It is generally acknowledged in politics that governments tend to lose elections but parties are the ones to win elections.
This can become a truism for the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) which next Sunday will hold its first convention since the party defied the odds and whipped the New National Party (NNP) of long-standing Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell at the June 23, 2022 general election.
Congress is going into the March 5 convention to be held at the MacDonald College secondary school in St Patrick with many eyes focusing on the balloting for the key position of General Secretary mainly between MIT Minister Andy Williams and the current holder of the post, Learrie Barry.
THE NEW TODAY would like to address the view of some Congress supporters that a government minister is too busy and already holds a demanding position to perform in the role of General Secretary.
This is a false premise given the history of many political parties including the NNP which often had sitting Ministers performing in the role of Chief party organisers and mobiliser.
Labour Minister Claris Charles and Agriculture Minister Roland Bhola held the position for the NNP at various periods during its victories at the polls.
The two ministers can claim that their records will show that the NNP won clean sweeps at the polls during their tenure in office.
This can hopefully put an end to those who hold the view that a sitting minister should exclude him/herself from consideration for the position of General Secretary.
The ideal for Congress is to recruit someone who can perform the job that is needed on a full-time basis at a fixed monthly salary and not depend on voluntarism.
The current MIT Minister might want the job of General Secretary to try and help the NDC break the spell of only managing to serve one-term in office before the electorate boot them out and go back to the NNP to take charge of running the affairs of the country.
Andy Williams who is the current Member of Parliament for South St George is similar in outlook to Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell in that they did not leave their businesses to enter into the political arena with a single term in their minds.
The MP for the South is full of energy and strikes one as an individual who is prepared to do the hard work in order to win, as defeat is not part of his vocabulary.
It is clear that Andy Williams is entering the battle with the clear intention to defeat his rivals.
However, the path to victory might not be that easy especially if the St Andrew wing of the party decide to throw their support behind Barry with their Town/Country mentality that has been so prevalent over the years within the party.
The battle for two other positions is of lesser interest – Foreign Minister Joseph Andall vs Attorney General Claudette Joseph to serve as deputy Political Leader to party boss, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell.
Andall will start as the favourite as he is an elected Member of Parliament and can act as Prime Minister whenever Dickon Mitchell is out of State unlike Claudette Joseph who did not win a seat in the election and is only a member of the Senate or Upper House of Parliament and cannot be called upon to act as Prime Minister.
It is doubtful whether the two of them will ever be considered for the top job within the corridors of power within the NDC as viable alternatives to lead the party into an election if Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is unable to do so for whatever reason.
THE NEW TODAY would like to briefly address the situation with respect to the state-owned Marketing & National Importing Board.
The jury will be out for some time as to whether Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell is wrong or right about moving in the direction of a Private Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement for MNIB as opposed to the views of others that he should not lose down the statutory body for the proposed six month period but should engage in a restructuring of the corporation.
Dickon Mitchell has demonstrated that he is prepared to make tough and decisive decisions on important national issues and not engage in political grand-standing like so many other leaders.
The MNIB has been a millstone around the necks of Grenadians and especially the national financial purse and the new Prime Minister during the campaign repeatedly stated that he intended to do something about it.
A past Chairman of the MNIB governing Board told the country that he could not even get a sit down meeting with the former Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to bring him up-to-date on the precarious financial situation of MNIB under its then Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ruel Edwards.
This is what can best be described as poor and reckless leadership of the affairs of the country by the former top office holder in government in the Botanical Gardens.
The country should give Dickon Mitchell a chance to see whether the PPP model will work or eventually explode in his face.
The new Prime Minister is not advocating a new model as under the NNP, the former Minister of Works and Public Utilities Gregory Bowen had been advocating the PPP concept as part of his rescue plan for Gravel & Concrete for years.