Our Readers' Opinions
October 1, 2010
Urgent call to Saboto and Bash

by Maxwell Haywood Fri, Oct 1, 2010

It is not usual for calls to be made to politicians competing for the same constituency to unite in order to address the situation of constituents regardless of the results of a general election.{{more}} Usually, what you hear around elections time are calls that encourage divisiveness, but not enough calls for harmony against the socio-economic and political ills. For sure, divisiveness cannot fully address the socio-economic ills of our nation. Also, unfortunately, calls for unity during election are often seen by many as irrelevant, out of order, and plain political naivety. However, there is full merit in calls for this kind of unity, regardless to if it is an election season.

Origin of the call

Recently, development expert Oscar Allen made a unique call for unity between NDP representative Adison “Bash” Thomas and ULP representative Saboto Caesar, who are competing for the South Central Windward constituency, to address critical issues facing that constituency.

He made the call in an article published in the Searchlight newspaper of Tuesday, September 14, 2010. According to him: “Can we see ourselves calling out to each other to vote for a representative, a party and a leadership that stand for harmony in the nation? Will you join in the quiet revolution that envisions an SVG coming out of the elections on a path of unity, forgivingness for hard looks, words and victimisation, and doing joint clean up? Can we make this into a pillar of a people’s manifesto? Will I put Saboto Caesar and Bash to this test for my vote?…. When we hear our candidates speak firmly for national unity in his/her constituency, and call his/her party leadership to take this path of harmony, then we have begun to clear the rubble of ground zero.” These words by Oscar Allen need to become reality! I fully endorse this call..

Way forward

It will be unwise for Bash and Saboto to ignore this call for unity. I hope that both the NDP and the ULP will see the wisdom in this call and allow these two young men to positively answer the call, if even as an “experiment” to see how to break through the political divisiveness now threatening the social fabric of our society, and begin to genuinely work together to deal with the issues and problems confronting the people in South Central Windward by facilitating their empowerment and the productive organization of their community or constituency.

The well-being of the people in South Central Windward is the collective responsibility of the people themselves, the political parties, community organizations, the private/business sector in that area, and Diaspora Vincentians who are from South Central Windward, but now live overseas. Together these partners or sectors can work together to identify the development needs and aspirations of the people in South Central Windward. In unity, they can then shape interventions to address these needs and aspirations of the people in this constituency. Together they could evaluate and monitor progress toward meeting these needs and aspirations.

Saboto and Bash should think about organizing a conference process in South Central Windward to bring together the people of the constituency to carry out the development tasks under one unified banner.

Overcoming political divisiveness

However, for this to happen, the people of South Central Windward, inclusive of ULP and NDP members and their supporters, will have to overcome the sharp psychological divisions resulting from political party divisiveness. This will be no easy task. To some people this is impossible. To others it is not only possible but necessary in order to improve the standard of living for the people of South Central Windward. Political party divisiveness must be defeated for unity to emerge around national development initiatives and processes.

Bash and Saboto must not worry about losing support if they answer to this call for unity. Many Vincentians at home and abroad will rejoice with this unity and they will support it. I am confident the Caribbean region and the rest of the world will become interested in this initiative and process and support it, too. This unity will send a clear signal that it is only a matter of time before political party divisiveness is over and done with in South Central Windward and this will positively influence other constituencies to do the same. The benefits will be plentiful! How good and pleasant it will be when brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, “lions and lambs” work together, and plant and reap together.

Are you ready?

I am ready, able and willing to facilitate this call by Oscar Allen for unity between Bash and Saboto in order to accelerate the development of South Central Windward, and by extension the entire nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. What about you? Are you ready?

It is now over to you, Saboto, Bash, and the people of South Central Windward, and those who live overseas.