Our Readers' Opinions
March 8, 2016
Where do we go from here? – Part C

If change will not come from the Government or from the political parties, change needs to come from the people at large. The nation needs to go through a process of healing. In the words of Brother Rose, we need a national “upliftment”.{{more}}

It is unfortunate that while we received adult suffrage in 1951, 65 years later we are still in political infancy because we have refused to move on from the petty politics of the 1950s and 1960s. We claim to be operating in a democracy, but we choose to embrace intolerance for any view but our own; we carry grudges and hate; we view the Opposition as enemies; we shout each other down; we say hurtful things to others; and our commentators declare that we are in a constant state of gutter politics and that our nations has sunk to lows never seen before. These are not the principles of a democracy. I can understand these actions of the 1950s and 1960s. Adult Suffrage was new to us and perhaps the responsibilities and privileges were not well explained to a society that was largely not well educated. However, today we are living in an Education Revolution, where there are so many people with MA, MSc, and PhD degrees walking our streets, where so many of our young have completed their secondary education and have graduated with several subjects at the “O” and “A” levels. We are a well educated society, so there is no reason to be stuck in political infancy, except for the fact that our politicians have kept us there under the divide and rule principles and we are stuck in that trap. We have allowed our political affiliations to define us. Politics is our religion and we treat our political leaders in godlike fashion.

One of my biggest disappointments in reading about the election campaign was the almost total partiality that came out loud and clear from some writers. It was clear that many were merely mouthpieces for one or the other party. Their political one-sidedness rang almost hollow. I notice that Peter Binose has now posted that he has left SVG to return to his comfortable homes in New York and the UK and has left SVG to rot. I found his writings rather biased; he was always ranting and raving against Ralph and one gets the feeling that his sole purpose in life was to see Ralph deposed as Prime Minister. So, as he did not get that, like the rich kid in a game of cricket when he does not get his way, he takes his ball and goes home, putting an end to the game. Here is news for you, Peter, Ralph is still Prime Minister until the Court rules otherwise and life and government in SVG goes on. I hardly believe that SVG will suffer because you are gone. In an election campaign, we need political commentators who could set aside their political biases and discuss topics and issues in an informative and impartial manner. There is nothing wrong with taking a side or trying to win over opinions, but you do not do so with blatant biases. When you preach solely to the ULP or the NDP, you do not win over anyone, as you are preaching to your choir. You should be writing to convince readers from the other camps to come over to yours and to get the undecided to lean towards your view. Political commentary is a wonderful opportunity to get messages across, but you only succeed through persuasion. Never forget that there is always two sides to any story and readers need to hear the other side as well.

Another disappointment was the constant forecasting of a 10 to 5 or 12 to 3 NDP win. Such predictions are counter-productive. They could lead people to stay away from the ballot box, because the win is already predicted and in some minds, assured. When they do not materialize, they cause severe discontent and lead people to believe that fraud was prevalent. Furthermore, they could cause damage to a party, because if election after election the pundits predict a win and it does not happen, people could start to question whether the party is electable and support could slip. These pundits should leave such predictions to persons trained in the science of polling, who even with their training are sometimes wrong. It would have been far better to say that the hope is for an NDP victory and to encourage people to turn out to vote for the party of their choice and let the poll on election day speak.

Friday, in the final part of this series, we look at things we must be willing to change.