By D. Markie Spring
Grenadians, your future political economy could be at stake!
On election night, party supporters of Grenada’s New National Party (NNP) took to the streets in celebration of their party’s historic win over former prime minister Tilman Thomas and the National Democratic Congress (NDC); a catastrophic defeat for the NDC!
Let me remind Grenadians that I am aware that Grenada is a sovereign state and its national affairs and its political arena is out-of-bounds for me. However, as a Vincentian by birth, this gives me the opportunity and the right to be your neighbour and if one should assess the functions of ‘neighbour,’ they support each other!
To say the least, my effort here is not to meddle into the national political affairs of your country, but a cautious step into highlighting the drawbacks of such a dominant-party system; a new partisan cleavage menaces to cut across the incumbent’s electoral coalition!
Today, the NNP and its supporters are observing their solemn victory in all fifteen constituencies; a resounding electoral victory that could place the Grenadian socio-political economy into a political coma – not realizing that a progressive nation is a phenomenon far beyond party, politics and power – notwithstanding individualism. Meanwhile, the supporters of the NDC are mourning their dramatic losses and realizing that a ‘dominant-party system’ is an uncompromising dilemma within political pluralism; a guiding principle that allows the peaceful coexistence of interest.
Hitherto, with much dominance and overtime, such a system can encourage despotism and shape society through unbalanced policies. Moreover, Grenadians can experience more dilemmas: lack of constructive criticism, especially on bad decisions; the lack of attention concerning views of citizens, dictatorship in government and only a fraction of the people would be represented.
Furthermore, Grenadians, there are additional potential challenges to face: legislation will be easy to pass – even legislation that the entire country may reject. More so, it would be easier to remove the executive – an executive headed by the PM that executes state laws. Coupled with this, Grenadians should foresee that in forthcoming parliament sittings there would be empty opposition seats; therefore, this suggests that power is distributed to one party that makes all the decisions.
These and more are the passport to creating and paving the road to a lack of dissent to prevailing ideas.
Grenadians, if you have not learned anything from me, learn this; the diversity of ideas from a heterogeneous team is far more effective and accurate than that of a homogenous team; hence, it is better to have an opposition that can unveil potential unethical issues, mismanagement of national affairs and complacency in your government while contributing meaningfully to the development of the nation. The latter is subsequent to the notion that power is guaranteed – such political arrogance can, however, lead to the defeat of the NNP in future elections. Before this could occur, this period of ‘dominant-party system’ could be marked by an opposition party in disarray – a period when the opposition will do all they can to regain prominence.
If Grenadians would remember, under the Margaret Thatcher and John Major governments, the Conservative Party dominated Britain’s politics for an extended period of time; making it seemed like a never ending phenomenon. More so, under PM Thatcher, society changed subsequent to political policies.
Moreover, my neighbours must be careful that the current situation in Grenada potentially can succumb to ‘Cold War’ traits; creating a huge divide within the two major parties and shifting their supporters on each side; manufacturing neutral factions of ‘Non-Aligned Movements’; processing politically explosive weapons combined with threats of mutual assured destruction through extensive political psychological warfare; and in the struggle (especially the opposition) for national influence and prominence they will inevitably be confronting each other through proxy followed by enormous tensions, which can lead to political insurgency.
In this capacity, it is often advisable and; nonetheless, debatable that the American political system should be a paradigmatic case study for your political system – a system where one party dominates the presidency and the other the congressional realm of the state; fully independent of each other.
However, it would be irresponsible for me to end this diagnostic assessment without indicating the Grenada’s PM, Keith Mitchell is already on a path to economic development through discussions of climate change initiative with German officials and other thriving economic dimensions.
Additionally, I am not confirming that these phenomena will be the borderline, but a careful vetting of the current situation!
Politically, Grenada is a strong nation – taking into consideration what they have previously experienced. Eminently, a pluralist democracy system of government has its drawbacks, but these challenges are nothing compared to a ‘dominant party system.’
Our thoughts are with you!