The publicised position towards “Burke – NDC’s Best Bet”, A Raw Perspective with Rawle Patterson (http://epaper.thegrenadainformer.com/32109/26-02-2021) may well be grounded on hypocrisy and hostility to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and particularly was meant to hype a barrage of political torment on former NDC’s leader, Nazim Burke, once again. However; should the arguments advanced by Paterson on the pressing circumstances facing NDC, with general elections due virtually inside two years from now, and on the fair assets of Burke to match the position as the party’s political leader into elections, be left without meaningful assessment? Indeed; the pertinent push for Burke needs thorough political analysis, involving acute judgements of accuracy, application, accountability, and being able to stand any test with appropriate answers if acted upon. As stressed in Part One of this internet-circulated article, the issue of leadership would continue to confound NDC and may degenerate into serious chaos and loss, if not controlled meticulously and quickly; and so in mixing Burke with other possible leaders, objectivity on standing in the public and on loyalty to the party is also critical.
Had Burke won his parliamentary seat at the disappointing and dismal results of the March 13, 2018 elections, would there have been the easing or the ceasing of the leadership conspiracy on the NDC, and / or of the bad personal vendetta to him? Is Burke to be blamed squarely for the pressing circumstances of the party, at present? Is it far-fetched and unjustifiable to claim that the party may have been too preoccupied with the leadership issue to the extent that this has crippled its approach for team effort, organizational strengthening and strategic planning, amongst the hardcore members? The pressing circumstances, in light of the ‘testing’ looming elections and the ‘expectant’ government role, are not merely about the void of a ‘properly installed’ party leader and a ‘completed fleet’ of constituency caretakers, but about the outstanding need for the evidence and effect of special taskforces on the various sectors of governance and development, as well as for surveillance and skillfulness on the electoral process, even with inclusion or input of non-members of the party.
Upon the defeat of the NDC at the last elections and his resignation as political leader, Burke counseled the party’s 2018 General Council, under the theme “Facing the Future with Resilience, Inclusion, and Determination”, to “see this as an opportunity to do things in a different and more effective way”, and no doubt with the desire at least to achieve “different results” over the subsequent “next five years” (‘an election cycle’); https://www.nowgrenada.com/2018/07/ndc-to-have-a-new-political-leader-as-burke-resigns/. Moreover; Burke critically raised that the party must regard as “its historic duty to lead the charge in the fight to save our democracy”, pointing to “the cynical machinations … of the NNP to turn Grenada … into a one party state”, and he pledged remaining “to being a part of that effort.” How much has NDC achieved since; especially to show that the party is proper for the purpose? Could passive or reactive or spontaneous presentations sufficed? Unfortunately; the serious stance which has been pronounced on Grenada’s democratic sovereignty, including about the electoral process and constitutional reforms has not produced significant substance and spin-offs.
The context of the calls for inclusion, unity, coalition of forces and fresh blood must be well justified, well defined, well understood and well endorsed by all interested or participating persons, with a genuine and unwavering commitment to the cause; and then to be well articulated to the rank and file of the NDC-party and for the general public. Thus for example; much clarification is needed by the editor of the local newspaper “The New Today Grenada”, on the substance and sincerity of the “strongly held view that Grenadians are looking for change of government but not thinking of a Congress (‘NDC’) administration but the creation of a national unity government involving the best talents on showcase for the good of Grenada … to bring an end to the stranglehold on the life of the country over the past 25 years by Dr. Mitchell (‘of the New National Party, NNP’)”; https://www.thenewtodaygrenada.com/editorials/coalition-of-forces/. Is the focus or intent of the view about concern that the possible or best choice for political leader of NDC, resides within the party and by convention would become Prime Minister? Is the credibility and capacity for national governance with the NDC, in question?
Why should, or how could, a party which has been institutionalized with a platform of integrity, accountability, transparency, and about restoring and respecting democratic institutions, and which has been enjoying almost half of the voting population, be dismissed? Is there a preference, readiness and drive to risk a ‘point of no return’ for Grenada, by means of leadership conspiracy directed at NDC; and not to provide constructive criticisms to correct any semblance of the corrupting or compromising of the party’s platform, with good faith “in the national interest”? Is a National Unity Government predicated on, or been manifested and materialized only with, some form of “political arrangement”? The fact is that such accommodations often have to undergo fierce tussle for political leadership toward being prime minister. Anyhow; who are the other prominent parties?
Grenada has been the first on many political endeavours and had set the stage for other nations to follow, although generally, it does not greatly benefit from those historic feats. Sensing the prevailing governance scenario, the Covid-19 new normal, the deserved restlessness of the people, the imperativeness to save Grenada, and the farce and / or failure of most versions of National Unity Government even globally, then wouldn’t it prudent and patriotic to cause, to encourage, and / or to cooperate with an extraordinary dimension for the implementation of a meaningful coalition of forces? Should the NDC contemplate any terms, otherwise?
The National Unity Government to be adopted by NDC should rest on, and resolved to reflect, the fundamental principle that democracy is about “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”; and indeed, with the sound understanding to embrace and engage “the best talents”, consciously and conscientiously. It is about the “best talents” having a range of expertise, a sphere of influence, a sense of solidarity and a level of propensity for public administration; those “best talents” do not have to be reserved for the political executive. Aren’t stalwart independent voices on national issues “best talent”? Persons who are zealous and resourceful about the environment, heritage, public debt, Oil and Gas, Citizenship By Investment and Blue Growth Master Plan must be appreciated as “best talents”. The contributions and resources of the Diaspora form a pillar for the “best talents”. The role of “the best talents” like Dr Patrick Antoine of The Grenada Movement (TGM), a Non-Governmental Organisation with “focus on public policies issues”, would supplement any “national development agenda”, as he expounded about the status and trajectory of TGM, during the Grenada Broadcasting Network’s “To The Point” programme on April 06, 2021; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bbZjvXqd0Q.
What has been the track-record of those individuals who are been eyed “for the good of Grenada”, or for the political leadership of Grenada; and at what price? What positive and patriotic contributions have those “best talents” presented, and / or are willing to present for the future prosperity of Grenada? Should NDC yield to the narratives of outsiders and detractors, and the dictates on the wooing and promoting of intellectuals and experts (local or overseas), as well as past affiliates, advisors and ambassadors of Mitchell’s NNP; without paying attention to the possible pitfalls thereby? Those who labour and sacrifice must be allowed to hold the reins!
Recall that the previous article, “Could Grenada’s Democracy Be Saved?”, appeals “for serious introspections and retrospections, in relation to the pathway for arriving at the sorry state of affairs in Grenada at present, as well as for setting the correct perspective, framework and remedy for the way forward.” It also recognizes and laments that “… many prominent entities have vigorously defended and facilitated the policy-directions of the NNP-government during the many years, and by extension helping to sprout, foster and entrench dictatorship; but fortunately / unfortunately, they are now making incisive pronouncements on alleged maladministration, corruption and dysfunction of the government. How can those entities explain their contributions to unsound investments and unscrupulous legislations; or, is it that their apparent compromise, complacency and / or cowardice were toward fortifying fortune and fame at the great expense of a flourishing democracy and particularly the interest of the average Grenadian? Note also, people who once scorned the ills of government now give acclaims; so moral authority, genuine intent and character profile must be for question.”
By J K Roberts, Sound Public Policies Advocate