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Troy Prince in an Oct. 1, 2022 photo.
Troy Prince in an Oct. 1, 2022 photo.
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By Troy Prince (Concerned Vincentian)

“Poverty is lack of power. And that lack of power is a direct consequence of others having too much power – ultimately too much control over resources. Wealth comes from exploitation of people and the planet’s resources.” — Global Justice Now

The above quotation is a clear indication of the state of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) today. The poverty situation in SVG is so shameful that the Ralph Gonsalves Unity Labour Party government continues to withhold the poverty assessment report for 2018. I guess the numbers are too ridiculous and the government is ashamed of the reality they have brought upon the nation for the last 23 years in power.

Now, one may expect that the people in poverty would rise up against the people in power and demand better. While this definitely would seem to be the most likely thing to do, in SVG, it is the other way around. Most times, in SVG, every election it is the POOREST of Vincentians, that can be seen and heard supporting and defending the people in power. This definitely highlights the fact that the lack of power amongst the poor only builds up power amongst the already rich and wealthy.

Therefore, it is for this reason that I am of the opinion that Vincentians who are crying out for hardship will still make the same political choice and mistake in 2024/25 general elections. I have witnessed such backward actions in the last two general elections in SVG. To paint the picture more clearly, this is what continues to happen with Vincentians and elections.

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For four and a half years into the five-year election cycle, Vincentians would complain and cry about hardship. Then, for the last six months before elections, the government pays attention to their crying, offering them money, lumber, galvanize, cement and a lot more treats. This, in turn, wins them over, through exploitation of their poverty, causing them to further inflict suffering on themselves by voting the government back into office.

The poor and hungry overlook their hunger for four and a half years, only to remember their last meal for five months. As a result, the last meal, which is a bellyful of lies and empty promises, return the people in power for another 4.5 years to do the same. I shall call such happenings “the cycle of corruption”.

Now, how do we break such a cycle? Or is it breakable at all? Will we be able to prevent such unfortunate situations from happening come the next general election? These are all pertinent questions that the main opposition NDP and all right-thinking Vincentians who care about their country and its people should try to answer.

To assist in this regard, Mahatma Gandi, one of the wisest men to have ever walked the earth posits that “exploitation of the poor can be extinguished not by effecting the destruction of a few millionaires, but by removing the ignorance of the poor and teaching them to non-cooperate with their exploiters

Essentially, Gandi, in that quote, teaches us that the problems lie with the people and it is only when the people in poverty wise up, rise up, stand up and be counted that their situation would change. If they fail to do such, then they shall continue to suffer each time they take the easy route out (handouts and gifts).

In conclusion, the ULP’s style of politics continue to thrive given the high level of poverty in SVG. They continue to only help the poor and needy when bribing their way into power. Vincentians, you have fallen for these old dirty tricks over and over again. You continue to pay the price for not putting country before party and your bellies. If you continue to overlook the suffering of your fellow citizens just because you are not suffering, you are just as responsible as the people in power. Our sweet SVG needs us. Be a model and decent Vincentian, and do the right thing next general election.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” —Martin Luther King Jr.

Too many Vincentians at home and in the diaspora are silent on key issues like poverty and corrupt practices by the government of the day. Wake up from your slumber Vincentians, you are constantly taken advantage of because of your impoverished situation. It is for this reason that you MUST NEVER vote the ULP back into office the next general elections.

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].

10 replies on “The people crying in SVG now must NEVER re-elect ULP”

  1. Why blame the Ulp for manipulating the political process by meeting the needs of hungry citizens in the last 4 months of their mandate? There is an old adage that goes like this, ” Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. Vincentians are being fooled more than once.

  2. True poverty, the poverty I saw every day growing up is thankfully long gone.

    Economists call it “absolute poverty,” also known as hungry belly poverty, based on widespread malnutrition, disease, a high death rate, and a low life span.

    This is what I saw every day growing up 70 years ago.

    This absolute poverty has largely vanished in SVG as “relative poverty,” the gap between the rich and poor, has replaced it, a gap that sees the poorest of the poor never going hungry, never living in a home with 15 other people, never having the amenities that most of us now take for granted: indoor plumbing, electricity, a stove, a refrigerator, even a washing machine.

    We are a well-off people today also from a global standard compared to the wretched of the earth in much of Africa and across huge sections of the Middle East and Asia, including India and China.

    We should be thankful for our escape from absolute poverty instead of cursing our politicians who have worked day and night to help make this happen.

  3. This an excellent piece by Mr. Prince. I applaud him for the sharpness of his commentary. There is article by Dr. Tali Sharot of the University College of London and M.I.T., and Cass R. Sunstein, titled “Why People Fail to Notice Horrors Around Them,” that was shared with me recently. Unfortunately I do not have the publication source. The piece addresses a psy
    chological phenomenon called “habituation”, which argues that there is a tendency in humans to respond less and less to things that are constant or change slowly, because they become accustomed or habituated to the situation or positions. Gonsalves and Co. seem to understand this very well, and so they seek to reinforce in the minds of the poor and poverty stricken that the handouts that come at election time represents the care and concern of that Party for the condtions of the beneficiaries, and so they are blessed to receive handouts. This habituates them to their circumstances and to what they are told, and so they hold on to what little comfort they see themselves receiving. That cycle of psychological manipulation has to be broken, by hard work directed to these people seeking to remove the viewpoints instilled in them, and building their understanding and awareness that things can and should be different.

  4. Well, it’s a long time now me saying the same thing. A mean if the other one ain no good either, vote them out too. But you haffo shake up the basket every so often.

  5. I don’t belive they were re-elected by the people since 2005. and that’s the opinion of so many people. dem go talk on dem dying bed.

  6. This government is a waste of time, saint vincent and the grenadines should be further ahead, lazy politicians not doing their jobs what the people put them their to do, cant negotiate, cant plan ahead of time, I just believe in a two terms and you are out.

  7. Take Warning if you are making sn allegation you have to give or state your Remember you are entitled to hour opinion but not the facts.

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