AN ATTACK ON DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES
Written by Joseph Antoine on December 4, 2017
Transformational leadership is dependent on honesty! In fact, honesty is crucial for any kind of leadership; but if we want to have a vision for the future, a vision which heralds change of a positive nature, then honesty and transparency have to be at the forefront. The storyline for a different Grenada and a different Caribbean needs a new vision; one that ceases to play one party off against another; one that stops pitting one colour against another. Being part of Civil Society, it is our civic duty to try and change the narrative of negativity and offer a new way of leading for a positive future.
Unfortunately, in Grenada, we are still playing the same games. In a recent edition of CaribUpdate, an article referred to members of the Civil Society Organisation who had recently presented the latest edition of the Code of Political Conduct. The article refers to some members of the CSO as devoid of political actions and points towards others as ‘PEP’s, meaning politically exposed persons. This looks like an attempt to split the CSO grouping. The article then goes on to accuse the Organisation of being a ‘politically active committee’, so one minute some members are devoid of politics and the next the entire organisation is being branded as some kind of hive of political shills. This does seem a little contradictory.
The article continues by agreeing that the monitoring of conduct during campaigns might be a good thing, but then accuses ‘some’ of the CSO membership of being silent during the NDC administration. At this point, it is not clear what the author is accusing ‘some’ members of doing or being. It seems that the presentation of the Code of Political Conduct has been read by the author as some kind of condemnation of certain peoples’ behaviour during election campaigning.
As was pointed out in the article, the Code was introduced several elections ago and has been updated in preparation for subsequent elections without too much ‘taebay’ from the participating parties and their candidates. Therefore, the question is, what is upsetting the author to such a degree that they feel that need to cast aspersions at the process undertaken by the CSO?
It appears that the article is, on one hand making an attempt to ‘smear’ the process of monitoring by the CSO, through the vehicle of the Code of Political Conduct; and yet goes on to say that it is indeed a very worthwhile process — if only it was managed by different personnel. Therefore it becomes clear that the author has very specific people in mind when they are referring to PEP’s. One, therefore, has to wonder if this is an underhand attempt to silence certain people during this election campaign. And if this is so, one wonders, why they would need to be silenced. Interesting!
One can also conclude that the author is somehow making an attempt to undermine the process of accountability that the Code is attempting to manage. It is indeed a sad day for democracy, when members of the electorate cannot undertake to ensure that their possible representatives in Parliament conduct themselves in an appropriate manner during an election campaign.