I believe the elections of 1995 was pivotal in the history of Grenada. The winning political party ran on the promise to remove personal income tax, and the electorate decided they needed all their monies.
The other political party ran on a platform of building an economy based on Agriculture, Tourism and Light Manufacturing, supported by a liquid government, based on a “pay as you earn tax system”.
It’s been 26 years since that pivotal 1995 election, what has happened:
We have seen the personal and economic decline of the majority of Grenadians, (the Majority of Grenadians are worse off).
A few Buddies and Enablers have gotten filthy rich and powerful (the buddy system is alive and well).
An economy almost totally dependent on Tourism and Remittance, and an ever increasing national debt.
Employment in the service to Tourism, security guards, wardens, cleaning the side of the road and patching holes in the road.
For what it’s worth, in the recent handing over of the Chinese housing project in Carriacou, a minister of government referred to the government of Grenada as “the Keith Mitchell Government”, so it’s fair to place any economic and social decline in Grenada, at the feet of Dr. Keith Mitchell, the longest serving Prime Minister with three terms of governance with all 15 seats, controlling both the lower and upper houses.
The following are some questions and conversations we should be having right now:
Do we have a one man Government? Who know how to win elections every 5 years or so.
Should the political party with the most money continue to win election?
Is there a need to reform campaign financing and the electoral process? Where is the money coming from?
Do we need to reform the procurement process, so political parties cannot finance political parties and campaigns from capital projects, kick-backs and the consolidated fund?
Should political parties be registered as a “not for profit (NGO)” and produce annual audited accounts?
What was the national debt in 1995 and what is it today? Can we see value for that national debt?
What % of that debt could be for :
–Judgments against the government of Grenada because of bad, spiteful decisions, (government ministers do not pay, the consolidated fund or the people always pay).
–Bad investments and policies, designed to help Enablers and get kickbacks for the party
Is governance transparent and accountable?
Has the Integrity Commission been successful in eliminating corruption and kickbacks?
Why would a government with three unanimous victories at the polls, not get behind and help push for constitutional reform, to strengthen accountable and transparent governance and the rights of Grenadians?
Is it not much harder for our young people w ho have family abroad to travel for education and work (Canada)?
Is the history and performance of “The Keith Mitchell Government” for the last 26 years not relevant as we move forward?
Is our public service more or less professional, in the delivery of government policies?
Do all public officers understand the rules that govern the public service?
Does the Public Service Commission support its officers when they do their jobs? Or is it all about politics and the support of the line minister.
Are our public accounts up to date, so we can all see how monies are spent?
Are we all living in constant fear of government reprisal? Is this constant state of fear, affecting how we report news on political, social and economic events?
Are all the radio stations living in fear of losing advertising revenue from Government and statutory bodies?
Should we not learn from our history and stop voting for people who only care about winning elections and getting rich and powerful, with the slogan “jobs you want jobs you go get”.
What jobs do you want? Is your vote worth a backpack or a t-shirt or $100.00?
Like 1995, the next election will be a pivotal one, may the best candidate, motivated by service to the Grenadian people, get the most votes in the elections of 2021!!!