By BGS

The 2020 general elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are fast approaching. The ruling regime is seeking their fifth term while the main opposition party, the New Democratic Party (NDP) is seeking once more to unseat what I consider a very ruthless regime that will do almost anything to remain in power.

It is clear the elections in SVG since 2001 have not been normal. The people’s votes are taken for granted and winning by all means necessary seems to be the order of the day. It is almost certain that once there is a free and fair election that the opposition will win handsomely. However, everyone must understand that the ruling party has too much to lose and will take this fight to the end.

They have not created an economic environment that our people, especially our younger population, can become successful and viable. In fact, unemployment for our youths has risen to over 46% and many of our secondary and college graduates are really feeling the everlasting pain of this Labour government when it’s their time to find jobs.

Please, its time to deliver from this labour pain and give birth to an environment in which our people can grow and become independent. This election, my people, must be taken seriously than any other elections in the past. Our lives, our children and grandchildren’s lives depend on it. Come election day we cannot vote then go home with our score sheets waiting for the elections results. Things are not normal in our electoral process anymore so after casting our votes we have to stick around and help the NDP to secure our vote and to monitor the police because many of them, especially in the higher ranks, have not acted responsibly and even honestly in the past.

Undoubtedly, this trend will continue. The pressure on the business community over the last four and a half years has seen dozens of businesses go belly up. COVID-19 has also showed us that our businesses can remain closed for weeks in order to protect its staff and customers. It is incumbent on the owners to make the sacrifice and close their business for the entire election day to enable their workers the opportunity to go and vote and be a part of the entire process. Failing to do so, you, too, will suffer for another five years or go belly up as well.

Things are so hard in this country that more police officers, civil servant and ordinary people have turn to gambling, in particular, buying scratch cards and 3D to assist with their bills. They do so not because they love to but because things they see no other option in their desperate effort to make ends meet. Look at the Lotto booths around the country and make the judgement for yourself. As early as 8 a.m., the booths are full.

Many people living pay cheque to pay cheque and cannot wait for the next month to end because things are hard in the country, yet some of the said vulnerable people are speaking about five in a row. It must be understood clearly that the prime minister doesn’t care about poor people of this country and cannot run in this election on his record so the lumber, galvanise, cement — and should I mentioned pigs and cash? — culture has started. These are all designed to fool you, my people, but I know you are much smarter than that and have demonstrated this in two previous elections but your votes were not secured. Don’t you think you deserve better? Or would you rather accept the hand-outs now and suffer for the next five years?

The prime minister knows that you voted against his government in the past two elections so he is mad with you and thinks that you only deserve these hand-outs every election. Let’s put him in his place once and for all by voting overwhelmingly against him and his oppressive administration and prevent any stealing this time around.

The choice is clear this election. If we do not secure our votes we all will continue to receive poor health care, political victimisation, poor schooling, poor policing, economic hardship, an increase in the rape culture, the families of the rich and famous will continue to get richer, the middle class will get poorer while the poor will end up in more poverty and the NDP supporters will suffer and die.

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

4 replies on “2020 is no normal general election for SVG”

  1. I think this writer above is blind to the fact when he talks about education in saint Vincent he dont know what he is saying. Okay the government there may have some flaws but not about education. The young people are coming out with top education and university educated. Some may not do well but for the majority they are top scholars. Give the government a break and take your fight away from education.

    1. Nathan Jolly Green says:

      Monica, Dear Lady, like so many Vincentians you have been fooled about the education that Ralph has labelled the Education Revolution.

      The truth is before Ralph was elected, in the late 1990’s the Ministry of Education under the NDP signed up for an educational scheme organised and paid for the World Bank and others. Every developing country in the World were offered the scheme and the money to finance it. Every Caribbean nation adopted it, it took a three year lead time to come to fruition. When Gonsalves and the ULP got into office in 2001 the scheme started to kick in during the following years.

      Education for All (EFA) is an international initiative first launched in 1990 to bring the benefits of education to “every citizen in every society.” To realize this aim, a broad coalition of national governments, civil society groups, and development agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank Group committed to achieving six specific education goals:

      Expand and improve comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

      Ensure that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, those in difficult circumstances, and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free, and compulsory primary education of good quality.
      Ensure that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programs.

      Achieve a 50% improvement in adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.

      Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieve gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.

      Improve all aspects of the quality of education and ensure the excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

      In 2000, 189 countries and their partners adopted the two EFA goals that align with Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2 and 3, which refer to universal primary education and gender parity. The World Bank recognizes that achieving these goals requires supporting the full EFA commitment.

      Ralph Gonsalves was the only leader in the world who took the scheme and pretended it was his own, renaming and re-labelling it the Education Revolution. It was not his, it was little more than a fraud to pretend it was.

      The difference is in most other countries it has been a roaring success, in SVG it has been a roaring failure.

      This, Monica is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

  2. Its a normal election year! has and will always be.
    The ppl of SVG has to asked themself “are we better off and are their collective interest of all Vincentian been looked after. Health care. Jobs. Rds. Etc.”
    An educated voter would make the right choice.

  3. The writer seems to cast all guilt on the government, if he were an objective person he will realize that the problems lie with the citizens. They take their cote for granted and do not vote on issues. They would rather exchange the votes for trival Issues like for example a bottle of rum at the local shops or a road work now being available around election time. The problem in this country is low voter conscienceness.

    Low voter awareness is a symptom of poverty that is gripping the country. Who do you bame? Do you blame the party in power? Cast the bame on the people who marginalize themselves and not the government.

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