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vynette gonsalves
Opposition Senator Vynnette Frederick and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph (File montage).

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The opposition senator who was last week forgot the meaning of an abbreviation in a question she asked in Parliament “must cleanse herself of two sets of assumptions”, according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

Vynnette Frederick, the opposition shadow minister for technology, told Parliament that she had forgotten what “LTE” means, after Gonsalves asked her to explain the meaning of the abbreviation to legislators.

After an extended exchange between Gonsalves and Frederick about the meaning of the abbreviation, Gonsalves told legislators that it stands for “Long-Term Evolution”.

“… Senator Frederick must cleanse herself of two sets of assumptions, which is what got her into trouble,” Gonsalves said on radio last week.

“The first is to assume that she knows more on a subject than she actually knows,” he further stated, adding that the senator, on some subjects, assumes that she knows “more than everybody else”.

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“The second bundle of assumptions is to assume that persons to whom you direct questions that those persons don’t know,” he added.

Gonsalves, 65, said that there is an idea among some that in order to understand information technology and the policy related to it “you have to be on Twitter, you had to be blogging, on Facebook, every minute you sending BBM messages and so on”.

“I use the computer to educate myself. … Now people feel that because you are not involved in blogging, you are a complete illiterate,” he said.

He said that as Minister of Technology, he has to study the policy issues.

“I have been in the street. I have been in the trenches. When you come to me to ask a question, doesn’t it register in your head that this man, anything you ask him, that he is going to take a great care in addressing it?”

Gonsalves noted that in a previous question Frederick has used the acronym “CITE-SVG” and he explained what it means and warned her about the abbreviations in the following question.

“She didn’t even realise that I was, in a fatherly way, both helping her, if she knew everything, but setting her up as a cross-examiner, just in case because my instinct told me that she as making two dangerous assumptions, which I just referred to,” said Gonsalves, a lawyer.

“Now, she is a young lady. She has passion. But passion alone can’t get you anywhere. You have to study things, which means you have to be committed to things. … Passion is important, you know. But if you only have passionate intensity, you are not going anywhere,” Gonsalves further said.

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