ST. VINCENT:- Luke Browne, the 24-year-old political novice who is trying to unseat Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, 65, in the next general elections, has appealed to supporters of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) to ensure that “the bar associated with getting into political representation isn’t too high”.
Browne told ULP supporters in Rose Hall on Sunday, Sept. 19, that politics is not something that one comes to as an afterthought or to occupy oneself during retirement.
The national and Rhodes scholar, who is also a former national cricketer, said that like sportspeople, politicians should come to the profession in their youth, and appealed to the crowd to support young politicians.
“Because, you know, from time to time, when you look at the attacks that would be made on you (young politicians); when you look at the individuals — who you thought would otherwise be carrying a different line — trying to tear you down, trying to prevent you from representing the people in your area and carrying out what are really noble intentions — you have to ensure that you rally behind that individual who is facing those attacks, to get them pass those threats and to active representation wherever they may be,” he said.
Browne said that when the ULP came to office in 2001, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was the second poorest and unequal country in Western Hemisphere after Haiti. (Go to the homepage to subscribe to I Witness-News)
The multi-island state had the worst economic performance of the four Windward Islands and had maintained that position for 10 years, he said.
He said the ULP’s policy of economic development, employment creation, and poverty reduction had moved SVG to the top performer in the Windward Islands.
Browne told the crowd that while unemployment had increased from 1990 to 2001 under the New Democratic Party (NDP), the ULP had created 10, 000 jobs during its two terms in office.
He urged the audient to return the ULP to office in the general elections due by March 2011, saying that the Party will build on the gains it has made. (Follow I Witness-News on Facebook)
“Comrades, there are a couple of things for us to consider. When you consider the way in which this government has gone about its business, we have to ask ourselves if we want to revert to the previous situation,” Browne said.
“Because, previously, we had a government which said that some people are better than others. And, the question, therefore, that we should ask is, ‘Do you want to revert to a government that think some people are better than others? Do you want to revert to a government that declares some citizens to be first class, and other citizens second class? Do you want to revert to a government that would erode our economic progress, a government that will sideline sports and place little emphasis on your safety? Then you need to vote Labour,” he said.
Browne will represent the ULP in East Kingstown, in general elections due by next March.
Arnhim Eustace, an economist and former prime minister who is also president of the NDP, has resented that constituency since 1998, winning his seat in three consecutive elections.