It is now two years into this NNP (New Nasty Problem) administration and there was no celebration and that is because there is really very little to celebrate.
The NNP has failed miserably in delivering on the promises made during the campaign, the thousands of jobs, the hundreds of investors, the new economy, the lower taxes, the better way of life.
All these are now fictions of KCM’s imagination, but we must not be fooled into believing that the NNP will lie down and be rolled over because KCM will fight with every ounce of strength in him to hold on to power, he will do anything to win if he has to do it.
KCM is now backed into a corner, he does not have any good options at hand, but that does not mean he will not fight.
The NNP is planning to go on the ground and form support groups, this is a clear sign that elections will be early.
KCM cannot go beyond the IMF program – if the economy does not turn around completely soon and we know that is virtually impossible.
Having said this though, the NDC cannot afford to take shelter in the fact that NNP is on the road to its own downfall and fail to do what needs to be done to ensure victory at the polls next time around.
It is often said that to win an election all that is required is for you to have the numbers, while this statement by itself is true, achieving the numbers this time around will prove to be a much more daunting task than at any other time for the NDC.
This time around the task of securing the numbers is much harder though not impossible, so there needs to be extra care taken in the strategy used to attract those needed numbers.
The NDC cannot simply be satisfied to rely on the voters disappointment, dissatisfaction and frustration with the present situation to bring them the needed numbers, it is just not enough.
We must remember that in the last election approximately 10 to 12 thousand persons did not vote, of that number part was not registered, and part just did not bother to go to vote.
The NDC needs to find out the real true story of why these people did not vote and stop assuming that they are mostly NDC supporters that will vote for us the next time around.
It is my belief that quite a number of those persons simply were so fed up with the both parties at the point in time that they just could not be bothered to take part in the process.
We must remember those persons were among the people who only a few years ago came out in numbers to boot out KCM and NNP. We must also consider that even if we were able to get all 12 thousand persons to now vote NDC, that may not be enough this time around.
There has been a steady flow of new registrants to the voters list that will continue to the next election and so NDC needs to capture most of these people too, they are mostly youths who make up 65% of the vote.
It is precisely for this reason I believe the NDC has to present a message that will appeal to those persons to convince them firstly to take part and secondly to vote the NDC.
We simply cannot rely on pointing out the shortcomings and wrongdoings of the NNP to give us the numbers, we must remember that in 2012/ 2013 we exposed all the lies, deceit and tomfoolery of the NNP, but because they were able to sell a message that the NDC was not good for development, that NDC could not run the country, that NDC was doing nothing and was only fighting, the people still voted NNP. There was no admittance then, that there was a global economic crisis facing the entire world.
So my point is that inspite of all the bad we know KCM and NNP have done, they can still overcome the barrage of condemnation, they can spend a couple millions as they usually do just before the elections and buy the youth vote once again – the youth vote is what will determine who win and who loose.
One other fact that we must consider is that the NDC has had in-fighting within its ranks both times it was in office, and to some people this is not an issue they can easily overcome to place full confidence in the NDC party, so there is a confidence hurdle the NDC has to overcome.
It is for this reason more than any other I believe the NDC has to start focusing now on presenting themselves as a party that is now united, ready and has an alternative plan to take this nation out of its financial and social problems.
The NDC in my view needs to embark upon a message that is twofold, one that continues to highlight the shortcomings and wrongdoings of the NNP, but another part that presents to the nation a plan to take us forward, a plan that is mostly outlined in form, not giving too many details and not making too many promises of the nature we know will be hard to keep, but a plan that is detailed enough to convince the voters that we have an alternative way of getting us out of the mess.
This plan must be a strategic long term plan, not a five year political cycle plan, not a plan that will only ensure victory at the next election, a plan that will tell the Grenadian voters and people what we need to do in the short, medium and long term to fix our beloved country.
The plan must be solvent, it must be flexible and allow for maximum people’s participation, people want to hear a reasonable workable plan that will truly work in the interest of all the people, a plan that will at the end of the day ensure that we do not return to this situation a few years down the road, a plan that requires all our people to sacrifice, a plan that provides for benefits for all sectors of our society and not just for party supporters and party activists.
It has to be a plan that does not break the backs of the poor and middle class at the advantage of the rich and well positioned in society, a plan that truly addresses the many ills in our society, one that seeks to find and address root causes, not just provide short term microwave solutions for the sake of staying in power.
It is not sufficient to depend on the promises of transparency, accountability and good governance, by themselves those are not enough. Grenada has suffered tremendously over the years because we have not had such a plan by no government implemented.
The time is right now more than any other to make a fresh start, tell the people the truth, tell them the hard choices we face, tell them the options available to us and let them choose.
Do not try to fool them with quick fixes as was done by the NNP in the past, if the NDC cannot win the youth vote and the majority of those 12 thousand persons who did not vote last election, they cannot win the next election, it’s that plain and simple, the 22 thousand base will not be enough to win.
The continued focus of exposing the NNP’s weaknesses and wrong doing is relevant and the pressure must be kept on them and increased but we must channel some of the messaging towards satisfying those disenchanted voters and politically inexperienced youth voters who will determine the next election.
We must convince them that NDC is now not only the right choice but the only choice, it is one thing to print that on t shirts but it is another thing to make that the national consensus,
Time is short we only have another 24 months, the last 12 months is usually campaign time, so we have to turn around the people’s minds by then, not wait for the last few months as was done the last time.
The NDC has to make a case to the Grenadian people as to why they should trust them this time around to run the affairs of Government given the recent past.
The voters need to be given another way to fixing this economy, another way besides taxing the people to death, another way besides risky crooked investors, besides selling our passports and assets like Gravel and Concrete, Postal Corporation and Marketing Board.
We have to look at another way besides Project Grenada and a one party state construct, another way besides the eat a food mentality of the NNP.
The people need to be unified behind a national cause like in the days of the revolution when the objective was to make Grenada the leader in the OECS and Caribbean, a nation that is self-sufficient, a nation that is proud and a people who are patriotic to country.
This is what the NDC has to project, let the people – those who don’t seem to know – that the problems will not be fixed overnight, that we took a long time to get where we are now and it will take us some time to get out, but that with a plan, all hands on deck and good leadership, we can and will if we are willing to sacrifice.
NNP calls for sacrifice, but towards what – a three year structural adjustment plan. We can never fix this nation in any three year plan. What happens after the three years, will it be spend and splash like usual by the NNP so as to win the next election?
That is precisely why NNP will never go beyond any five years with any plan, it will tie them down on spending, and without a spending spree they know they can never win any election.
The NDC has got to take the high road and be willing to truly put country above party and present a long term plan with solutions for fixing our economy and not the same kinds of microwave fixes as presented by the NNP.
Once again I am calling on the leadership of the NDC please come up with a plan, do not wait until the last minute as in 2007/2008 to tell the nation what are the policies and plans, get it out there now, give the people enough time to digest it, to compare and to understand that there are better ways.
Don’t be too worried about KCM criticising the plan, we know he will, but we also know he now has to put his tail between his leg and grab hold of most of what he criticized.
The people are not all fools, people will have a good sense of who is talking the truth and who is telling lies as they are right now.
Patriotic NDC supporter