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Choice of songs during Grenada’s general election campaign

Waggy T Rentals & Sound Company–the brainchild of Mr Wayne Redhead–recently demonstrated good, responsible leadership, and sensitivity to women and children during a children’s activity at the Morne Rouge playing field (Grenada) by refusing to play a popular, but derogatory song. I publicly commend him. This brings me to the gist of this article: music used during general elections campaigns.

On May 14, 2022, the Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr The Right Hon Keith Mitchell announced that Grenada’s General Election will be on June 23, 2022. This means that the Grenadian society may see intensify political campaigning.

Election campaigns are how candidates and political parties prepare and present their ideas and positions on issues to the voters in the period preceding election day. Contestants use a variety of techniques to reach voters and deliver their messages, including through traditional and new media, public events, written materials, or other means (Open Election Data Initiative).

Any political party that claims to put people first or people at its heart must also show that its messaging during this campaign period is sensitive to these same people. It must learn to keep itself warm, without setting other people on fire.

Traditionally, during election campaigns, political parties contracted disc jockeys/sound companies who sometimes were irresponsible in the songs selected. These songs dehumanized women and were unpalatable, especially for young children. One can argue that these political spaces were designed for adults, and not children. However, unfortunately, the music from these meetings was not limited to the spaces where the activities were held. Rather, such music often violated other spaces.

There is a role for the Alliance of Evangelical Churches (AEC) and the Conference of Churches in Grenada (CCG) to play in this process. They should encourage campaign managers to ensure that disc jockeys shy away from lyrics that dehumanize and objectify women and girls and are unpalatable for children.

All parties should use music to bring joy, and comfort, motivate and boost our moods.  Music can help in regulating our emotions and improving our mood (Graham Psychology). And yet when artiste craft derogatory lyrics, these can negatively affect us. Research suggests music can increase aggressive thoughts, or encourage crime (Nina Avramova, CNN, February 20, 2019).

If the messaging of the political parties includes care for people, they must ensure that they use positive music in the campaign process, as an early indication of this care.

Rev Vonnie E James

Grenada Baptist Association

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