The silly season is climaxing. This is the last weekend of frenzied campaigning: of loud music; of chicken and rum; of backbiting; of movay lang . . . of all that goes with being unbelievably silly. On Monday the 6th, the country supposedly sobers up and goes quietly to the various polling stations where each registered citizen will cast his/her ballot, voting in a government for the next five years.
The above having been said, I wish to offer what I believe is a final piece of sobering advice for your consideration. Take it from me, this is from someone who, more than most, knows what exists in the belly of the political beast of Saint Lucia, having been deeply, profoundly there myself in the past.
After reading, if you wish to dismiss what follows as just more political punditing (my word), then go right ahead and dismiss, with my blessing. You will see, however, that this is not a politically-partisan piece, it applies universally to all. Therefore, if you discern some sense in its content, do yourself and all your fellow countrymen/women a favour and share the message.
So, here goes:
We each are protective and concerned about our homesteads and immediate surroundings. Therefore, the request by the various candidates to vote them in because of the care and attention they will give to the needs of each constituency is an appealing one, since we attach the highest priority to our dwelling places, neighbourhoods, communities, etc. Charity, it is said, begins at home.
Nevertheless, the following might not be clearly realized by all: although the candidate seeks to garner your vote by impressing upon you that he/she wishes to and will take care of the constituency, every one of them aspires, in reality, to be a Minister of Government . . . and those of them who end up on the winning side will undoubtedly wind up in that position.
So while you are contemplating putting your cross beside a name that you are believing will devote his/her efforts at being a community representative, you are actually electing not just a district or community official; you are electing a Minister of Government . . . a national official.
Make no mistake about it: despite the rhetoric, the person you are about to elect does in no way intend to remain at the constituency level. The ambition of each politician is to be a Minister and to have a portfolio that covers the entire nation . . . and which extends to dealing with other Government officials, Ministers and dignitaries around the world – on behalf of Saint Lucia as their priority, not your constituency.
So when you go into that voting booth on Monday, go in with the realization that your power is at least seventeen times more powerful than you perceive it to be: you are not voting just for your constituency, you are choosing the person who will act for all seventeen: the entirety of Saint Lucia – your country, your island nation.
Therefore, put aside the petty, partisan politics and think of the consequences your vote will have for yourself, your children, your families, everyone in Fair Helen. Vote for the person who is best qualified to not only take care of domestic affairs in your community, village or town, but can represent you adequately on the international scene and who will most efficiently do whatever is in the best interests of your country.
Look at the names on the ballot before you and think one final time before you put that most important cross. Think. Recognize that you are not just a Dennerian, or Laborian, or Soufrierian, or Anse La Rayian. You are, first and foremost, a Saint Lucian and the individuals, no matter what they have been spouting to you from their platforms, hoping you will be dazzled by their promises, are not really looking for your vote in order to be a representative of Dennery, or Laborie or Soufriere or Anse La Raye, he/she wants to be a Minister!
So vote for the one you feel is most qualified to be a Minister.
For once they get there, that’s what they are mostly going to devote their time to being.
Again, I reiterate: be sure to put your vote where it will do Saint Lucia (and that is where you will most benefit) the most good . . . no matter what your party affiliation.
Think about it.
A people get the government they deserve. What do you deserve?
Take it from one who really knows the game.
BY: VICTOR MARQUIS