By Hudson George
The people voted for a political change in Grenada as expected. They gave the Keith Mitchell’s NNP a landslide victory because the former NDC politicians were more interested in themselves selfishly. By so doing, the NDC politicians thought that their personal ambition comes before country and nation building. And while they were ignoring the cry of the people, Keith Mitchell and his NNP party gained the political support from eligible voters.
Hudson George has a BA in Social Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. He has been writing since his early teenage years and now contributes letters and articles to a number of Caribbean newspapers
The NDC politicians did not have the discipline to work together. There were too many members of parliament trying to grab the leadership of the party and government because they never really recognised their political leader as a person with the ability to govern the country. And with that lack of disciple and cohesiveness, they did not bond themselves together and work in the interests of the country. For instance, the attitude of political characters such as Peter David, Michael Church, Glynis Roberts and Karl Hood exposed the melee and tribalism within the party and government.
However, the Grenadian people became tired and fed up with what was going on in the country during the NDC reign and on election day February 19, 2013, they had no other choice but to reject the NDC politicians crying for a second term and to vote the NNP in a landslide victory, even though the NDC were trying to spread political propaganda to frighten voters about Russian Mafia coming to Grenada, if the NNP won the election.
And one of the main reasons why the NDC politicians tried to use scare tactics to gain political support is because they used similar tactics to defeat the NNP in the 2008 general election, when they told voters that the NNP was a corrupt regime and they have concrete evidence to prove that Keith Mitchell and Gregory Bowen can be prosecuted for violating the laws of Grenada. But up to the very last days the NDC governed the country, no charges of corruption were brought against Mitchell and Bowen. So it seems as though the Grenadian people lost confidence in the NDC propaganda they were accustomed to hear.
In addition, the NDC could not govern the country because too many individuals were holding on to their political baggage and they were not willing to give it up. Some members of the party wanted to take Grenada back to the time of the GNP era of the 1960s and other members wanted to bring back the Bernard Coard style of OREL political culture of the 1970s and 1980s into the Westminster style of politics, which was impossible. Therefore, with that kind of division and bullying attitude portrayed by some officials within the party, the people lost respect for both political factions within the NDC.
Now, as the NNP is back into office to govern the county for the next five years, the leadership of the party must be strong and cohesive for the government to function effectively. Prime Minister Keith Mitchell is obligated to listen to the voices of the ordinary citizens and to try his best to fulfill their needs in order to hold on to the popular support the NNP has presently. Basically, Grenada does not need any sort of political ideology to create employment. Therefore, it is very important that the NNP government governs the country based on the culture of the people in a practical way, rather than focusing on whether to be conservative or liberal in approach.
Additionally, I personally will be happy to see political characters such as Chester Humphrey, Peter David and Sandra Ferguson turn down their political rhetoric and take some time off to rethink their political values that are not suitable to the present political culture in our tri island state. Even though these three political characters are educated and they think that can speak effectively for the masses, the kind of politics they are advocating cannot solve our political situation. Grenada needs a version of politics with modern thinking leaders who understand global politics and it is very important that young people are included in order for changes to occur.
However, it will be very interesting to see the role media persons such as Hamlet Mark, George Grant and George Worme will play as the NNP takes over the reins of the country. It is a known fact that Hamlet Mark is very sympathetic towards former NDC politician Peter David, as he has expressed in his editorial when David was expelled from the NDC government. And during the reign of the NDC government, George Worme and George Grant were media persons playing the role as gatekeepers to promote and spread political propaganda against the NNP.
Now the big question is: What strategy the members NDC can use to rebuild their party after they were beaten so badly in the election? It will be very interesting to see if Tillman Thomas will continue as leader of the party, or if Nazim Burke will take over the leadership. There is a possibility that Nazim Burke can face opposition from Frank Bernadine, knowing that the NDC organisation has some old fashioned conservative supporters within the ranks.
It is a known fact that some members do not trust Nazim Burke, even though he has some support among NDC loyalists throughout the country who believe he can do wonders for Grenada if given the chance to lead.
But personally, I believe that George Grant as a media person, who acted a gatekeeper for the NDC during their time in office, did more harm than good for Tillman Thomas and Nazim Burke. Mr Grant’s attitude towards callers to his Sunday morning programme is a disgrace. He is rude and disrespectful towards ordinary Grenadians. And the reason for his bad manners is the fact that he has lost his Grenadian culture. I hope that a restructured NDC party will stay far away from George Grant, if they want to attract voters and have a strong support base.