Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, his campaign at a crossroads, is struggling to limit political fallout from the dismissive announcement that Parliament has been prorogued indefinitely and then the announcement just three days later that Environment Minister Glynis Roberts submitted her resignation to Governor General Carlyle Glean, while NDC officials debate the impact of serial controversies going on in the party and his government .
They have had extensive Cabinet changes, resignations after resignations, appointments of new ministers, reshuffling after reshuffling, sharp criticism of the government, No ground for satisfaction as the nation appears near the brink of yet another crisis. This crisis is bringing home the economic difficulties that have to be faced sooner rather than later.
Privately some NDC officials are harshly critical of Thomas's campaign to date, saying he has frittered away opportunities to fix the economy and help small businesses. The people of Grenada feel that they have known for the last four and a half years that Thomas doesn't represent more than half of this country.
Grenadians are saying five years ago they wanted change; well, the NDC brought us change, from a working economy to a recession and now a depression. More than half the population is unemployed. Wake up Grenadians, the Thomas and Burke plan is not designed to enhance your life. Our people have been neglected by the NDC officials for far too long.
Grenadians, you have a voice, it should be heard. The people appear to be in a state of despondency, they have swung to the other extreme of losing faith in everything. The chaos going on within the NDC government and the rest of Grenada has bewildered many Grenadians and is disturbing the social order.
The real forecast for NDC officials has been 99% lies and scattered excuses. The people of Grenada are looking for what they want and expect from government. Not such flights of fancy, but sobriety. Not ecstatic evocations of dreamlike tomorrows but a tolerably functioning today. Not fantasies about a Grenada without scarcities and therefore without choices among our desires and appetites, but a mature understanding of the limits to government’s proper scope and actual competence.
Under the New National Party government, on the economic front, progress was impressive and the level of economic activity for the country as a whole was significantly much higher and better than today. Economic progress achieved was satisfactory and there was an improvement in the standard of living.
Mitchell and his New National Party have to take a step toward accommodation with a country increasingly concerned about his unmasked determination to "transform" what Grenadians consider "fundamental".
Miss Emmalin Pierre, one of the most popular women figures in Grenada politics, says, "With the economy continuing to stagnate and Prime Minister Thomas popularity failing, Mitchell's tenure is looked upon by Grenadians as a golden age of peace, prosperity, and job creation. Mitchell understands the heart of the poor and the middle class. He gets it. He knows how to relay the true message of the New National Party and rally his base. His speeches are phenomenal. The NDC administration has taken us backwards. The New National Party has different priorities. They know Grenada does better when our poor and less fortunate ones succeeds, not just those at the top.”
Let's send a clear message to the NDC “Fuhgedaboudit” as we say in New York. You are finished. Dr Keith Mitchell and his New National Party are coming back, winning every seat. This has already been decided in Heaven, almost five years ago.
It is difficult, consequently, to ignore public demands for Grenada's House of Parliament to reconvene because of the NDC "No Confidence Motion" filed by Minister of Parliament Karl Hood, who resigned from the NDC administration as foreign minister. He accused his government of failing to "fulfill its promises to implement programs that were marked to deliver economic and social development to the people of Grenada, Cariacou, and Petit Martinique.”
The NDC officials are making the process for achieving a working economy even more difficult and painful for the people. Thomas is showing determination to stay in high office until the general elections are held. Now Thomas and Burke are running scared, playing hide and seek, even proroguing parliament because they are afraid of defeat.
These two are responsible for imposing austerity upon the people. The people are unsettled by these moves and accompanying hardships. Some media are depicting well the atmosphere of the time, which is compounded of confusion and despair.
The danger exists that the resultant pressures upon their livelihood might cause an upsurge of discontent towards NDC’s Tillman Thomas in general. The economy, the government is in a deplorable state, caused by the pursuit of incorrect policies, based on an unrealistic order of priorities, an incredible degree of NDC government mismanagement.
The government is confronted by an acute shortage of funds to pay workers, by a worsening balance of payment. There is a general feeling of unrest due mainly to rising prices, growing unemployment and the approach of national general election.
There is a combined effort by the NDC administration to hold Grenada hostage. Grenada needs to return to its proper place in the international economic community at its earliest time.
The economy could be restored to health only by exposing it to the international environment and enabling our industries to compete with other nations. To put such a policy into effect, it is necessary for the NDC government to abandon attempts to manipulate Grenada’s economy by means of proroguing parliament and to guide our people who are hurting the most in the direction of support and solvency.
We need a degree of development of which we can just be proud. The New National Party is stressing the need for our country to concentrate upon economic development. From the economic point of view, Grenada will someday emerge from a state of dependence upon the help of other countries to a position of extending assistance to other countries.
When we consider the fact that the people of Grenada continue to toil diligently under violently fluctuating conditions is primarily due to their inherent optimism. They refuse to abandon hope. When we consider the fact that Grenada has continued in a state of considerable confusion for the past four and a half years, and today presents the appearance of the Caribbean's Storm Centre, the policies that the New National Party is mentioning become all the more necessary.
Grenada was blessed with good fortune. It was diligence, initiative and creative ability of the New National Party that enabled the people to exploit the advantages that the NNP offered. Under the New National Party, Grenada's expanded economic potential situation was different. Our economy was rehabilitated. The living standard of our people was improved, and we had stability and prosperity.
Today the people of Grenada are rejecting the NDC, whose disastrous miscalculations concerning our country's capacity has plunged our country into the darkest years of its history. They are combating inefficiency, inflation, laziness, aside from the NDC’s lack of political experience. They are impatient with corruption, waste and frivolous politics. In purely economic matters, however, the administration is slow to act. There has been no progress made to our economy from a recurring state of crisis.
Grenadians are calling on the NDC officials to improve the unfavourable economic situation and to restore to Grenada its economic prestige that appeared to have had the best results during the New National Party rule.
The economic outlook for Grenada is far from exhilarating. Prices are rising, investments are giving no ground for satisfaction as the nation appears near the brink of yet another crisis.
What we want, what we deserve, what we now need in this country is a working government. With the NDC government known for their scandals, and legal troubles than anything else, the Grenadian voters are asking why did Thomas surround himself with so many questionable characters and show no remorse. Grenadians at home and abroad are painting Thomas as a weak leader, as they are shifting their focus firmly back to the economy.
The people of Grenada don’t think that Thomas has done anything to deserve a second term. "He doesn't impress me. I have never been so disappointed," says Paula Mark McPhail, a concerned citizen of Grenada. She has deep sympathy for the plight of the men and women who are unemployed, the steady concern for the betterment of our country and its people. "The NDC crisis has its repercussions on the economy as well as on politics," she said.
The NDC sympathizers can sling as much mud as they want, but it won't change the fact that former prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell's entire life was built on honour and integrity and that his opponents have nothing at all to offer the voters of Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique. His record in the House of Parliament is proof of his effective leadership. Thomas they say is just another bad actor, with no ideas other than the standard talking points given to him by Nazim Burke.
One NDC supporter, who refuses to be named, says, "It's our fault for not working hard. The NDC love to shake our money tree, but they really don't give a mango."
We also have to remember that Thomas inherited a recovering economy from Mitchell. Thomas and his cohorts are directly responsible for the mess Grenadians are experiencing right now.
So many people are out of work and countless more are giving up. The working force is the smallest it's ever been.
Common sense would tell you we can't allow these persons who have brought our country to ruin, who believe in socialism and communism to remain in power much longer. Five more years of this liberal, socialist and left-wing NDC government would be the destruction of democracy as we know it. Is this really the best we can do?
Our economy will again be shovel ready with a New National Party administration. Let's rid ourselves of Czarist Thomas and Burke. The biggest and most important achievement of the Grenadian people will be to deny Thomas and Burke a second term.
The NDC administration is doing its worst to our country, and we refuse to give up in fear and refuse to give up in despair. It is up to us to choose. If we are to prosper, we must recognize that capital needs labour, and labour needs capital. We must strike a proper balance between the ability of the individual to engage in private enterprise and the right of the diligent worker to reasonable wages and benefits.
Today under the NDC our current economy remains moribund because we have excessively shackled the entrepreneur. The pendulum has moved away from a policy structure that fosters business.
Without a vibrant and growing business community, union members will not see an increase in jobs, wages or benefits. The vitality of the union workers is inextricably tied to the success and growth of business. Put simply, without employers there are no employees.
Union work promotes a stable citizenry beneficial to society. Poverty wages endanger the economic status of everyone. Business and labour remain intertwined. Diminishing one diminishes the other.
Stand up and breakdown the chokehold the NDC officials have on Grenadian residents. Election day is around the corner, pay attention to who is doing nothing and make your voices count. We need some major shake ups. We need to abolish these governless authorities that have been strangling the people of Grenada long enough.
It’s time to take a stand. Don’t let them get away with this; if they do, you allow them to laugh at you again. “I am remaining optimistic that we will soon be on the road to recovery," says Mr Dexter Padmore, another concerned citizen of Grenada.