by Arley Gill
The countdown is on! Grenada will go to the polls in a matter of days to vote for constitutional amendment. The first time in its history.
No doubt this is a watershed moment in our history. To the post-independence generation (persons born after 1974), it is an opportune time for us to influence the way we are governed; it may be our only opportunity. Therefore, I want to speak to the youths of our country.
I want to encourage our young people to get involved in the referendum process if they are not yet active participants in this extremely important exercise. The elderly folks, indeed, continue to be and remain a great asset to our society. We love them dearly. However, if as they say the future belongs to the youth and if the saying is true, then they will have to pardon us, this time around, to have a conversation one-on-one.
I want to ask the youths of Grenada, what is it that independence means to you? Have you ever given any thought as to how you should be governed? What will you like Grenada to be like in the next 20 years? Do you love the land of your birth? If you never gave any thought to any of these questions, then I ask you to pause and think a minute.
Above the noise of all the politicians, and different interest groups on this issue of referendum, what do you — as the youths of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique — think? Do you agree with one or two or all of the proposals? If you do, will you be going out to vote accordingly on 27 October?
You see, this opportunity can be a once in a lifetime thing; there is no guarantee that it may happen again in your lifetime. Therefore, why would you refuse to participate?
Let me tell you, young people, when you hear the Americans speaking about, “they plead the 5th’’, they are referring to the Fifth Amendment of the American constitution. When you hear Donald Trump speak about gun rights and Second Amendment rights, similarly he is talking about a bill that was adopted and passed and included in the US constitution; an exercise not dissimilar to the current process in Grenada.
The truth is, societies — from time to time — review the way they are governed and they make amendments to improve or enhance the way things are done in their country. Grenada should be no different.
The irony of all this, is that the British gave us a written constitution; yet, they — the British — refused to write one for themselves. We have an opportunity to make some changes to that hand-me-down document; changes to influence directly the way we are governed.
I want to encourage all the young persons in our Tri-island Nation who are eligible to vote, to go out on referendum morning and influence the process.
Vote positively for the changes you want to see to your constitution. In doing so, rest assured that you will be on the right side of history.