaud the candidacy of Luke Browne, a vibrant and promising youngster who is certainly one for the future. Luke will be a good prospect to continue from the Hon. Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at some point. He is an Oxford graduate and Rhodes Scholar, but that alone does not show his brilliance as a son of the nation. Despite all this, I don’t expect a major upset against the Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace. Jomo Thomas would have been a much better candidate for the East Kingstown seat with young Luke as his understudy.

In West Kingstown, I am happy to see a young female in the person of Michelle Fife, a vibrant and intelligent young lady. Her choice as replacement for the hard working Hon. Minister, Rene Baptiste shows ULP’s investment in young people. The rumour that Ellsworth John is looking to contest that seat can only make the toss up in West Kingstown more interesting as they are two very good quality candidates who have a lot to offer. Michelle, a former beauty queen knows a thing or two about team playing. She is academically rounded and spiritually grounded. Coming from a Christian background, her strength and character are qualities needed in Parliament.

I look at Saboto Caeser, a young man with huge potential. He is solid and has depth, as proven both in intellect and through his work as the youngest minister of government in the current parliament. Saboto is humble and will go far as a politician if he continues to stay in touch with the people on the ground. I expect him to bring home the ULP seat safely. His story is one of progress from his humble roots to a member of parliament.

I am also pleased to see the bold steps by the ruling party to invest in young people. Hans King as Press Secretary, Rochelle Forde as Senator, the young list of Permanent Secretaries and even Anesia Baptise as Communications Manager at the Ministry of Tourism, to mention a few. Yes she was put in that post by the ULP government.

I am sad to hear that the young Beache will not be contesting his seat. He has done well and could have out done his father in that constituency. However, I am a bit surprised to still see a few faces in the political race for the next general elections. In the valley, young lawyer Ronnie Marks would have been a better choice than the Hon. Girlyn Miguel. Although the Minister has done well over the years, I do believe it is time for the youngsters who are well qualified to make a contribution. Marks is well known on the ground in Marriaqua and has even served recently as a Senator.

I turn to West St. George and the names of Curtis King and Richard Williams easily come to mind. Mr. King has made a sterling contribution over the years as community activist in that area and Mr. Williams carries with him the heart of old Labour. Instead, we are left with the choice of the “senior citizen” Ces McKie whom I believe is a few years too late and should really give the teacher the West St. George ticket.

In North Windward, Montgomery Daniel is a clear choice and not much can be said here. In North Leeward, I am not sure if the ULP are really looking at the votes in the last election as Dr Thompson, although a hard working Minister of Government, has failed to gain the confidence of the people. The doctor seems to be hanging from a thread. No doubt the ULP should be looking for young vibrant candidates to keep hold of this seat. Seon Marshall of the Star Morning Scoop fame comes to mind, but his character is questionable. He needs to give an explanation and an apology over the Yes Vote campaign (money) issue and OTHER THINGS. Cuthbert “Mr Cool” James is by far a better choice and will easily regain the North Leeward seat for the ULP. They are not short of names such as Carlos James, the young lawyer studying in England and Jules Anthony, a community man also comes to mind, the younger James adding to the youthful mix. The two James and Anthony are much better choices.

I cannot imagine the likes of Clayton Burgin contesting a third time around, but it seems the Comrade is left short of choices in that constituency. The names Sayers, Burgin and Walters leave a BAD TASTE in my mouth as I would sum up their contribution as parliamentarians over the past two terms as on the job training. They are yet to bear fruit. We are yet to see the new faces for the other seats, but the voices on the ground are loud. I hope the PM is listening!

J Providence