By Lloyd Noel
Now that we have a fully constituted government, with both houses of Parliament duly elected or appointed – as the case may be – we are all ready and looking forward to the next chapter of our political history that is never dull or without excitement of one kind or another.
|Lloyd Noel is a former attorney general of Grenada, prominent attorney at law and political commentator|
And even as we look back at the past four and a half years that came about with so much hope and expectations and grand promises of better days ahead after that very long period of 13 years, under the single government and sole jurisdiction of the one and only NNP administration headed by the very long standing Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, it is very easy to see how and where those hopefuls lost their way, and caused their own defeat and rejection long before the day of decision on 19th February.
But all that is now history, and here we are again less than five years since those hopeful days, and we are back to another period of total control by the winners.
We have the token gesture, courtesy the Governor General, where there are three opposition members who lost at the recent polls, but are now appointed as senators to the Upper House of Parliament – where they will have the opportunity to let their voices be heard, and the NDC party ideas ventilated – for whatever that is worth.
While we are waiting to see how that new state of affairs plays out in our parliament, we are also awaiting the NDC convention in the next two or three months, to hear who takes over which position and who stays or goes a-begging.
As per usual, never a dull moment in this our troubled and struggling tri-island state.
What can and must be said, however, is that the new controllers have started off managing the people’s business with a very loud bang – and from all the reports coming through the political grapevine, things are happening in the interests and for the benefits of the people.
Lots of new faces on the scene, and from listening to their statements on matters of the public interest and business, they do sound and report as having carefully done their homework and national research.
So it is now a straight case of waiting to see what will be happening, based on the reports we have been getting and the actions already taken to get things moving.
Among the new faces is my colleague and former legal partner, the new attorney general, Mr Cajeton Hood, who also hails from the North West Constituency in St George’s, of the Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell. Congrats to him and very best wishes for a successful term as attorney general.
I have commented on the selection of those NDC losers at the polls, who have been appointed as senators by the governor general, and the expectation that they will bring some measure of critical discussion on matters of national concern at the highest level of our law-making authority.
And it is good to see and hear some worthwhile comments and inputs from them – even before the Upper House has held its first official meeting.
There have also been some defensive statements, especially coming from the ex-finance minister, now Senator Nazim Burke, touching and concerning matters of our national debt, and the whole issue of raising the much needed funds to pay off some debts, and thereby secure additional funding to provide some jobs for the thousands of our young and not so young unemployed men and women.
As time rolls on, and the action and omissions of the new controllers produce results – especially as far as jobs creation are concerned in these trying times – the credibility of the new senator and ex-finance minister would be called into open debate, and could thereby lose its national value and appeal.
But it is early days yet, so we have to wait and see and assess whatever comes our way – and in whatever form or fashion they may appear – because as conditions improve and people can see the surrounding areas changing shape, and new faces coming on the scene from wherever as investors, the questions and or criticisms concerning the newcomers would no doubt be all over the place – especially from those who did nothing worthwhile in the past four and a half years in control.
As for example, I heard the prime minister saying he favours casino gambling for foreigners or tourists who come visiting our shores – but not for locals. At least he is moving in the sensible and reasonable direction – because when our visitors come to our Islands, they naturally expect the facilities to be on par with the other Islands they had visited before ours – or else they will not be eager to come back.
The bygone days of white sand, sea and sunshine, and nothing else to occupy their time while on the Islands have vanished for good, and must be replaced by moving into the 21st century, if we are really serious about attracting tourists.
All the ole talk about not favouring gambling is just laughable, because we have gambling Island-wide every day – and even at the government level in the National Lottery Authority (NLA) – so it is more than ample time that we move into the new century with our tourist attractions for the benefit of our people.
The road ahead is not going to be paved with dollars for just picking up and pocketing and those now in control with no opposition to even question their activities have to take decisions that are sensible and hopefully will redound to the benefit of all our people.
And the many thousands who voted for the losers, but with not even one seat to show for their efforts, will have to be patient and understanding, and must not expect everything to happen in a month or two.
There is a whole lot to be done to get the system moving again, and the jobs and opportunities coming our way as a people in serious need.
In exercising that patience we still have to be vigilant and show concern about what is coming next.