By Therold Prudent
The ongoing debate as to what party is responsible for inflating Saint Lucia's deficit is not only mind boggling, but also a debate that seems cleverly and purposefully designed to divert the nation's attention from the inability of the Saint Lucia Labour government to deliver on its promise of "Better Days".
Therold Prudent is the Political Leader of the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM)
Following a rather boring and hopeless debate involving apportioning blame to his opponent for the dire economic straits of the country, the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) remains baffled as to why Dr Anthony does not consider himself part of the problem of having significantly contributed to Saint Lucia's woes.
With a collective tenure of almost twelve years of association in governing our nation, two of which were spent as the island's education minister in the ill-fated Saint Lucia Labour Party of 1979 and later as Saint Lucia's prime minister in 1997, 2001, and 2011, Dr Kenny Anthony has become second to only the late Sir John Compton in terms of length of time served running our nation since the island became an independent state in 1979.
If, after three tries at the helm of our national government, the only thing that seems reasonable to Dr Anthony is the use of divisionary political tactics of blame to further divide a struggling nation, then it is also reasonable to conclude that Saint Lucians are in for a rude awaking in terms of having a government that is serious enough to remain focused and deal with the myriad of social and economic problems that we currently face.
If the aim is to inspire their own following and opponents alike in arriving at a national consensus free of partisan rancour and is aimed at dealing with Saint Lucia's fiscal problem, then leaders, especially those at the helm of our government, must first seek to own up to their own mistakes. The hallmark of a truly successful government is not one that solely relies on its electoral mandate to govern with impunity while ridiculing their opponents, but is instead one that seeks to expand the scope of government by listening and embracing a system of inclusion, which does not leave the thousands of persons who oppose them shut out in matters that are crucial to building our nation and attaining an economically viable Saint Lucia.
To date, Dr Anthony, with his abrasive, often self-righteous nature and approach to governance as well as the propensity to look away from himself and apportion blame to others, has left little room for an honest discussion about shared responsibility and the duplicity that has existed on the part of all those who have had the opportunity to manage Saint Lucia's past and current affairs.
The LPM is very cognizant of those who wish to employ revisionist history to justify their own failings. Therefore, given the dire economic and fiscal situation in which Saint Lucia finds itself, we, the members of the LPM, call upon Dr Anthony to rethink his decision to hand over the prime ministership to someone else midway into his current tenure as prime minister of Saint Lucia. We implore Dr Anthony instead to complete the entire five years and to prove to all of Saint Lucia that not only is he committed to an economically sound Saint Lucia, but also to fixing his portion of the fiscal and economic mess that Saint Lucia is currently in.
Good leaders do not abandon the mission when difficulties and disappointment set in. Dr Anthony has an obligation to prove (if not to the entire country) to his following that he truly was the progressive and transformational Messiah that they had hoped would do better than John Compton when the decision was made to hire him to lead the Saint Lucia Labour Party in 1996 and subsequently to lead Saint Lucia.