The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of ASBERTH NEWS NETWORK
Leadership change in politics can be messy and it’s usually very public. However, succession planning – whereby entities identify and develop new leaders who can replace the old – can make the process less onerous.
The pool from which leaders are selected for political parties is normally limited to who’s in Parliament at the time, which sometimes can be somewhat incestuous and therefore necessary and important to think seriously of succession planning. For the past 20 years the ruling ULP in St Vincent has been unable to field new leadership. At their most recent party Convention the deficit in their leadership pool was exposed yet again as they were forced to retain the septuagenarian, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, to continue as party leader.
The lack of succession planning in politics ultimately leads to the creation of cliques around the “supreme leader” or an extended family network around the incumbent. This is clearly the state of affairs within the ULP.
It appears that Dr. Gonsalves wants to die in office, literally and figuratively – his political death knell has already sounded. His refusal to prepare and accept another for leadership is evidence of this. Coming out of their 09 December 2018 Convention, there was no ray of hope; there was nothing new – Just the usual Dr. Gonsalves the same old warmed-over version of politics to which Vincentians – except the deep-red base – have become weary and disenchanted.
In contrast, the change of leadership to Dr. Godwin Friday was ushered in as a breath of fresh air, raising the expectations of the Vincentian people and significantly enhancing the image of the New Democratic Party (NDP) in their eyes.
He speaks to the Vincentian people with respect, class and clarity, and is always eloquent and well informed. Dr. Friday comes to the public discourse time and time again with solid plans. It is evident that he has devised a framework to lead SVG to prosperity.
Notwithstanding the current state of pervasive fear that presently stalks the land, Dr Friday’s promises of transparency and vision to “make SVG work for ALL Vincentians” is resonating well. Certainly, we do not need another master stroke, our economy has suffered too many blows. We need someone who cares, has a fresh vision and will commit to serving the people of our blessed SVG. It is on this premise and conviction, that Dr. Godwin Friday will undoubtedly secure the position of next Prime Minister of SVG.