VIEWPOINT by Xenophon – Succession Planning

One very salient feature of the Team of candidates assembled by the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party in advance of the 2015 General Elections is the emphasis on youth as a common feature of the newest entrants.

Dr Terrance Drew, Dr Vance Gilbert and Mr Konris Maynard are the newest and the youngest entrants to the political arena on behalf of the SKNLP. Along with Dr Norgen Wilson, who will contest for the second time in Constituency Number Five, and Glenn Phillip, who sits in the National Assembly for Constituency Number Four, they represent a tangible effort on the part of the Labour Party to recognize the importance of youth to the movement – in a major way.

Every progressive political party is always on the lookout for new talent. The principle is the same as that of social survival. Humanity learned long ago that in order to prosper as a people, a community needs a constant infusion of new genetic material. To ignore that imperative is to invest in social decay from inbreeding. The inward-looking community soon begins to suffer from physical and mental ailments, leading to collapse of the civilization. Inevitably, stronger, more vigorous neighbors prey upon the inbred group, rendered effete by its rejection of new ideas and genetic innovation.

The St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party has never ignored that evolutionary imperative. As a result of this awareness, Labour has prospered as a political movement, and has remained attractive to young people and new political talent for nearly a century. It is clear that the SKNLP has earned and kept the loyalty of successive generations of loyalists, and has done so by maintaining a welcoming attitude to inflows of young blood – and by always remaining receptive to new ideas.

Gilbert, Drew and Maynard follow Phillip and Wilson in a procession that has included present party leader and Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, who has frequently demonstrated his own receptivity to innovation. Dr Douglas has once again given proof that he is aware of the need to keep his party on the cutting edge of political development. His display of political vision is implicit in his government’s concentration on moving the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis boldly into the era of green technology – a policy that has already won him the open respect of the international community.

Seen against this background, his decision to fill the gaps created in the Labour Party with fresh, young blood is merely the continuation of an evolutionary imperative long practiced by successful organizations over the millennia of human existence. In this manner, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party demonstrates – once again – its fitness to dominate the political environment well into the future.

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