Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you genuinely willing?

We voting, Abeni says it well enough for all of us in our lil blogging community.

But allow me to tackle an issue that existed as a "wonder if" thought frame prior to Sunday night which has now been transformed into a current reality. Last year, our PM marched up and down the country's byways and highways asking for a yes vote in support of the Constitution Bill 2009. One of the major features of the Bill that he pushed was the lessening of the powers of the PM (I am not entering into a debate as to the substance of those provisions) but I must make reference to the power of the PM to call elections at anytime, during the constitutional tenure of that governing party.

Dr. Gonsalves once said (if memory serves me correct) and I agree, that any politician worth his weight should function in a state of readiness for several months prior to the constitutionally due date. But he insisted that he believed that this ability to call elections at the whim and fancy of any PM to be excessive - Vincentians were pleaded with to lessen that power (was there a feeling that his leadership was not dependent on such 'mere' tactical moves?)

About a week or so ago, the PM sat in a press conference and declared that he offered up this power as one of the elements of the 2009 Bill, but "they said no" - insisting that he had already set the date for the elections but it was not time for it to be revealed.

Was this a realigning or re-embracing of this limbo environment - where everyone sits in poised anticipation, alert to every hint, suggestion, breach of confidentiality or slip of the tongue (or wrongly inserted date LOL)? Or was this simply a statement of how 'insignificant' that provision was to him?

So there we have it - less than a month in which full-fledged campaigns can take place - sweeping the nation in red and yellow, with hints of green - overwhelming us with their voices that shall surely be louder because the time is shorter.

So I must ask and I wish I could get an answer - Was the Honourable Prime Minister ever serious about limiting that power and effectively setting a constitutional date as to when elections would be held? Was he genuinely willing to relinquish it?

It would seem to me that if he was indeed desirous about limiting that power, he would not await the inclusion of such provisions in a Constitutional Bill - but would rather conduct himself in a manner that would imbue the 'spirit' of that limitation that he purported to 'desire' last year, around this exact time. But maybe that desire was for a season - one that has faded away - one that the majority of Vincentians said no to - one that has only a similarity in calender dates.

Even though, strategy-wise calling quickie elections makes sense, I hoped the exercise of our civic duties, would meet us at a more settled state as a nation rather than having such pertinent issues pending - like the NCB sale, the Argyle airport, or even a return to some semblance of normalcy for the persons displaced by Hurricane Tomas. (I am sure you can add to the list ) Is this my treasured naivete speaking or am I realistic in wishing that our PM acted in a more statesmanlike manner by adopting one of last year's highlights?

But here is my hope, my epiphany:

We have been hearing, listening, learning and analyzing for the last couple years -
we have become aware of many things, essential, trivial and in-between, seeing the change in our nation, our leaders and ourselves -

may we take these lessons, remain firm in our stand to better beautiful Uromai, make the decision that is reasonable in our own minds and prepare to embark on a continuation of our independence journey, while respecting each other.



  1. Very well said. Could it be a bit of pique that accounts for the realignmemt? You and I know the results of that referendum must have been hard to swallow.

    Dust off your ID and let's go:)

  2. was he serious about relinquishing the power? Sure he was. He had it in the Constitution, and I can't imagine that he intended to lose that referendum, so he must've been prepared to give it up.
    But having NOT lost the power, Ralph is too much of a political animal not to use the tools at his disposal. You thought, what? that he'd announce 6 months in advance when the election would be? Wrong guy, methinks.
    Also, he always said he'd call it before his "5 years were up" which always had mid-Dec. as his outside date (I actually think that Tomas DID delay his timing by a week or so). If he'd gone into the new year, using Tomas as an excuse, they wouldnt say he was being a statesman, they would say he is afraid of the NDP and "overstaying" his term.


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