KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – As St. Lucians prepare to vote today, this country’s prime minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said yesterday that consultants for the ruling party there copied the style and substance of his Unity Labour Party’s (ULP) winning campaign for the December 2010 general election.
The one-seat majority at the December polls secured for the ULP a third consecutive term in office and relief Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), consultants for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), of their perfect election victory record.
The United Workers Party (UWP) of Prime Minister Stephenson King in St. Lucia is seeking to brush aside the main opposition St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) and secure a second consecutive five-year term in general elections today.
The UWP is hoping that the London-based SCL can work the trick for them.
“I told you in 2009 and 2010 who the SCL were,” Gonsalves said yesterday of the firm that helped the NDP to secure a winning “No” voted during the November 2009 Constitution Referendum.
“And to tell you there is nothing original about them, they use any opportunistic technique to see if they can bend the mind. They are working for the ruling party in St. Lucia. Do you know what were their main theme songs? Ask [Minister of Tourism Saboto Caesar], he was down there: ‘Waka Waka’ and ‘Show Me Your Voting Finger,’” Gonsalves told the 18th convention of the ULP.
“And you heard slogans like ‘We Nah Tun back’ and ‘We Not Going Back to Labour in St. Lucia’. They copied the style and substance of the ULP campaign, we having beaten them,” Gonsalves said.
“Show Me Your Voting Finger”, and “We Nah Tun back” were two of the slogans and songs of the ULP campaign last year, while “Waka Waka” was the theme song for the Football World Cup in South Africa.
“Well, imitation is the best form of approbation and approval. … Imagine that, they nah tun back, ‘Waka Waka’, ‘Show Me Your Voting Finger’, hell of a thing, eh?” Gonsalves said.
I Witness News was unable to independently verify Gonsalves’ claim but the UWP’s manifesto online is emblazoned with the words “The Power of We”, while one of the party’s YouTube videos ends with the slogan “Keep the flames of progress burning”.
“What we must do next time is to register them (the slogans) with intellectual property rights so they can’t be used without our permission,” Gonsalves said.
“Put them in CIPO — the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office. … In fact, we should do so now so that they can’t repeat it again anywhere else,” he said.
Gonsalves has often been critical of the SLC, which he has described as colonialists and interfering in the country’s domestic affairs.
After a confrontation with an SCL employee in the Britain last year, Gonsalves accused the company of tracking him and further said the company had hired someone to hack into his email account and interfere with his telecommunications.