By Shafia London
Tomorrow is general elections in SVG! I can’t be there but being outside the country this time has certainly provided an interesting vantage point. I call it my very own London eye. Get it? 😊. Anyway, puns might not be for me but I decided to write, to share thoughts on politics, people, passion and prosperity.
I begin with the NDP. For a very long time I remained livid about the shocking irreverent behaviour of some supporters of the NDP at my dearly departed father’s funeral. This was compounded by the unfounded propogation by some that the funeral was an invitation event. I was hurt and disappointed. I have resolved that as a consequence of my father’s fearless public life that he belonged to the people whose voices he represented moreso than he did to me. Their untamed passion was fueled by their love of him and what they considered a desecration of his legacy.
On the other hand, I could equally be upset at the ULP when my husband- a young, bright visionary man offered himself as a candidate with the hopes he could be part of a rising generation of leaders, fresh ideas and progressive policies the party boasts about. Instead, the choice of the constituents was ignored and his offer of candidacy was denied. In that case, I have come to accept that politics is not for the faint hearted and games of duplicitous maneuvers are often played, sometimes at the expense of the greater good. My family remains grateful for the alternate paths that opened independent of the ULP when that door closed.
There are many other personal negative experiences, which I’m certain you have as well. At the end of the day, elections are about our nation and what’s best for our nation not just what’s best for you and I as individuals. Let us not allow our narratives to so easily shift from the real and bigger matters to partisan rifts driven by glaring personal biases.
Also, we ought to respect that some choose to wear their hearts on their sleeves for the political party they support. Some elect not to publicly declare party allegiance but ventilate issues and matters. Others stay quiet. Kudos to us all for choosing our own prerogative.
It’s unfortunate though when the latter two groups are harshly rebuked by some in the first group for exercising their right. They’re called self righteous, fake, coward and all sorts of names. Yet, none is wiser nor braver than the other. None is more loyal than the other to SVG. At the end of the day our true voice is our vote and SVG remains home for us all.
Marxist Mao Tse Tung wrote that politics is war without bloodshed. One glaring observation of this place we call home is that we are at war with each other. We are painfully divided into them and us. Moral consensus gets pitched aside and you better declare a side or else!
Admittingly, political picong can be be fun and when Facebook “spouses” like Raeon Primus and Isis Racheal get going at each other, you can’t help but giggle. Dfferences in views are healthy as pillars to the very core of democracy. It was so refreshing to follow a thread between Hans King and Dr. Rohan Deshong on why they support opposing political sides. It reflected maturity and hope for our society but such civil discussions of opposing political views are sadly rare.
When mere mortals dare to tread on volatile political battlefield to raise an issue, to ask a question, to recognize a good, shots are fired in all direction. It is downright exhausting to see us constantly shutting down and dismissing the input or questions of others because of biases. Sadly, these biases often tend to be fueled by personal history and/or individual gains and pains real and imagined.
Perhaps there might be credibility to the notion that the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than their conscious faculties. However, individual gains or losses, real or perceived as a consequence of publicly supporting NDP or ULP should be irrelevant against the backdrop of this crucial time in our nation’s history.
Elections or not, and as idealistic as it might seem, I hope the majority of us can some day have disagreements in a spirit of openness and without vitriol, with the bigger picture of country first in mind.
Let not this election be misguided by fleeting personal feelings and emotions and meritless allegiance. When you go out to vote, critically examine the different views and sincerely choose which one serves the collective interest best.