(Democrat Editorial) WHEN THREE POLITICAL PARTIES united BEFORE an election in St. Kitts and Nevis; when they were prepared to ignore party rancour and superficial divisions to save their country from what was an obviously lawless regime, they drew the admiration of the entire Caribbean and wider world.
It was felt that at last St. Kitts and Nevis was becoming the beacon of the Caribbean, showing all that it was more important to build a country than to blindly endorse corruption because one had to remain loyal to a party.
Team Unity spoke of the new paradigm we were entering upon when, at last, political tribalism would lose its stranglehold; victimisation would be a thing of the past; this was to be a fresh start and wrongs would be put right allowing for a fair share for all.
Many years ago, a young graduate, returning from studying Law at a prestigious Law School in England observed that the two-party system might not necessarily be the best system for our people. This was in the 70s when believing in the two-party system was akin to believing in the Bible and those who did not believe in it were regarded as Communists or dictators.
But over the years it has become very clear that in the wrong hands the two party system could be used to DIVIDE and RULE. It has been used to bring dissension and hate even among families; it has been used to justify killing among former colleagues… until those who even slightly criticise the ruling party were regarded as unpatriotic and enemies of the state. This vicious tribalism escalated rapidly over the last twenty years until those in power gained a sense of entitlement – believing that they were the only ones deserving of the ‘spoils’ of the Federation and that they should have it for life; only the faithful few and blindly loyal were enriched by that system.
The leaders of Unity hoped to usher in a new paradigm in which party lines became less and less important, as nation-building and achieving common goals became the focus. All would put their hands to the plough to implement this new political thinking. But in the same way as it is ridiculous to expect the new government to fulfil in one year, the manifesto promises the critics have personally prioritised, so it might have been expecting too much of the critics to do anything else but criticise. They, too, have shown little or no change and have not been able to behave any differently in their approach to how the country ought to be governed.
It is still a case of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’; still a case of ‘We’ tell ‘You’ and you function how and when ‘we’ want you to function. No consideration of the multitude of things that have been achieved over the first year; no consideration of the earnestness of their intentions…yet we already want to cry foul. We still have the aggression in the tones of the ones who claim to support. What example are we holding up to youth of Unity on how can we together build our country positively, when we have to expose every little disagreement without the slightest discussions behind the scenes. In what way have we changed when we ask others to change?
How can we build a country if the radio stations rush to magnify every discord and milk the issues for days and export them as well, until it feels that they are aiding division? Are they not nationals too? Do they consider this to be their role in the new paradigm? We still have a long way to go.