The late great Jamaican singer Peter Tosh made famous his song ‘The day the dollar die’ but there is no indication the dollar is going to die anytime soon – not once it continues to play a pivotal role in political elections.
The critical importance of the cash to voting came home hardest to the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) following the November 5th, 2020, general elections which saw them winning the popular votes but losing the elections as the incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP) was able to cling to power by narrowly adding a seat, which it won by one vote, to add to the 8-7 margin it had since the 2010 elections.
Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Dr Godwin Friday commented on the issue as he appeared on his party’s New Times programme on NICE Radio on Monday.
“Of course we are in difficult times in our country because we have the usual problems that we’ve had with a poorly-performing economy – I would say virtually dead economy – and people can’ find meaningful employment, people are desperate,” Dr Friday said.
Dr Friday noted that persons have to be assisted financially because of the dire economic circumstances resulting in growing poverty especially in recent times.
“This election that we have had here, the people voted for change against enormous obstacles; the full weight of the Treasury being thrown against the New Democratic Party and its candidates, plus the private resources that were used by the ULP.
“These are facts that made the difference in the outcome of the election, that the people accepted the message of the NDP. If you look in all their strongholds that the people came towards the NDP.
“How is it then that in North Leeward, a seat that we hold that they would go the other way? The message could not be what made the difference there, it had to be something else.
“And we know very well that this election was bought at a very high price, moneywise and in terms of the corrosion that is taking place in our democracy.
Dr Friday said that this country has reached the point here Vincentians must say enough is enough and “we can’t continue along this path where people are buying elections.”