By Ian Francis
Grenadians at home and in the Diaspora fully recognize the challenges of good governance confronting the new Grenada administration after February 19, 2013. Within the broad spectrum of good governance, the administration has a responsibility to ensure that the necessary groundwork and mechanisms are established to deal effectively with all forms of state corruption, dumping of foreign counterfeit goods on Grenadian consumers and white collar criminality.
If these three distasteful and treacherous cancers are not immediately tackled and controlled, then all future well meaning policy and program initiatives for economic restoration are unlikely to achieve the desired results because of the regime’s reluctance to address them.
Given that decision day has arrived, it is time that Grenadians and other concerned global observers begin the process of future reflection, rejuvenation, upliftment and sustainability as recently outlined by Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. As he correctly recognizes, there is a lot of work to be done; expectations are high and changes must be made to accommodate voters’ expectation.
At the same time, it must be clearly understood by all and sundry that elected and appointed ministerial officials are not the only agents or facilitators of change. The process must emerge with innovative thoughts and functional strategic implementation methods that will facilitate a new dawn. Change in policies and programs must be geared to felt needs in communities and populations. In other words, change must be qualitative, sustainable and relevant to communities and their residents.
Therefore, I cannot understand and agree to the NDC notion that, while in government, they amended legislation and introduced new laws. My only question is how many jobs were created and how was quality of life improved in communities?
Another important factor of change is that Grenadian people should be shielded from all forms of unscrupulous behaviour. Our consumers are crying at the outlay of their hard earned cash with respect to the purchase of counterfeit goods that are flooding the Grenada marketplace. With such duplicity in the marketplace, the government funded statutory body responsible for goods and standards must be given the necessary tools and resources to delve into this criminal activity of counterfeiters and at the same time ensure the implementation of mechanisms to protect Grenada consumers.
While the duplicity and distasteful counterfeit goods strategy are encumbered throughout the nation, there are many known accomplices within the blue and white collar sectors involved in such corruption against consumers. The incoming administration cannot afford to ignore such blatant conduct in our society and will be required to act forcefully. To put it bluntly, corruption currently pervades the nation and if not dealt with, it will always hinder the path to true and sustainable national development.
There is no doubt that during the last four years of the Tillman/Burke/Noel and Bernadine foursome, Grenadians from all walks of life have suffered. The NDC’s arrogance and spitefulness exempted no one from its inflicted pain and suffering. Therefore, one suspects that, with unfettered access to increasing information technology tools by many within our population, there will be the tendency to use such tools to advance the ugly culture of corruption.
With hope and the promises of good governance and change, Grenadian voters must remain vigilant and ensure that those who made the promises live up to them. The challenges for the new incoming administration are enormous, which require collectivity, cooperative planning and implementation of effective public policy decisions to guide the process.
Finally, I have no doubt that, now the results are known, many readers and known NDC fanatics will continue to criticize my articles and accuse me of being an NNP propagandist. However, my only goal is to assess and observe the political drama in Grenada and express my opinions. This leads me to express an opinion of the two political rallies held in different locations of the nation on January 20, 2013. The continued display of respect and friendship which was demonstrated amongst the vying supporters of the two parties must be highly commended. Gone are the days of political lawlessness, mongoose stoning and violence.
Both parties held successful rallies and it was reassuring to listen to the public policy issues hammered out on health, finance and agriculture by speakers in the New National Party. On the contrary, the National Democratic Congress’s Ann Peters seemed stacked on the politics of quantity rather than quality.
This is why I am not able to give political credence to Michael, Winty and Glynnis. The three parties they represented have confirmed their full obituary rights after February 19, 2013. The NDC and NNP were the main electoral players and the NNP was victorious.
My prayers and well wishes go out to my long time friend Honourable Michael Lett, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, who battled the unfortunate inflicted disease of prostate cancer and said goodbye a few days before the elections. Michael was a long time friend and irrespective of political affiliations, he always demonstrated good friendship and respected his foes.
February 19, 2013, was interesting and will always be remembered. Voters now wait for effective, transparent and accountable governance.