TAIPEI, Taiwan — Lawyer Vynnette Frederick plans to contest the next general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the constituency of West St. George.
She is responding to what she termed “a real serious call in St. Vincent for young people to insert themselves into and assert themselves in the political process”.
Elections are due by December 2010 and Frederick told I-Witness News the economy, healthcare, government spending, and poor constituency representation would be the major issues when Vincentians vote.
“Our economy is seriously on the slide,” Fredrick said.
She said Vincentians were not confident that the Minister of Finance — Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves — had “enough skill” to ensure that the country’s economy survives the global crisis.
“There is nothing being done to cushion the blow or inspire confidence that we can indeed survive the fallout that the world is experiencing.
“(Vincentians) are fed up of not being able to make ends meet and add to this environment a practice of flowery talk with no action and that does not bode well for the people who want and deserve to have their concerns heard and responded to,” Frederick said.
If Frederick becomes her party’s nominee for the next elections, it will be the first time that the former teacher is entering electoral politics.
The public relations officer of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) lost an internal bid to represent the party in South Leeward in the December 2005 elections.
Another newcomer, Nigel Stevenson, was selected as the candidate. He lost to the incumbent Unity Labour Party’s Dr Douglas Slater. The NDP lost that contest 3-12 to the ULP – the same result as the 2001 race.
“My hat in the ring is a response to the serious need for bringing an end to the politics of the past. It is my answer to the call to push for more positivity in the politics of the future,” Frederick said.
She said “politics of the future” seeks to unite the nation around common desires and does not assassinate character but promotes and explains the agenda for making progress for all Vincentians.
“My ambition therefore is to be a real standard bearer for the youngster who wants to contribute and hopefully make a difference in shaping how our politics changes in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Frederick said the Dr Gonsalves-led ULP has not been able to move the country “forward enough” since it came to office in 2001.
She said the nation was politically divided and supporters of the ULP had been “cowed by their own leadership into thinking that somehow progress for all will defeat their own ability to progress”.
“I can bring my energy and understanding for what we need to do to create a knowledge-based economy, which is central to moving our nation forward,” Frederick said.
She said she looked forward to promoting community building throughout the constituency and advocate for the growth and proliferation of youth organisations.
She also wanted to create opportunities for the youth to get involved in the transformation of their communities.
“Many times politicians talk about young people but they never integrate them into the process in a real way.
“I would be a strong advocate for bringing those who can do to the table so that we can plan strategy and execute it to see our cultural product and creative arts develop so that it becomes a sustainable and viable contributor to our economy.
“Young people need to spearhead such a charge,” she said.
The ULP’S Michael “Mike” Browne is the constituency representative of West St. George.