There are many assertions to discourage voters and donors to stay put, stay at home and/or push the narrative that both political parties in Saint Lucia are the same. Besides, there is the abnormality, “don’t pay attention to the polls, results are accurately weighted for the organization, public opinion research. They have been wrong before. This voting cycle is no different.”
In this new world order – don’t be fooled. Prepare to vote or be dammed.
Among decided voters (the base) neither party has a commanding advantage. New and swing voters are notoriously fickle and can turn on a dime. The general elections of 2016 is a recent example.
Of greater importance to the timing of the general elections is the principal impact on the economy – national development and the charade of infrastructural projects (roads, St Jude hospital, Hewanorra International Airport re-development, village tourism and cosmetic improvement to sidewalks and ill-defined crony projects. Data finds the out-put of the 2020/21 budget has not and will not elevate the issues facing the country.
The principal impact of COVID-19, health, economy, social safety net, the upsurge of dengue, a gangster paradise, deficient law and order, bad governance, and awful public policy are the exact opposite a government is desirable of gaining credit for, heading into an election.
And to put it mildly, “It’s been a tough week,” prime minister Allen Chastanet said in a video posted on his Facebook page. “We now know that we do have some more COVID cases. To win this battle, we will need everyone’s support.”
That’s correct. However, the retort is simple: To win this battle all Saint Lucians must benefit for the resources of the state. Not the enclave of Friends, Family and Foreigners (FFF).
Opposition leader, Philip Pierre is seen in practical and theoretical terms better in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic by his strategic outline. His economic and approved training with results supersedes the narrative of a lofty salesman and a “not too smart” prime minister with an infamous repute among his peers.
This infamous repute is not a mistake. It adds to the fragile debacle to cliches of ‘empowerment card’, ‘chin-chin’ in your pocket, ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’, ‘Building a new St Lucia’ and the mindset ‘colonialism has a conscience’, etc, – ‘in effect to perpetuate the legacy of colonialism.’
These among others, elevate the urgency of now. Don’t believe the critics: Prepare to vote or be dammed.
A Pierre-led administration stands better for the economy, healthcare, and the development of people – ‘putting people first’ – in every aspect of development. Pierre has often recited, “without people, there is no economy.” COVID-19, dengue, climate change and environment issues illustrate this in a very practical way to everyone.
The results were here even before the prime minister said, “the country is broke, we have no more money”, albeit denials on the assumption that the English language is faulty. This shows his blended complexity and repute to run the country like a business. A premise on which the 2016 election was worn.
With the current over-aggressiveness in the fifth-year heading into an election panned by acolytes and FFF’s: a verdict by the electorate is the ultimate solution to outrageous conduct.
Saint Lucia is being led to a plague (COVID-19 law) and unable to campaign or hold political rallies. So, don’t get caught in mounting sympathy that’s conflated to undermine basic rights, freedom, and civil liberty.
At the core of political persona is to debate; to campaign on ideas, issues, and solutions and to hold rallies – ‘press the flesh’.
The COVID-19 law is design to cower in fear and to quarantine the core of political persona. The expertise in information technology, artificial intelligence, virtual and digital knowledge, serves a chance as with COVID-19 and dengue – risk and reward – are alternate universes.
The virtual monopoly, trappings of the power of State and prevalence of funding – in a battle for the hearts, minds and the soul of the nation is largely dependent on the middle ground, first-time voters, battleground constituencies and swing voters.
It is up to the people to regain Saint Lucia from an overestimated, over-promised and a virus-suffering administration that continues the virtual and legislative monopoly of the economy and the people.
In what is expected to be a truncated election, there is not plenty of time. Preparation of the people and getting out the vote trumps political acolytes, cronies, and surrogates to bring tinpot dictators to the humble state of forgetting, or of being oblivious.