With a year of administrative confusion ended, and another year just beginning, the way forward for the Saint Lucia Labour Party seems even cloudier then before.
Huge deficits, mounting unemployment, constant threats of industrial action, coupled with an out of control crime wave on the island, has made the government and its inept outdated socialist policies weak and unable to deal with the challenges facing Saint Lucia.
Their lack of foresight and inability to transform the Saint Lucian society from a welfare state that ceases to be overly dependent on government handout, and to inspire our nation’s youth to build a future that is self-sustaining base on innovation, with the ability to stand tall knowing that they can accomplish something that the generation before them couldn’t, is beginning to show in the worst of ways that no one could have conceived a year ago, upon Labour’s return to office.
The emerging scenario is a Saint Lucian government that is clearly in denial about its failure to bring to fruition any semblance of a better life for the people. Like a top spinning in mud, they have continued to spin out of control, with an incoherent foreign policy, and investment guidelines and policies which do not seem to have the attraction, the reach, and the right personnel capable of going out in the world, and making that hard sale on behalf of the people of Saint Lucia.
As a direct result, they continue to borrow huge sums of money to mask their incompetence, by creating a few temporary jobs with a predetermined start and end date. The truth is those so called jobs touted so proudly by the government of Saint Lucia, as jobs created for the year, does not paint a true and accurate picture of what is really happening in the country. Many of those persons are no longer employed, even if the government of Saint Lucia would want us to believe that it has made serious strides in curbing the unemployment crisis in the country.
In my view, serious strides in curbing the unemployment crisis in Saint Lucia starts with attracting foreign investments to our shores, offering tangible incentives to young Saint Lucians in starting up their own business without any bureaucratic red tape, and retooling the educational system so that the next generation of Saint Lucians does not become victims of the dependency syndrome; and to politicians with agendas to use those handouts as leverage to consolidate their authority.
Saint Lucia cannot afford to position itself towards greater vulnerability, by retaining a socialist mentality, and leaders who have convinced themselves that the people cannot survive without government remaining the largest employer, or facilitator of employment and economic viability.
There must be a shift in this worn and outdated thinking; and if this should occur, I guarantee that Saint Lucians will prosper enormously, having discovered that the system of socialism and political patronage that has been offered as poisonous Kool-Aid in the last sixty years is controlling and restrictive, and does not offer the kind of independence needed for upward economic mobility.
Permit me to refer you to what Alexis de Tocqueville, the French social observer said in 1848;
Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word; equality. But notice the difference; while democracy seeks equality, in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
So, which way do you seek on the road to “Better Days?”
Mine is a path to democracy and economic freedom that fosters national development through positive habits, innovation and invention in a marketplace that comprises skilled workers with experience and education.
This model presents better options towards a better future than the one entitled “Better Days” in a glossy manifesto, which was secretly designed for the purposes of winning an election through political gimmick and trickery, in an attempt to anoint a new pharaoh in the western hemisphere.
So, when porters of socialism return once more to trick Saint Lucians with fancy slogans that were never designed to adopt a serious approach towards job creation, the message should be clear: enough is enough, with this exaggerated socialist agenda!
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant. He is an advocate for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality; the Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) critic on youth initiative, infrastructure, economic and business development. He can be reached at [email protected]