The New Today


Lessons in Grenada poll

The defeat of Dr Keith Mitchell and his administration in the general election in Grenada on June 23 was not unexpected.

Dr Mitchell and his political party/government, in Grenada, were the victims of the economic hardships his citizens had to endure consequent upon Covid-19 and the Ukraine war.

Globally, incumbent political administrations, some of very long standing, have not fared well in general elections during this very challenging economic period where economic uncertainty reigns.

This situation is even more challenging for the small, open economies of the English-speaking Caribbean countries. We are so very dependent on the rest of the world for food and other basic supplies that we are highly vulnerable to imported inflation and, among other things, shortages/delays in the supply of such commodities.

That notwithstanding, we can and must do more, for instance, to grow what we eat and eat what we grow.

Parties in office cannot afford to be reckless. They cannot claim to be not fully au courant with the country’s economic situation.

However, traditionally, with few exceptions, the opposing parties make all kinds of wild promises only to backtrack on them when they get into office (for example, the “empty treasury” rhetoric or that a significant campaign promise was a “misprint”).

The electorate needs to be more discerning, and educate themselves on economic issues. It is not business as usual.

Globally, with few exceptions, we are economically much worse off than we were ten years ago.

Accordingly, we cannot expect to enjoy the same standard of living as we did back then. That would be absurd/illogical! Sacrifices have to be made. Moreover, the most vulnerable have to be protected.

No government in the world has a magic wand to get us out of this economic crisis. Citizens have to be more conscious of what is taking place globally, and be more balanced/rational in their decision-making.

Things can get from bad to worse if we elect incompetent/corrupt political leaders, who take advantage of our irrationality/emotional deficit.

We must never forget the old adage that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”.

Louis W Williams
St Augustine