Sen. Camillo Gonsalves. (IWN file photo)

He says he is not interested in debates about furniture or the metaphorical cutting of throats.

But Sen. Camillo Gonsalves says that that whenever the Opposition “find the occasion to rise above petty politics”, they will find in him “a keen ear and an open mind”.

Gonsalves outlined his position last week Thursday during his maiden address to Parliament.

“I am not interested in debates about furniture or whose throat should be metaphorically cut, but let us instead battle over our competing visions for the poor, the youth, education, our airport, our national growth and development,” he told lawmakers.

“As we compete, let us do so with honour and dignity, not honour and sensationalism; let iron sharpen iron instead of us descending into a state often indistinguishable from a rum shop cacophony.,” he further said.

Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Consumer Affairs, and Information Technology, is the country’s immediate past ambassador to the United Nations.

He said that the experience at the U.N., makes him, by necessity, “a seeker of consensus” and developed in him “an ability to see the value of an opposing view point”.

“I have helped to broker deals between Americans and Iranians, found areas of agreement between Arabs and Israelis and helped in some small way to build bridges between warring neighbours.

“With those experiences, Mr. Speaker, the differences in this room, while significant, seem unworthy of the malice and the rancour often times displayed in this Parliament,” he said.

The senator, who is son of Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, said that former emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie, said that in the history of the human race, those periods which later appeared as great have been the period when the men and women belonging to them had transcended the differences that divided them and recognised in the human race a common bond.

“Similarly, if historians are to look back at this error, we should recognise in ourselves that we are commonly all Vincentians and … that we hold dear a belief that we all can assist in the development of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and I think that should be the unifying factor around which all of us can gather and govern,” Gonsalves said.

“We may differ in our ideologies, our analyses, our prescriptions for national development and these are important differences, and our electoral fortunes are premised on our ability to convince the electorate that we have the correct view. But I believe that despite these important differences, we are unified by a love for St. Vincent and the Grenadines and a genuine, sincere desire to see her do well,” he further stated.

3 replies on “Sen. Gonsalves offers Opposition ‘keen ear and an open mind’”

  1. He should first talk to his father about his behaviour which is sometimes rude and nasty. He should tell his father to stop telling lies and refrain from lies himself.

    He should tell the people about the UN support that was given to certain states, some of them rubbish states, SVG being financially rewarded for using our UN vote favourably for those states. That was not diplomacy, it was diplomatic dishonesty.

  2. Wilmoth Aberdeen says:

    Camillo could you please give us a verifiable example of your diplomatic adventures between the U.S.A. and Iran –The ” Arabs and Israelis ” ? Keep smoking the good vincy stuff.. next thing, you parted the caribbean sea. In the pecking order at the U.N., your opinions would never count… a small fish in the big diplomatic ocean !

  3. I will like for Vincentians to give this man a chance to prove himself. Some of the things that he is talking about is very refreshing. I think that in Parliament, the people’s business should be conducted in a respectful manner and all members elected and appointed should work in the best interest of the people that employ them; namely the SVG people. I particularly appreciate the fact that Senator Gonsalves acknowledges that iron sharpens iron and also in the equality of women in our society. I am not beholden to any political party so I feel that when the budget is agreed upon that there should be proportionate distribution of funds to all of the electoral districts based upon the size of the population of the district. The Elected Representative of each district will be accountable and audited to make sure that the funds are used for the peoples business. If we can adjust our current system in this manner, it will not matter which party is in power. We will have all of our representatives working for all of our people. That’s how iron sharpens iron. I will like to hear Senator Gonsalves thoughts on this matter, also what he thinks about Reparations and whether he thinks that the incident in New York with the NYPD could have been handled in a wiser manner on His side.

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