By Ian Francis
March 19, 2013, will be remembered as exactly one month ago when Grenadian voters made the decision on February 19, 2013, to retire the lame duck National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of Thomas, Noel, Burke and Bernadine after four years of hell and misery. As the governing NNP accepts the challenge of rebuilding the nation of Grenada, voters must remain conscious and vigilante about the tasks ahead and that the ills and societal disillusion created by the NDC will not be solved by any NDC miracles. Therefore, it will be tuff slugging ahead and, in these difficult moments, there is no other alternative but to give thanks and praise to our leadership and to continue rallying around them as the Grenada Rescue Mission takes shape.
|Ian Francis resides in Toronto and is a frequent contributor on Caribbean affairs. He is a former Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Grenada and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org|
There are many existing anti NNPites that are still hidden in the woods amongst the brambles. While many of those hidden in the forest have recognized that game change has occurred and it was now an opportune moment to join the NNP inclusive network and work towards national rehabilitation, there are many within the ministerial precincts that continue to harbour and demonstrate the politics of hate, disrespect and failure to recognize and accept game change. In my view, those engaged in such despicable and unnecessary stupidity must also understand that the unnecessary accumulation of vacation leave and Public Service Commission defence might not be enough to destabilize the new regime. The New National Party (NNP) was elected to office with an overwhelming mandate to govern the people of Grenada. The naysayers must respect the voice of the people who voted for change.
As regime change takes place in Grenada, Prime Minister Mitchell has crafted a competent Cabinet of ministers, ministers of state, parliamentary assistants and an experience upper house. Since their appointments, they have been up and running and voters are positive that the new NNP team will deliver. There will be bumps, however, the New National Party was previously battle tested between 1995-2008 and they governed the nation that saw progress, prosperity and growth.
As the governance process takes place, it is important to recognize and understand that the government of Grenada has an onerous and responsible task to govern the nation. In the view and understanding of many, good governance must extend beyond repairing the NDC-destroyed economy. Issues and areas of public safety, national security, unnecessary hassling of innocent business people under the spiteful context of money laundering are areas that were of prime importance for the prime minister to address. A nation should not surrender its padlocks and keys in the hands of untrustworthy gatekeepers. The Mitchell administration must be commended on its swift action pertaining to the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF), the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the planned reforms being formulated to bolster public safety and protect the democratic rights of our citizens.
Certainly, Grenadians from all walks of live very much wish the new regime success. Recently, such desire for success was echoed two weeks ago when prime minister addressed large gatherings of Grenadians in Toronto and New York. While future success of the regime seemed to occupy the minds of many, there is an acceptance and understanding that the path to Grenada’s improved development and sustainability will require much more than the recent tinkering and re-allocation of departmental heads.
Many legitimate commentators in Grenada and throughout the Caribbean region have already contended that Mitchell and his team should not rely only on the broken inherited departmental heads. Many survived during the 1995-2008 NNP reign, later they were able to re-group under the NDC and once again they have submerged under the new NNP administration. Therefore, the questions being asked in several quarters are legitimate and very much in thinking with the new administration support. What new and innovative can recycled departmental heads bring to the table of the new NNP government as new ways are being explored to bring about new and sustainable changes for the nation?
As a long time commentator and opinion contributor on Grenada political affairs, I also share the sentiment for success of this regime. It is well known that the suffering and disempowerment of our young people was as a result of illogical and shortsighted NDC planning and policies. However, my yearning for success and sustainability in St George’s also requires me to recognize and articulate for institutional and structural changes in government institutions.
This leads me to suggest to the administration that Grenadian voters’ thirst for change should not only be relegated to the right and responsibility of running the government. Grenadian voters also recognize that many things are broken and they must be permanently repaired. In repairing the broken goods, there are many who are likely to argue that the component should not be interfered with. There are many who want to see repairs.
As Grenadians look forward to the notion of good governance, civic participation and meaningful change, it was quite re-assuring to listen to the warning given by Prime Minister Mitchell to party supporters and his elected colleagues. He was absolutely correct when he warned against bullying and incompetence. His firm and reiterated message clearly reminded supporters that Grenadian voters will not tolerate slackness and excuses. Grenada belongs to all and it is time to eliminate the politics of spite and hate.
Finally, to those who might eventually become the victims of change and sustainability, it will be essential and necessary. An advanced and progressive nation cannot stand on weak, feeble and stalled structures. Change, equity and progressive thoughts must make way against self seeking opportunities and under the legislative protection of Grenada’s Public Service Commission.