The New Today

The changing political landscape!!!

The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) should look at all the positives for their party in the wake of the turn of events within the now main opposition New National Party (NNP) of the defeated ex-Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

The party strategists can benefit from the decision of the Member of Parliament for St Andrew North-west Delma Thomas to cross the floor in Parliament on Tuesday to now sit on the Government Side.

The NDC should also pay close attention to the manner in which Dr. Mitchell is moving from Constituency to Constituency on a weekly basis to talk to his party faithful in order to ensure that there is no hemorrhaging and that the NNP base remains intact.

THE NEW TODAY sees this as a correct strategy except that the former Prime Minister is no longer the major political figure with the kind of clout that he possessed 10 to 15 years ago.

The NDC can benefit tremendously from the entrance of Delma Thomas into its fold on several fronts.

The MP from St Andrew is a very hard worker on the ground politically and can share many insights with the NDC on how the NNP was able to hold onto most of the seats in the Big Parish when there was a noticeable swing in the country nearly a year ago to depose the 76-year old long-serving Prime Minister.

The new entrant would be aware of the manner in which she along with Kate Lewis (St. Andrew North-east) and Emmalin Pierre (St Andrew South-east) were able to withstand the political tornado that was running through the island in the weeks leading up to the June 23, 2022 general election.

It had to do with the kind of political work that was done by these MPs and their party over the years in their respective constituencies.

Our information is that Sunday’s event in which MP Delma Thomas officially announced that she was leaving NNP to co-operate with the Dickon Mitchell-led Congress government saw the return of several defectors from NDC to NNP now back giving support to THE HEART.

Several of the persons who were in attendance were previous supporters but left in the calamity that took place within the 2008-13 government of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas to give critical support to Delma Thomas to land her a seat in Parliament for the first time.

It is up to the NDC planners and strategists to try and engage as many of “Team Delma” as they are coming from a winning culture that can help Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his own team for the next general election.

The NNP loss could be a gain for NDC as there is among the group an individual who has been described as a top and excellent Canvasser of the Voter’s list in the St Andrew area who can prove to be a most valuable asset in going forward.

The NNP did a bad job when it came to canvassing the Voter’s list in the last general election and the party was in shambles because it became complacent with the back-to-back 15-0 victories in the 2013 and 2018 General Elections.

Any party that hopes to be successful in General Elections has to develop the art of identifying its support base and knowing how to grow the base in order to put itself in a position to obtain the correct number of votes that are needed to be victorious on polling day.

The NDC needs to understand that it can only win election if it approaches the exercise in a very scientific manner.

It is the NNP and not the NDC whose record is one of knowing how to win elections – and Delma Thomas should be in a positon to whisper a few things on what Congress needs to do in order to understand the ingredients that are needed to be victorious at the polls.

The NDC planners and strategists should follow closely the meetings of the NNP Political Leader as he often talks in an open manner about the groundwork that has to be done to position a party to win at the polls.

After the loss in the 1990 general election, Dr. Mitchell turned to his friends in the right-wing Caribbean Democratic Union (CDU) and was able to secure the service of Joan Webley of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) of Edward Seaga to come to the island on assignment for several months to turn the NNP into an organised political outfit.

It is the Webley political model that has proved to be very successful for the NNP over the years.

It is also up to the NDC to understand that success at the polls comes through hard, organised political work on the ground and not ole talk by those charged with the responsibility of holding the key positions in the party.

This is where a Delma Thomas can be very useful and shed some insight into what the NDC needs to do to create a winning formula and strategy at electoral politics.

The June 23, 2022 election showed that the NDC route to victory in an election in Grenada is at best on the Eastern flank of the island from St David into St John.

Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and his team can win the next election if they manage to damage the NNP in the four seats in St Andrew as a heavy loss for the opposition will virtually shut the door in their face for a quick return to power.

There is a lot of political work to be done by NDC in the coming months and years as the party won the last election by just over 4000 votes with the biggest margin of victories being in St. David, South St George and St George North-east.

Congress should be mindful that if the NNP is able to roll back the very slim margins in several of the other constituencies, the game is on to win the next election and to occupy the prized position on the Sixth Floor of the Ministerial Complex in the Botanical Gardens.

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