By Eugene Wade
(Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 17, 2013) Anti-Labour politicians angling for a path to power in St. Kitts are urging Kittitians to “forget party” and just be “Kittitians”.
Kittitians are proud of their Kittitian status, to be sure.
However, they are also proud of being people who think.
And they know that an important responsibility of the voter in a democracy is the weighing and assessing of various political parties.
And then choosing. Because different parties have different ideologies. They have different approaches to problem-solving. They have different track records in terms of accomplishment. And the individuals whom different parties place in positions of leadership affect people differently. To ask Kittitians to just close their eyes, reach out in the dark, and hope for the best, therefore, just because individuals with no real shared philosophy ask them to, is really asking them stop thinking. As long as Kittitians and Nevisians are thinking, however, they would be mindful of the fact that the Government that they elected has been delivering handsomely for the Federation.
We all know that since 2008, the global economy has been reeling. Yet St. Kitts-Nevis, all things considered, has most certainly been holding its own. And while neighboring nations are often unable to pay their civil servants, no such humiliation has ever been experienced under Labour. Doctors and other essential workers have had to go on strike elsewhere in the Caribbean. There is no such trauma – or drama – with this Government. Just this week in Washington, the IMF has been warning about the debt phenomenon globally. And the debt of the Federation is now way, way down. While many nations are drowning in budget deficits, there are budget surpluses here. Our CXC students perform well; our Government Ministers are both highly educated and competent; and Labour makes funding and training available to those who are serious about acquiring new skills.
When people think, therefore, they are reminded of all this. And they understand the value of Labour.
The Federation has a Prime Minister who is able to hold his own in the capitols of the world, discussing complex matters of geo-strategic or financial import, yet he is also able to relate – both seriously and in great humor – with the common man.
One former Labour Minister distanced himself not only from Prime Minister Douglas, and not only from his Cabinet colleagues, but from the rank and file of the Labour Party as well, before whom he refused to go to seek their support in his quest for the leadership of the Party. That demonstrated too many that his primary concern was not the future of the Labour Party, but something else. The Government should not have to pay a cost for that decision. And neither should the Nation. What the Nation must do now is continue moving forward. And we must do is ignore all urgings not to think.