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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

The Prime Minister (PM) is echoing his plan for a fourth term in office!

The victorious leader has won the last three elections for the United Labour Party (ULP), and in the eyes of some Vincentians, he is steering an administration characterised by high unemployment, crime rate, poverty and inflation, inflated economic performances, insidious political strategies, and numerous empty promises.

Conversely, Georgetown — the “Ghost Town”, as many know it — has become desolate, marred by minimal infrastructure, diminishing businesses and a city that has been ignored by the Government, its local residents and private entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, this city is part of the constituency that the PM represents.

Similarly, the political arena in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has suffered from demagogic leadership, power-oriented political strategies with no clear direction and set goals, solely designed to manipulate citizens into voting for more empty promises, partisan politics and politics controlled by tightly-run organizations that subdue the opposition and reward it supporters.

Today, the PM is begging the nation for a fourth term in government so that his administration can construct a “sea defense” in Georgetown — an area pounded by the roaring Atlantic Ocean and the biggest flattest area in SVG — seemingly below sea level.

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Furthermore, the PM indicated that this project is urgent and that the money is in place to facilitate such needed project.

Here, as a concerned citizen, I‘d like to ask the PM a few questions.

Hitherto, I am expecting the PM to listen, be professional and as the leader he has the responsibility to defend his record and make clear the way ahead, coupled with developing strategies to win the majority — likewise, I have the right to ask questions and to be concerned about the future of SVG and what I will be voting for in the upcoming general elections.

Mr. PM, let’s talk!

If this project is so urgent, and considering that the money is in place, why are you waiting for a next term in office to commence work? According to the dictionary, one of the definitions for urgent is “compelling or requiring immediate action or attention; imperative; pressing: an urgent matter”. Moreover, as a citizen who is paying taxes, it’s my constitutional right to ask from where was this money derived.

Your strategy is translucent and lack consistency and vigour. In my view, which is coherent to the thoughts and perspectives of many Vincentians, I’d rather you tell us that you’d fulfil those promises you made previously — making an entirely new promise to us — not only freaks me out, but it creates disgust and more uncertainty in my mind.

With this comes to mind some of the unfulfilled promises that you have made in the past. In this capacity, what will happen to the meat and vegetable market, which you promised? What about the 100 room hotel, the library and the government branch offices that were all promised to Georgetown? Also, agriculture in this city has been dead! Do you have any plans to resuscitate this important sector? Even so, the cross country road has been abandoned with ineffective communication concerning its discontinuation and future plans.

Still the Georgetown hospital — a facility monumental to the people in that city and surrounding areas, and for the people living above the Dry River — has been stalled and prolonged for apparent reasons. Wasn’t it better to complete this project before a new promise emerges?

In addition to this, Mr. PM, how are you going to deal with those additional promises made previously? The ground-breaking ceremony for the national stadium — that area has become an over vegetated terrain by wild grasses; the second city at Arnos Vale seemed to have submerged under the uncertain circumstances at Argyle, while the tunnel under Cane Garden appears impossible, mirroring financial constraints.

Here, another million dollar question has evolved!

Is this new promise going to be treated like those made before — designed as a prerequisite for votes and when the elections have been completed and the race has been won, left in a remote corner on the priority list?

Mr. PM I am not anti-ULP nor is this insightful journey a PM bashing; rather these perspectives are my thoughts and views subsequent to careful analysis of the status quo.

Again, let me reiterate Mr. PM, you are not all bad news. You have completed some of your promises: the causeway across the Rabacca Dry River, the roads, police station, secondary school and some other important projects through-out SVG. However, I believe that the inaction and conversely, some of your actions, considering SVG’s economic environment, have overshadowed the good of these completed projects and programmes. In my view, there are too many unfinished projects and promises that have not been met.

Sure, it is better to fulfil previous promises first before a new promise surfaced especially when it is being used as a strategic fit for the next general elections.

As a Vincentian I’ll suggest that the PM takes back this new promise and change his strategy; telling the people his plans to complete projects that have been under constructions or many years and even those that have not started.

Not surprising! I believe that the idea of using the airport, the cross country road and Georgetown hospital as strategies has been out-played; hence, the new sea defence strategy.

Ideally, it is a far better strategy to first complete the Argyle International Airport, the Georgetown hospital, the cross country road, the national stadium, the new city at Arnos Vale, the tunnel under Cane Garden, and if I may recommended a few others: develop the agriculture industry, fix Kingstown, poverty, unemployment and crimes, and develop Georgetown.

For now the ocean is calm, prioritize your work and give us a better life!

D. Markie Spring

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

5 replies on “The PM’s pitch for another term in office”

  1. Show me a better person to lead SVG at this time given the current brain drain and the small minded people that continue to criticize instead of helping create. Dr Gonsalves is not a selfish politician. He is a SELF-LESS leader who from the get go created scholarships, build schools and assisted in educating the poor. Yes I’ve seen to first-hand where only the wealthy Vincentians were able to travel abroad and educated their children. Education is the first step out of poverty and he implemented this to assist the poor. Least we forget how many where given a fair to gain an education to help in nation building, only to turn around and bite the hand that fed them!!!!!
    Dr. Gonsalves is a LEADER, not a puppet politician. At the same time he is a man of the people from the GET go. Now let me say this clearly, I am not member of the ULP neither have I met the comrade but I’ve lived and worked in SVG for many years and saw firsthand the changes that was made to better the place. Let’s rally together for a better SVG.
    Thank You Comrade.

  2. Junior, You have stated some of the good things Ralph has done, but so did the author of the topic. You should have addressed the shortcomings he mentioned. It now looks as if you are both addressing situations in a different island.
    He’s asking Ralph to address certain issues and here you are answering for him, but not addressing the issues in the document.
    You mentioned or opined that the educated people are leaving. Have you stopped to ask why this is happening? I think you should examine the complaints of others, before you blindly talk about Ralph is a great leader. Here I beg to differ: He has divided the nation into two camps – Windward and Leeward. This time around he cannot win, because the Central Leeward people will vote NDP. He used a brilliant young man to win the seat for the ULP, and then push him to the back of the bus. Maybe that’s why there is a brain drain.

  3. Andrew D Jolly Cricketer' Simmons says:

    Well written article, Markie. Sometimes I wonder if people (Like Junior – who commented on this article prior to me) actually lives in this country. If they are living in this country, then it is my opinion that they are ‘right up there’ with the ULP admin, because the majority of Vincentians are hollering their dissatisfaction of this Administration. I hate it when people are trying to ‘defend’ what we the meticulous Vincentians can see as abusing power and using it as a benefit to its own use. I don’t appreciate the individualism style of the PM…

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