Quite a large number of Grenadians are of the view that the National Democratic Congress is now on borrowed time. Their chance at governance of our beloved country Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is not only over, but that they may not be given another opportunity in the near future because of the party’s performance over the last four and a half years in office. Can one million Frenchmen be wrong? The voice of the people is the voice of God.
When the etymology of the name given to Dr the Rt. Hon Keith Mitchell in the 2008 national election (Jonah), many paid slight attention to the significance of the entire episode as it was given from biblical times. Some have already expressed regret to the man himself whom they thought, at the time, may have been the worst person who sat on Grenadian soil. Dr Mitchell having uninterruptedly been a part of the Grenada parliament since 1984 can in 2013 be easily thought of as the father of that House.
The political leader of the New National Party, having been derided, insulted, despised and absolved by some, has now breathed a sigh of relief knowing that he will once again be placed at the locus of Grenada’s social, human and economic development. Once again he will be at a position where he can rally for the development of the people of Grenada and its dependencies something he has been dedicated to for over the last 25 years of his life. For someone to unselfishly served his country with distinction for this length of time, is worthy of much commendation. It is the writer’s view that it amounts to more than yeoman service by any earthly measure.
Hindsight is 20/20 vision. Can we look back and comfortably say that Grenada has performed at its best during the term of office of the NDC government? Even Silly Tilly can tell you that he too is disappointed that he was not able to deliver on his party’s promises of accountability, transparency and good governance, though he would narrowly admit to it. At a major political rally of his party which took place at Gouyave St John in 2012 a vast majority of Grenadians were merely stunned to hear the prime minister boast of his party’s 80% achievement record over the last four years as he claimed.
Are Grenadians disappointed? No, they are seriously disillusioned that a government which has achieved so little over a term in office can boast of achieving so much. What justification is there for giving another opportunity to a government which has failed the people on every count: socially, economically, politically and otherwise.
The government commanding an 11 – 4 majority in the lower house coming out of the July 8, 2008, election, the prime minister had to involuntarily extend the prorogation of parliament to the full extent of what is allowed in our laws which many thought was the longest six months they had experienced in some time. To close down the legislative arm of any state is to pronounce the abatement of the voices of the people. A parliament constitutes elected officials all decided on by the people. It is quite mocking in a sense that the party under which this atrocity took place has as its party slogan “Let the people’s voices be heard!”
So what is Uncle Tilly’s ace in the hole as many have questioned? Maybe it’s just to follow through on the ‘good governance’ agenda as it is often said. Can good governance be the high and sustained levels of poverty existing in our country today? Everyday more and more Grenadians are being pushed under the bread line as a result of an inept, insensitive and reckless government that simply has not yet learned how to respond to the needs of the people.
In an extract taken from the Caribbean Development Bank annual review 2007 on Grenada, it states, “In 2005, growth had surged to 11%, influenced by the sizeable amount of post-hurricane reconstruction work undertaken in that year, before declining in 2006 as reconstruction activity wound down. Prior to the hurricanes’ impact, Grenada’s growth performance had been robust (with the exception of 2001), averaging 6% between 1997 and 2004, more than double the ECCU’s average of 2.5%.”
Many continue to hurt as they await a brighter day. In this season of independence, as we get ready to celebrate our country’s 39th year as a nation, let us take some comfort in the song composed by a son of our soil, Dictator -- brighter out of darkness. Many Grenadians are decisively confident that as we seek to see better days a change in the leadership of the country will be a pivotal footstep for the country to once again regain the confidence of our regional and international brothers and sisters.
In closing, I will use another song, this time written by Emma Campbell in 1863 during a religious revival in Newark, New Jersey which said in part:
As in the words of a Christian song writer
Ho! All ye heavy laden, come!
Here’s pardon, comfort, rest and home:
Ye wand’rers from a Father’s face,
Return, accept His proffered grace;
The New National Party remains unobtrusively confident that given the opportunity to again lead Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, brighter days will come and the politics of hate, spite, vindictiveness, non-inclusion and divisiveness will be a thing of the past. All things are possible if we believe. With the help of Almighty God, we believe that Grenada will rise again.