by Claudette Joseph
In Tuesday’s poll, the people spoke loudly and clearly on what they want for themselves, their families and their country. The result is not what many of us expected and we are indeed very disappointed. Nonetheless, I extend my congratulations to all of the candidates of the NNP, especially to my opponent, Peter David. Even outside of being MP for the constituency, I think I can still execute on some of the ideas I have for developing the town. I look forward to your full cooperation and support as I work to make some of it happen.
In trying to understand the results, we can point to the fact that the electoral system was methodically compromised over a period of 5 years, starting with the firing of Judy Benoit in 2013 and right up to unlawfully registering voters after the cut off time on January 29th. Interfering with the electoral system would no doubt have had an impact on the results, but at the same time, those who voted, did so resoundingly for the NNP. Added to that, more than 19,000 registered voters refused to vote for either party. It means that they too either don’t mind or are indifferent to us ending up with the result that we did.
While I respect the will of the people, I find it indeed quite troubling that the majority of the electorate do not even want an opposition. Is it that Grenadians are using the constitutional process of elections to reject the Westminster system set up by the very constitution? Do most people prefer a one-party/elected-dictatorship type of government? Are we in the NDC so far off the mark with our principles of good governance, standing for the rule of law, transparency, protection of our patrimony etc.? (I honestly hope that our nation has not abandoned these ideals) What really do Grenadians want? These are some of the questions we, especially within the NDC, must ask ourselves as we move forward.
Wherever this political journey takes me, I intend to always put the interests of the people of Grenada first in all things, including before my own personal interests.
Thank you so much to all my family, friends, acquaintances and well-wishers who in one way or another supported my campaign. You kindly offered your prayers, love, time, money, gifts in kind, sound advice and encouraging words. Without those, I would not be able to run the campaign that I did. I am very grateful. To my campaign team, you know who you are, thank you so very much. We are now a family and families stay together. Thanks so much guys!
My dear friend and party leader V. Nazim Burke, I am grateful for the confidence you reposed in me in insisting that I was the best person to contest the seat, while I was busy trying to help you to find someone else. I’m so sorry that at this critical time, Grenada passed on the opportunity to elect one of her finest to lead. I say unapologetically, it is our sad loss that the country will not have the benefit of your responsible leadership, vision, tenacity, aptitude for hard work, strength of character, decency, loving kindness and fierce patriotism. Naz, the fact that Grenadians will not get to experience the pleasure of having you as leader, just as we do in the NDC, is what makes me most sad about these election results.
My fellow candidates and I gave it all we had with the available resources. We ran an excellent campaign. In fact, it is possible that a different campaign would not have yielded a different result. Thanks for the experience working with you guys. I know I’ve made some lifelong friends. Together, let’s regroup and keep working for the love of country.
My heart goes out to our youth of the NDYM especially to Tevin Ishmael Andrews and Ali Anthony Brian Dowden. Remember, the harder the struggle, the sweeter the victory. You have bright futures in politics. Use these coming years to further develop yourselves. Remember, reward comes with hard work, sweat and tears. Nelson Mandela languished in prison for 27 years, and then he became president. Ralph Gonsalves was in opposition for 30 years, and then he became prime minister. So, to the young people of Grenada, I say stand up and struggle on!
One love everybody! Let’s hope for national prosperity in the coming years.