The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has virtually launched its campaign for the next general election with the presentation of a 40-page document outlining its plans for the next 13 years.
The theme of Congress’ 2017-30 Policy Agenda is “Investing in our future today” and was presented last week Thursday evening by Political Leader Senator Nazim Burke to supporters gathered at the Grenada Trade Centre in Grand Anse, St. George.
Sen. Burke said the document defines 26 broad policy goals of the NDC that is intended for use as a guide in the decision-making process and provides a platform that puts young people at the centre of the decision-making table.
The document incorporates the vision of the NDC and its commitments towards building a stronger nation.
It focuses on 12 core principles – acknowledging the supremacy of God, Patriotism/love for country, demonstrating a high level of personal integrity, advancing the principles of self reliance, securing economic and social development, putting people first, empowering young people, education; protecting the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged; protecting our women and children, recognizing the value of the Diaspora, and engaging social partners.
“What we are seeking to do today is to present to you, outside of a (general) election, where you can sit, read, reflect, ask us the questions, where you can raise your doubts and uncertainties, make suggestions and recommendations as to how these prescriptions may be improved,” Sen. Burke told the assembled audience.
“Never before in the post-independence history of our country has any political party laid out for the scrutiny and evaluation of the public-at-large outside of an election context, the policy, principles and guidelines that will guide its policy prescription as its choices as it seeks to govern the country,” the NDC Party Leader said.
“Let us agree collectively,” he said, that “this nation that we seek to build must be a nation for all… a nation, whose people will take pride in their culture, heritage (and) patrimony…where the environment is protected and preserved for the use and enjoyment of us today and also for those who come after us”.
The document went on to say: “The National Democratic Congress strongly believes that it is necessary and possible for positive development by creating opportunities for all Grenadians and at the same time protecting our environment…we must too ensure that our children and grand children can also enjoy them”.
After the February 2013 general elections in which the NDC lost all 15 seats to the New National Party (NNP), a decision was taken to review and re-develop the party’s policy position.
Over the past two years, Congress has held a number of consultations with party members, supporters, and persons in the private sector locally and in the Diaspora on the way forward.
According to Sen. Burke, an analysis of the local, regional and international realities were also undertaken as part of a “deliberate” approach in putting the policy together (and) the policy framework for a “well ordered society…
“Having heard from you, we tried to capture as best as we could, what we believe are the wishes and aspirations that you have expressed. We have put those in 26 broad policy goals, which we believe represent the policy goals that must guide our nation going forward”, he said.
“Between now, 2030 and beyond let’s pursue these goals…let’s see if we can agree to pursue these goals for our nation…let us agree on what it is we want to do, even if we disagree on how we are going to get it done”, he added.
Sen. Burke pointed out that “it’s ok to disagree, but (to do so) respectfully, with honestly and sincerity and put our nation first always…”.
“This is a moment when the nation must look beyond party and party colours and forge partnerships to advance the interests of the nation,” he said.
The launch of the NDC’s 2017-30 Policy Agenda coincided with the unveiling of the party’s new logo, which now incorporates a banner comprising all the colours of the National Flag – Red, Green and Gold.