The New Today

Letters

Vote wisely on Thursday

Every election cycle, the parties contesting the election would highlight the plans they have for the country and usually the party which made up the government would point out what they did in the time they had and they would often speak as if one should be grateful for the things they might have accomplished, seemingly forgetting that they had put themselves forward to be servants of the people.

Those in opposition will try to sell their ideas as they seek to become the government. It is always interesting to hear what each side is putting forward and whose ideas or plans seem more plausible and workable. And even as one party is elected over the other, it actually might have nothing whatsoever to do with policies.

Many times, people would determine whom they would vote for by saying, “we know what we have but we don’t know what we are getting.” People will vote for one party because ‘their family always voted that way’ or they themselves have only voted one way since they were eligible to vote.

We have to accept that people often tend to vote for a party rather than an individual and so the character of an individual candidate doesn’t seem to matter.

Another election cycle and parties are having their rallies, trying to convince the public and those eligible to vote, why they should vote one party over the other.

Many arguments will be made on both sides, lots of money will be spent and have been spent and when it is all over and done, only one party will be victorious unless some unforeseen situation happens where there is a tie, anything is possible.

When a government calls an election, not simply because it is constitutionally due, but there is always a feeling by the government that they have done enough, the electorate would agree and so would return them to power.

There is obviously a certain amount of confidence and sometimes even arrogance believing that the electorate have seen them in action and would gladly return them to power but nothing is certain until people have voted and the election results are called.

But an election, such as the one to be contested on June 23rd, is really a referendum on the ruling party and its government. This is when and where they try to vindicate themselves and seek support from their supporters and others by highlighting what they were able to accomplish and yet it is also a good opportunity for the opposition to critically assess and point out what the government did not do, having been given the mandate and time to perform.

This election, like every election really puts the onus on the incumbent government and ruling party to defend their record because of what they promised since the previous election.

Promises are being made on both sides, and each side will try to convince the electorate that one party’s plans are better for the country. Still, the public can see if what was promised was actually delivered and that must be a challenge for those who made up the government because they were given the time and their record should speak for itself.

So, as people look back over the last five or ten years, what will they say were the successes or failures of the government? Are those successes such that people can see and highlight them? What about what they didn’t accomplish? Can people say that their lives have been made better by the plans and policies of the last administration? Who really benefitted most from the government policies? Have those policies promoted the common good?

With a population where 65% of the persons are 35 years and younger, what is the future for those young people? And questions must obviously be asked of the opposition because they want to be the next government. But, would any of this actually matter to voters? The unfortunate thing is that people will probably not be so concerned about what either party hopes to do because they will be voting one way or the other, or not voting at all, regardless of the plans being promoted.

Wouldn’t it be good though to examine what is being promoted so that one can make an informed decision?

This might be the difference between the incumbent being re-elected or not. Wouldn’t it be better to at least vote with informed knowledge having assessed the promises made as compared to the outcomes rather than simply voting for one party because that’s always been your voting practice?

While you might know what you have or had but not what you will get, maybe it might be a good thing to actually examine what you have or had and determine if this is enough to make you vote how you have always voted.

If you know what you have or had, but it does not measure up, then maybe you should change your voting habit because the promises made did not actually materialise into real action.

Perhaps the most condescending and unfortunate comment any incumbent government can make as they seek re-election is: “look at what we did for you” as if to suggest that they were doing the country a favour.

Anyone seeking to be elected in this and any election must be prepared to be servants of the people, working for the people, to promote the common good and to make the country a better place for every Grenadian to live.

Patriotic Soul