When I was told “Glynis, you made the Papers again’’, I said, “What? I am really turning into a Celebrity!’’
However, with humility I wish to address the issue captioned “Embarrassing to the office of the Governor General’’, as seen through the eyes of a “Social Commentator’’ in what was referred to as “the defeat suffered in Court by Dame Cecile La Grenade at the hands of dismissed Supervisor of Elections, Judy Benoit’’ in a local newspaper of October 27, 2022; and my filing a Complaint against the Supervisor of Elections which seemingly led to her being relieved from the post.
Sadly, sometimes we operate with a “selective memory’’, rather than remembering the facts. For the records and my legacy as a proud grandmother of six grandsons and one granddaughter, here are the facts.
In October 2012, according to the news article, I, Glynis Roberts was thrown out of the National Democratic Congress at its Convention, together with nine other people; but the only female expelled. Mind you, and the only female to have won a seat for the Party twice consecutively. Reason given by the Party for its October 2012 action was that those expelled were part of a Rebel Gang. I was never brought before anyone or tribunal to ask, “It is said that you are part of a Rebel Gang – do you have anything to share on this? Can you explain? Maturing along the political sphere I accepted, bearing in mind that only four months before, my husband Terry passed on.
With respect to people’s constitutional right, some of us ventured to start a political party. The National United Front (NUF) was born with a beautiful launch at Grenada Grand Beach Convention Centre, with our colours of Blue and Orange. I was appointed Political Leader; a position I hold up to today with pride, even though I am the only one left standing. It is said when you stand for the truth, you always stand alone.
General elections were called for February 2013. We, members of the NUF agreed to contest three seats and did all that was required to register with the Electoral Office with “The Family’’ as our Symbol. We fielded three candidates: Mr Ferron Lowe, St George South East; Mr Valdon Paul, St Patrick East; and Mrs Glynis Roberts, St George South.
A short time before the actual election day when the ballot books were being printed, Supervisor of Elections Ms Judy Benoit decided to change our Symbol from “The Family’’ to the “Dove’’. Let’s be reasonable, readers. Would this have been done to any other political party – established or new?
You know, one of the saddest things in this country is that we lack respect for individual political choices which is our constitutional right. Most times, rather than simply asking a question with respect, we brandish, judge and as we say in local parlance, “hold people in mind’’, because we differ politically.
In Ms Benoit’s capacity as Supervisor of Elections, she acted out of line in changing our Party’s symbol. This was pointed out to the Organisation of American States (OAS) team that was in Grenada prior to the 2013 General Elections, and they were taken aback as this is not normal to change a party’s symbol without consultation with the party. This is enough reason, in my judgement, to be removed from a position such as a Supervisor of Elections, because this individual should be impartial rather than political. The playing field has to be even for all.
In 2008 when the then Governor General Sir Carlyle Glean (Deceased – May his soul Rest in Peace) removed Ms Nadica Mc Intyre (Deceased – May her soul Rest in Peace) from the post of Supervisor of Elections, she accepted it with grace; she did not take him to Court.
Why is the charade that our current Governor General did some wrong? Truth be told, she should be commended for dealing with what seemed to her to be an inappropriate action to a situation which warranted equality for all.
The issue is that Ms Benoit erred in the way she decided, just before the elections, to change the symbol that our Party had been using throughout the campaign. This definitely created confusion and left NUF at a disadvantage. The financial victory in this Court case does not outweigh the core of the matter which is, as our Motto says, “Justice and Equality for all” not for some.
As leaders in society, especially in a period where we want to document our history, let’s learn to separate or quell our partisan issues when dealing with our jobs. Each and every one of us has a political suasion; however, we need to RESPECT each other. Everyone has a right to chart his/her own destiny. In the process, we need to take the consequences that come with our actions, whether good or bad. We must call a spade a spade, not a bucket when it suits us.
We have a nation to build with lots to do. I never feel or behave as a victim to anything or anyone. My motivation is the readiness to shift to another gear to do what is most loved and destined to do – SERVE! Serve my Country – from Community to Parliament to Cabinet! It’s a track record I am extremely proud of.
So as we forge forward, I trust this will help those of us with an open mind to understand, “What was the real Reason.”
By Glynis Roberts, Political Leader of The National United Front