Tuesday, February 19, 2013, is the most important date in the history of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique since independence. The electorate will decide on a number of very important issues that will determine the future of the nation. This election is even more critical than the elections of July 8, 2008. Among the issues that the electorate will have to decide on are:
a. Re-elect Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC for another five years and continue on the path of accountability, transparency, good governance, prosperity and growth.
b. Return the NNP and Dr Mitchell to office and so reverse the policies and gains of the NDC.
These are the main decisions that the electorate will have to make, however there are many other issues they will have to decide on if they are to ensure that the country benefits from their decision.
Frankly speaking, I would vote for option a, that is re-elect Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC for another five years. My decision is based on a number of factors, but I am more convinced now than ever before that the people should re-elect the NDC. Prime Minister Thomas is a leader of integrity and principle. The same can't be said of the other major players in the opposition forces, including the leadership NNP, NUF and the president general.
It is no co-incidence that these forces are now working in collusion in an overt way to remove the NDC from power. There were allegations of a covert collusion by these forces in 2012 leading up to the vote of no confidence brought against the prime minister by the leader of the opposition. This collusion is now overt as the new NDC gets stronger and more united and the various forces begin to see the reality that a NDC victory will end their careers once and for all. These forces are not in collusion for the good of the people and working class of the state of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, but solely for the lust of political power and their own survival.
Five years ago, the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique would have never thought of seeing Sen. Chester Humphrey hugging Dr Mitchell in a public forum or the former NDC ministers speaking on a political platform for the NNP. Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows. This unholy alliance is as a result of the lust for power over principle, integrity and credibility. This unholy alliance is unfolding right before of our eyes because of the strong and decent leadership of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
The prime minister and the NDC were able to withstand and overcome the many challenges of 2012, even as political pundits predicted the demise and survivability of the party and government. However, under the leadership of PM Thomas, the party has emerged stronger and more united after attracting a cadre of decent, intelligent and loyal candidates. A real success story. Prime Minster Thomas like Bill Clinton in 1992 became known as the 'Come Back Kid '.
It is as a result of this success that the opposition forces are gathering against the NDC. An NDC victory will definitely see the end of the careers of the leadership of the NNP, NUF and TAWU.
The workers of Grenada must be feeling betrayed by the leadership of the Technical and Allied Workers Union who unceremoniously seems to have become 'Flip Flopper in Chief '. After sacrificing so much for 13 years, they are now being encouraged by that leader to vote for what they have fought against for 13 years. Our workers struggle for accountability, transparency and good governance, not only for themselves but for future generations. Why should they give it up now? Money and material things are not the only driving force behind the workers’ struggle.
Senator Humphrey must realise that the vast majority of workers are value driven also and hence the reason why he was able to mobilize them in such massive numbers to vote Dr Mitchell and the NNP out of office in 2008. Workers have a moral obligation to themselves and the country to ensure that good governance prevails. They are the ones that were blamed and accused for the failings and recklessness of the NNP. They were insulted by the leadership of the then ruling party when they were told in no uncertain terms that he doesn’t depend on his salary to live. How can the senator forget these things so quickly?
The senator for 13 years fought against the NNP and labelled that organisation as the worst anti-worker party in the history of Grenada. Today he has miraculously flip-flopped. History will not be kind to Senator Humphrey and his central committee. If there is one thing I admire Dr Mitchell for it is his ability to turn intelligent minds into simple ones and foes into temporary friends for his own interest and political survival. Dr Mitchell must be credited for making Peter selfishly deny Christ even when Peter knows that Christ remains Christ even in the face of been tempted by the wicked ones and their associates.
As the NDC takes the momentum away from the opposition forces they are becoming more desperate and vicious. It's as a result of this momentum that these forces are working both overtly and covertly in through KGB style and fashion to undermine the legitimacy of Prime Minister Thomas, Nazim Burke, the entire government, NDC and the country.
Our people have moved beyond this distraction and have already made up their minds that they are going to re-elect PM Thomas and the NDC to the helm of power. Senator Humphrey has fought all his life for the interest of workers; however, he now needs to create a lasting legacy of being an honest, patriotic, trustworthy, and credible statesman. His last major battle, the Breweries struggle, was fought against Mr Antoine and company and today he is working in co-operation with these same anti-worker elements who for 13 years treated our workers with disdain.
The senator, my friend seems to be losing his way. While Sir Roy Trotman, the distinguished trade union leader in Barbados, was able to wage a struggle against LIME and win some major concessions, Senator Humphrey was unable to wage a struggle for the workers in Grenada because he was to consumed with fighting against the NDC and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
The opposition forces were caught off guard as they didn't believe, not within their wildest imagination, that the NDC would be able to regroup, refocus, unite and emerge stronger, presenting to the electorate a full slate of 15 credible and strong candidates. These forces, like in the past, misjudged the mood and commitment of the people to their leader and country. The NDC will be victorious against the NNP/ NUF coalition, since our people realise that, for continued peace and stability, the NDC is the best choice.
It is significant to note, however, that this marriage of convenience within the opposition forces is primarily for one reason and one reason only: the lust for political power. Only four and a half years ago these forces were bitter enemies, since their ideology is similar to poles of a magnet. What can this group achieve in the short and long term, and how can our country benefit from this coalition? Honestly this group can't work together since they have been at each other’s throats from time immemorial. One can see only chaos and renewed conflict if this coalition is successful in their quest to grab political power.
I can understand why our young people are so disillusioned with our local politics and politicians. They just don't know who to trust. Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is, however, giving our young people some hope. He has remained steadfast to his noble ideals in the face a challenges from the anti-progressive forces. In the words of Hon Claris Modeste, they have been bruised, battered and deceived by her colleagues.
The key players in NUF, those working behind the scenes and their cronies, should be wise enough to know that Dr Mitchell and the NNP would never trust them, knowing full well that they are prone to causing political chaos. The NNP would join forces with elements within NUF to try to prevent the new NDC from remaining in power. Dr Mitchell is experienced enough to know that he can't make progress with these elements because of the major ideological differences.
The NNP is a liberal capitalist organisation, while NUF is a socialist / communist oriented party. The main reason why Dr Mitchell and Sen Humphrey have been nemesis for so many years is as a result of these pronounced differences. Would Nicholas Steele and Alexandria Otway feel comfortable working along with the elements of NUF?
Dr Mitchell and the NNP have absolutely nothing to lose by working in collusion with the elements in NUF to try to win the election. NUF is out of the race, but those elements within the splinter organisation working in cohorts with the NNP can take away some critical votes from the NDC. NNP is in opposition and will do anything to regain power. NNP is aware that the NDC and PM Thomas are an extremely formidable opponent and they will need all the support they can muster to remove the party from power.
The electorate is aware of the power play, deals, jockeying and horse trading that is going on behind closed doors. They are also aware that they have the power in this election to purge the country of those elements that pay lip service to the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance. I have absolutely no doubt that the electorate will rise to the occasion and do what is right for Grenada. These forces underestimated the intelligence of the Grenadian people before and they are underestimating the wisdom of the people again.
Our decent and patriotic people are disgusted and feel betrayed by the men and women they voted for in 2008. These elements betrayed the trust and confidence of the people. They were given an opportunity to perform, they failed us and now they are joining forces with the same group that failed us for thirteen years to regain the seat of power.
The day of reckoning is fast approaching. As the NDC continues to gain more and more momentum and, as the election date February 19 draws near, the opposition coalition New National Party (NNP) and National United Front (NUF) (NNP/ NUF) will become even more desperate. The people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique wouldn't be surprised to see the candidates and sympathisers of NNP and NUF on the same political platform campaigning against the incumbent NDC. This will be a futile exercise though, since the vast majority of the electorate has already decided to stick with Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC. The electorate knows full well that their best hope is to support the best choice. The NDC laid a solid foundation for the last four and a half years and the electorate will give the prime minister and his capable team the opportunity to build and complete the final structure.
Vote and support Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
Vote the winning team of: Hon Prime Minster Tillman Thomas, Nazim Burke, Franca Alexis Bernadine, Alleyne Walker , Merle Byer , Terry Hillaire, Joseph Andall, Harrison Fleary, Adrian Thomas, Patrick Simmonds, Sylvester Quarless , Randall Robinson , Ali Dowden, George Vincent and Dennoth Modeste.
On February 19, when all the votes have been cashed and counted with the results in favour of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC, the Grenadian people would have demonstrated to the world that, like the American people, they are extremely capable of making sensible choices. The people would give the prime minister the opportunity to continue his strong relationship with President Barack Obama and the American people and the mandate to forge ahead undaunted with his agenda of accountability, transparency and good governance.
Grenada will be the winner; however, there will be many political casualties, including the president general, who continues to try and mislead the workers and the electorate.
May God bless Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and may God bless Prime Minister Tillman Thomas and the NDC.
Forward ever! Backward never.