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.
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