Our Readers' Opinions
November 20, 2015
The fallacy behind smear campaigns

Editor: In light of recent developments here in SVG, it is important for Vincentians to understand the politics and fallacy behind smear campaigns. A smear campaign is always the result of desperation, coming close to the election date and after a general mood, supported by a clear and scientific prediction, reveals that victory under normal circumstances is unattainable.{{more}} Smear campaigns that purport to delve into the private and personal lives of electoral candidates have no place in electoral politics here in SVG and throughout the Caribbean and the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament must be commended for their recent condemnation of an attempt to smear Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley a few weeks before their recent elections. Needless to say, that backfired big time.

The recent and continuing attempts at a smear campaign here in SVG may well be the result of a general acceptance that, based on his track record, his genuine love for his people, his intellectual capacity and his diligence and constancy of purpose, Ralph Gonsalves is unmatched and represents an unbeatable political force. This acceptance is supported by the fact that a majority of the electorate genuinely admires and loves him, in spite of what he claims are his personal flaws.

The fact that he is astute politically and well respected at home and abroad has elevated him to a level which his opponents can only dream about reaching.

So, how do you beat Usain Bolt in a 100m race? Simple; you hope he pulls a muscle, gets disqualified, or just doesn’t show up. If he runs under normal conditions and is judged simply for his athletic ability, he will win. He can only lose by “default”. The case is seemingly similar for Ralph Gonsalves and the ULP in these upcoming elections, with desperation building as the truth sinks in. I want to ask any of the would-be proponents of the smear campaign: are your personal and financial records, shared photographs, cell phone records, travel itineraries, bedroom, hotel and apartment room activities all fair game for journalists and for public scrutiny? Do you wish to be judged by your own standards? Think carefully before you answer.