The NNP’s electoral victories have come at a terrible cost to Grenada. The party has developed a simple formula for winning: maintain a large army of “poor and vulnerable”, feed them a steady diet of hope, based on false promises, and every now and then, give them a little handout when they start to get restless. Then there is a group of facilitators in the business and intellectual communities, who provide the finance and give an air of respectability to the regime.
While NNP has won 4 elections with this recipe, the evidence shows that Grenada has suffered tremendously under its rule. Institutions such as the Public Service, Police, Electoral Office, and the Public Service Commission, for example, have been severely weakened by the appointment of several incompetent people to high positions, simply because of their support of the NNP.
The NNP has never put forward a well-thought out long-term plan for national development. Instead, every election year, it spins a new magical plan that would make Grenada instantly prosperous.
In 1995, the abolition of personal income tax was supposed to make all of us rich through the sudden availability of “disposable income”. 2003 brought the Green Economy. All it meant was that if you didn’t support Green, there was no place in the economy for you. In 2013, the New Economy, promoted by Patrick Antoine, was to deliver prosperity for all. Now, we are hearing about the Blue Economy.
While these “economies” come and go, without ever taking off, poverty continues to rise throughout Grenada. St. Patrick’s and St. Mark’s both have poverty rates in excess of 50%, and about one third of the population still does not have indoor toilet facilities.
Functional illiteracy is a major problem, as attested to by Anthony Boatswain recently. It is ironic that the Minister of Education, who oversaw the destruction of the NDC’s free school books programme, is now lamenting the poor state of education.
With the new school year fast approaching, parents are bawling out as they face the bookstores, having to spend thousands of dollars, depending on the number of children they have. The few carefully chosen NNP supporters, who get the $100 vouchers, are wondering whether it’s better to invest the money in a couple mega-bingo tickets.
Mitchell’s election mini-budget shows how much the NNP cares about the education of poor people’s children. Less than one percent of the $87 million is earmarked for education and human resource development!
Meanwhile, the promised tablets from the 2013 election campaign are still not here.
Responsible citizens have a duty to make sure that Mitchell’s manipulation of simple-minded folk does not saddle us with an incompetent, No New Plan government for another 5 years. As one young man put it, 5 years of NNP equal 15 years of backwardness! Can we afford that?
Former NNP Supporter