Carlos James, addresses a ULP rally in Redemption Sharpes in September 2015. (iWN photo)

Government senator, Carlos James, who recently became Assistant General Secretary of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP), says he believes his elevation will help to strengthen the party.

“My appointment to this office will strengthen the party’s organisational structure as we move forward to 2020 and beyond,” said James, who, as a first-time candidate, came within 12 votes of wresting the North Leeward seat from the New Democratic Party’s Roland “Patel” Matthews in the December 2015 general election.

“The ULP continues to place confidence in young people at a leadership level within the party and in government,” James told iWitness News.

He said that political parties are just like the people who comprise them.

“They are akin to living breathing organisms and there comes a time when they have to refresh and transform much like Lamarck’s transformational evolution theory,” said James, who was the only new addition to the ULP’s executive.

“This has been the formula for the ULP since its birth from the merger of the St. Vincent Labour Party and the Movement for National Unity. It has always managed to refresh and renew itself and present the most compelling and credible case for re-election.  We also have one of the most astute political leaders the region has ever seen and, fortunately, Comrade Ralph has been an asset to us,” James said of the ULP, which is into its fourth consecutive term in office.

He said the ULP will continue to grow and transform to the changing political landscape.

“There are likely to be more changes within our party’s framework prior to the 2020 elections and I am humbled to be a part of that process in assisting with its transformation.

“Caribbean politics also has its disadvantages; our political parties must broaden and deepen the dialogue on national issues through political education. We have to move our people away from a certain type of tribal divisiveness, which has grown throughout the region with the advent of technology mainly through talk radio and social media.  Let us engage our people in critical thinking and try to lift the social consciousness of the masses.”

He told iWitness News that the 2020 era is going to be “one of our most critical periods politically as a country and politicians and political parties who are not prepared to adapt will be left behind.

“As our socio-economic and socio-political landscape change my greatest fear is that the consciousness of our people does not change with it. Our role is to ensure that we influence politics in SVG for the better,” James said.