NewsPM Says Governments Must Always Tell the People the Truth, Even When It’s Bad News!

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 4, 202215579 min

Castries, Saint Lucia, Wednesday, November 17, 2021:– Prime Minister and Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J. Pierre, says his new administration is “off to a good start” by respecting the Constitution and “putting people first” during the First 100 days of its five-year term.

Addressing the Fourth Session of the 12th Parliament on Tuesday (November 16), PM Pierre said his administration was bent on delivering on its election promises.

He said his government will be brave and honest enough to admit if promises made on the campaign trail are impossible to deliver.

The PM said he has also heard the criticisms of “impatient” persons in-a-hurry for corrective justice but appealed to them to allow his administration time to do it properly.

In his Introduction to yesterday’s address outlining his administration’s major achievements in its First 100 Days, PM Pierre said he would “resist the strong temptation to speculate on who started it [observance of the First 100 Days in Office] here, when, or why…” 

But he noted that while “I won’t call it a promise . . .”, the First 100 Days phenomenon “has become a regular part of the election-time campaigning.”

Admitting that “my own party is not totally innocent in this matter,” the prime minister however indicated that “time and experience have taught us the folly of biting-off more than you can chew…” 

“From the mistakes of the past, we have learnt to be careful not to knowingly make impossible promises,” he said.

And, he added, “If perchance we should — in good faith — make an election-time promise, only to discover upon taking office and through no fault of our own that it cannot be delivered, we would be upfront and honest enough to tell the people the reasons why.”

The PM said, “We trust and respect Saint Lucians enough always to tell them the truth, even when that truth is not good news!”

The Prime Minister also waxed philosophically to put forward his explanation for insisting on new governments always being honest with citizens about what promises might not be possible to deliver.

He said, “While John F. Kennedy was working on his inaugural address with his speechwriters, the president at one point said: ‘I’m sick of reading how we’re planning another One Hundred Days of Miracles

“Let’s put in the speech that these things we’re talking about won’t all be finished in a hundred days, or a thousand years.” 

Actually, the speech Kennedy delivered read: “All this will not be finished in the first hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days. Nor in the life of this administration. Nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us make a start!” 

Embracing Kennedy’s phrase, PM Pierre said, “We have made a start!” 

 He continued, “if I say so myself, what a fine start it is — especially considering the unprecedented times we’re living in and the avoidable problems that this government and our people have inherited.” 

PM Pierre said the way his administration has started during its First 100 Days “is a fine indication of where we are determined to be before this administration has reached the halfway mark of its first term.” 

And he added, “It also underscores our sworn commitment, regardless of circumstances, always to put the Saint Lucian people first!”

The PM also said his new government’s First 100 Days “have been approached with a delicate mix of patience, stability and honoring our commitments to the people of Saint Lucia.” 

“Moreover,” he added, “we have been faithful in observing the rules by which our country is supposed to be governed.” 

In that regard, he noted, “We had the courage to be true to the constitution and appointed a Deputy Speaker from our side.”

Acknowledging some of his critics from within and without, the Prime Minister said, “I understand the impatience of some, who desired immediate action and changes to correct some of the wrongs that had been committed against the citizens of our country.” However, he added, “Necessary as some of those institutional changes are, there is a need to follow the process, lest we appear autocratic and emotionally driven in the exercise of our decision-making.”

He invited the critics to allow his administration to pursue correctional justice in the way it has decided, which is the legal and just route.

PM Pierre told the House, “I am in possession of a draft bill that will lead to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor, which, when agreed to by Cabinet, will be tabled for consideration by this Honorable House.”

St. Lucia News Online

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