By Lloyd Noel
No one in the government seems prepared to tell our people exactly where monies are coming from to pay salaries and meet other expenses, or to finance the bursted Budget -- so quite naturally speculation is running wild and having a heyday.
Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator
Neither the minister of finance, as the person whose primary responsibility is centred in and around the financial matters of the state, nor the prime minister – as the leader of the pack who has to answer to the people in the final analysis – seems prepared, able, or willing to say it as it is.
And while this game of silence continues, the economy as a whole and the daily needs of our people, continue to go further and deeper down the annals of frustration, deprivation and hopelessness.
And the dangers inherent in that state of affairs must not be treated lightly or over-looked – because while some people can stomach or tolerate shortages, and even make wider sacrifices, a whole lot of others cannot rise to that level, and their reaction and responses can be a real menace and even dangerous.
So that, while the power-controllers are not disclosing or sharing the bad news, and leaving the people in suspense and in need, the undercurrent menace could explode in different ways as the economic situation deteriorates.
And in the midst of that level of uncertainty and growing concern, even the sitting of the House of Parliament remains a mystery and hovering in Limbo, after the summer recess.
Parliament traditionally goes on recess every year for the month of August and a week or few days in September. It is now a full month and a half and no word to-date about when Parliament will re-open.
Of course the motion of no confidence in the government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, filed by MP Karl Hood, is pending for debate and voting – but that should not be a good reason for prolonging the recess indefinitely.
After all is said and done, Parliament is the business place of the people – not of any political party – and the business of the people must be carried on at all times, regardless of the consequences.
And if one of the pack that was elected by the people, chooses to make a fool of himself – by going to the very house asking his comrades to vote against the leader and prime minister who got him into the House in the first place – then so be it, why not let him do so.
Against that background, while we are talking about election within the year, it seems that the Election and Registration Office is having problems in getting the voting cards to those who have already registered.
So while the appeal is for the people who have not done so to get registered, a lot of those who did so months ago are still waiting for the cards.
And in the meantime we are hearing about the new parties coming on stream, or the old ones being revived in readiness for the polls – whenever that maybe.
The latest one, Movement for Independent Candidates (MIC), is really a brand new innovation.
I have not seen anything in writing about what the party stands for, nor what the members plan to do if successful, but having heard that our current St John’s MP is going to contest the next elections as an independent person, I got the impression that those making up that group are mere rabble rousers, and not a serious political party as such.
But whether they are saying one thing and planning to operate as something else, that is a matter for the group as such and the people who will support them in an election.
As the situation stands at present, there seems to be at least five parties showing an interest in the political affairs of the state – although only the two now holding seats in Parliament look serious about gaining control of state power.
On the other hand, however, there seems to be a strange pattern of behaviour running through our people’s action, when it comes down to getting their names on the voters lists for pending elections.
It is generally agreed that the majority of our people went to the polls in July, 2008 to elect the existing NDC government in control because they were fed up with the behaviour of our NNP leader and prime minister – and they wanted change.
To say that the said majority is now fed up, and badly disappointed with the non-performance and continuing division of the NDC lot is putting it mildly. But to decide that they are not getting registered because they are not going to vote at the next election, whenever it is called, that is going too far in my humble opinion.
As a people, we all have to live and play our part in the development of our islands and its people – because this is our homeland.
Politicians come, they do whatever and they move on – but we the people are always there for our families and those coming after us – and we should not be abandoning and neglecting those responsibilities and duties, on the same basis as that applied to our political likes and dislikes.
By abstaining from voting – and leaving it to the others to choose those who will be representing us for the next five years – we are in fact saying to them, choose whoever you like or approve of and we will be satisfied.
And then for the said number of years, we just have to swallow whatever is handed down and shut up.
Everything about that decision must be wrong, and those persons who are planning to behave in that way must reconsider their options.
True enough, the current lot in control badly disappointed us over the past four years, and they seem intent on prolonging the chaos to the very end – even though things look hopeless.
But however long it may last, life goes on after they have given up and under the control of whichever group may take over.
And quite naturally, all of us who continue to live in these islands would be subject to whatever is happening and be affected by the decisions, and therefore we should play some part in choosing the decision-makers.
It is understandable how so many are feeling, based on the promises made and the reliance placed on those who seemed so genuine and reliable.
But that is how things unfold at times, and in politics more so than in life generally – some people say and promise all sorts, but for one reason or another they fail to produce when given the opportunity.
However, we who have to live in our homeland cannot and must not give up trying to find a group that will stand up and fulfill the promises made.
Throughout history we have seen countless examples of persons who have used power for their own purposes, rather than for the purposes of the whole social group. And power is temptation to look after yourself, your friends and your group.
But despite the foregoing, we cannot wash our hands of all responsibility to choose those who will be controlling the power base – because in so doing we will be giving up our rights to be heard when things are going the wrong way.
It is to be the hope that our people do get registered to vote, and exercise that right to choose those who will be controlling our nation’s destiny – when the time comes around.