Political parties play their role in society, and it is our constitutional right to be or not be associated with a political party. However, it must always be “country before party”. In our beloved SVG, wrong and right seem to be dependent on which political party we support. Outrage, anger, praise, and commendations are dependent on the political party of our choice.
When did we become like this?
I have long had an issue with the use of any specific color assigned to a political party. This practice has left us with a society that automatically labels a citizen based on the colour of the clothing that you wear.
We have supporters of political parties that do not wear any piece of clothing that represents the other party’s color. So no yellow at even Independence time and no red at even Valentines or Christmas.
In some cases, people don’t go to a church or sit on a particular side of the church because supporters of the other party worship there or sit on that side.
We now have a society that believes supporters of the other side must NOT eat. We don’t feel any way when they lose their jobs, or can’t get a job. Even during disasters, we are content with distributing aid to supporters and skip over our neighbors only because they don’t support our political party. Similar supporters of the ruling party, almost always feel a sense of entitlement. They must get, and when they have had their full, still get more! It must be draining on politicians to always have to dish out to one set of people for fear of losing their “loyalty.”
The challenge is that we can’t address these issues until we first accept that they exist.
I remember as a former ULP supporter that I wrote to the Prime Minister on at least 5 occasions, pleading with him to rehire the teachers and honour the Collective Agreement that his Government signed with the Teachers’ Union when a set of teachers who contested elections did not return a victory. Eventually, I had to make a decision to stop supporting the party that was bent on keeping bread off my friend’s table. A party that did not seem to be concerned about the households of their victims and the people who depended on them. Their henious crime was daring to make a difference, wanting to add to the collective efforts of trying to uplift the nation they love.
One may argue that this practice of party colours is good for branding. But when do we say enough is enough? When do we stop seeing colours and see the people behind them? Partisan politics is dividing and destroying our country!
I am not positing that party colours is the primary reason for our politically polarized country. However, it is a low hanging fruit that can have a great impact.
It is high time that we remove the politically coloured lenses to deal with issues in our beloved country.
How can one be unemployed and struggling for opportunities but continue to support a particular political party because “Dat is my party”? Why do we continue to find nonsensical reasons for the elevated crime rate, the poor state of our Health Care system, declining infrastructure in the area of roads, public buildings, etc, diminishing commercial opportunities, mounting debt and lack of a comprehensive transportation system (internally and externally), among other things.
It is no secret that my preference of political party is the NDP. I am convinced without the shadow of a doubt that the ULP in its current state is bad for SVG. That Prime Minister Gonsalves and his Cabinet are failing SVG. That SVG can do so much better than it is doing currently.
At the end of the day, initiatives that are good for SVG and only those, are the ones that must be commended. When they succeed, we all succeed!
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