Stabroek News: St. Lucia Election Results Reflect Citizen Anger Over Corruption, Crime & Economic Woes

Barbados Polster Peter Wickham Got It Wrong

We have been saying for almost a year now (wow!) that government corruption and waste are major issues in day-to-day conversations on Barbados.

The government and Mr. Wickham’s poll just don’t get it yet… but they will!

chicken-roost-barbados.jpg

As the previous St. Lucia government discovered to it’s horror – them chickens all gotta come home someday…

From Stabroek News…

Polls Got It Wrong In St. Lucia

The defeat of the St. Lucia Labour Party in elections on Monday did not come as a major shock to me although I expected the incumbent to pull off a narrow victory – not the 14-3 win that the polls predicted.

The governing party should have known that it had lost ground among voters because that is what I found when I was last on the island a year ago. If pollsters told them otherwise, then the party was misled – not that it could have done anything to save itself from defeat because voters wanted change.

I did not conduct a survey for last Monday’s elections but when I was in St. Lucia last year, voters told me they wanted change and were complaining about rising crime and corruption and a decline in revenues from the banana industry which was falling apart. I was surprised when I read that the polls forecast landslide victories because that was not the reality on the ground when I moved around the island and queried voters. Something went wrong with the normally reliable opinion polls of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) of Peter Wickham and of Jamaican pollster Bill Johnson (from Carl Stone’s Poll).

… continue reading this article at the Stabroek News (link here)

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22 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

22 responses to “Stabroek News: St. Lucia Election Results Reflect Citizen Anger Over Corruption, Crime & Economic Woes

  1. Lady Anon

    What happened in St. Lucia was not really a vote for the UWP, but a vote against the SLP.

    The Barbados Labour Party has been quick to respond through Mr. Mascoll that that will not happen here. However, whether the DLP is ready or not, it may not be a vote for the DLP or PEP, but against the BLP.

  2. Jerome Hinds

    On deeper reflection of the results in St Lucia, one would realise that St. Lucians became disenchanted in the empty promises of Anthony Administration. A check of the St. Lucia Star website is quite revealing. I share with readers an article appearing there. In it I detect a lot of similarities with the BLP administration.

    A more determinedUWP has emerged
    By Jeff Fedee

    It is a political truism that if you want to understand political events, don’t depend on hearsay. So, despite the expected hostility from former Labour friends I make it my duty to attend political events to observe close-up the mood, the tenor of the speeches, the demeanor of the candidates. Just this week a journalist from Martinique reported on Newsspin that she was threatened and put in fear for her life at a Labour Party rally. More evidence that when the smell of defeat is in the air, politicians turn hostile toward journalists.

    I made a point of attending last Thursday’s much-anticipated meeting to hear for myself the announcement of polling day from the steps of the Castries market. After closely observing Labour Party activities for the past thirty years, I can say without fear of contradiction that the particular event did not live up to expectations.

    The diversity of people who attended similar rallies in 1997 and 2001 was not in evidence this time around. Kenny Anthony’s strident appeal to the pathetic crowd in Vieux Fort, to make the market steps audience the biggest ever, failed miserably.

    As I looked a sad nostalgia overcame me. The Labour Party no longer talks about honesty and transparency in government. Maypwis is the main theme. The Kenny Anthony Labour Party has transformed electioneering into low-rent mass entertainment. The message is irrelevant and theatrics have taken centre stage.

    I observed that whilst the leader was reading his speech the crowd seemed uninterested. And while a few pockets responded emotionally to the big announcement finally there was no wild jubilation in anticipation of victory.The surreal nature of the campaign took a new dimension on Sunday, November 19, at La Clery, when we saw Kenny and Company in suits reminiscent of the movie ‘Men in Black,’ parade onto the platform to launch the La Clery candidate Ignatius Jean. I could never have dreamt that Kenny Anthony could persuade mature and ostensibly intelligent men, to participate in such uniform silliness. I would have been more impressed if they had donned dashikis. This campaign by Kenny’s SLP will be remembered for all the wrong reasons—an insult to the people of St Lucia.

    Not so long ago the Labour Party might have berated such vulgarity and instead advocated principled proposals for creating a more equitable and just society led by principled men more concerned about the development of country than with personal enrichment.

    Today’s Labour Party will employ any means, any deception, to avoid defeat. How else to describe the offer of a plot of land to every St Lucian by our prime minister? Only a desperate politician would insult the intelligence of his people with such drivel at a time when the price of land is beyond the means of the average St Lucian. The promise sounded so much like a man bereft of ideas.

    In a previous article I lamented the level of debate that had characterized this election campaign, in particular the SLP leader’s buffoonery on stage. Lo and behold the remembered market steps meeting featured only scripted speeches. For once, thankfully there was no Kenny dance. Was I the only one who observed the dour expressions on stage as the elections date was announced?

    The Labour Party will have to come to grips with the discontent of the electorate over the escalating crime wave and what the public perceives as fraudulent incompetence in the hundreds of millions of tax dollars frittered away in cost-overruns. The government’s agricultural policy has alienated the farmers, as well as its silence in the face of complaints from other citizens over the ever rising cost-of-living on an almost daily basis, a consequence of the new found taxes on consumer goods imposed by government.

    Despite the mindless predictions coming from the Labour platform the government stands to lose a substantial number of seats in this election. If the personal performance of some of its candidates is taken into consideration and the false image of fraternity is exposed, if the elections are conducted in a conspicuously free and fair manner, then the outcome for Labour is predictable.

    Observers of St Lucian politics over the decades agree that the crowds currently attracted by the UWP have never been larger—or more determined. It must be a worrying phenomenon for Kenny & Co to witness the regenerated UWP—broke but still capable of mounting the biggest rallies of its history.

    As for the individual SLP candidates, their ineptitude and the scandals which plagued their ministries will have a negative impact on their successors: and those among them: Velon John, Ferguson John, Jon Odlum, Cyprian Lansiquot, Menissa Rambally and Damian Greaves.

    Velon John in a moment of inexplicable befuddlement, indicted himself and the government by launching an astonishing attack against the police force which he said reeked of corruption from ‘top to bottom.’ Who can forget the debilitating run-off to get rid of Cyprian Lansiquot, evidently considered by Kenny Anthony to be unfit for government. Or the unceremonious dumping of La Corbiniere in favor of a sworn enemy of whom Anthony wrote in At The Rainbow’s Edge: “

    Many had hoped that the entry of Vaughan Lewis into the political arena would have signaled a higher level of public morality and a higher tenor of political discourse and debate. There were some who thought that he would have attempted to clean the rot, cut the patronage and excise corruption. Instead of rising to his historic opportunity, Vaughan Lewis sank to the lowest common, moral and intellectual denomination. Even Sir John Compton in his worse moments has never sunk so low.”

    The performances of Ferguson John and Jon Odlum have their replacements complaining lamely that the UWP never built playing fields in Ciceron. Menissa Rambally and Damian Greaves, plagued by the NCA scandal and the fallout from mysteriously changing from Dennery South to North will suffer the price. The dirty tricks brigade which followed Vaughan into the SLP is showing evidence of its handiwork by its campaign of negative advertising. The American experience has shown that the electorate becomes disgusted with such methods that demonstrate a paucity of ideas and reflects a party with a paltry record.

    I must, however, advise the UWP on how to dispense of their timid approach to the elections. The party has to argue boldly that the relative economic prosperity St Lucia enjoys today is due to the foundations laid by Sir John Compton decades ago. They must remind St Lucia that Sir John and the UWP were the architects of all that exists in the north of the island today, from the Rodney Bay Marina, the Pigeon Island Causeway, to the Bonne Terre housing development and Rodney Heights. The highway from Castries to Gros Islet was a product of Sir John’s vision.

    The boast of the construction of the misnomer of a four-lane highway by the administration is typical of taking credit for cosmetic changes made on already existing structures inherited by the government. Who developed the Castries Waterfront and built the Point Seraphine Tourist Complex, for which a minister tirelessly and dishonestly takes credit for cruise ship arrivals? Who built all those low-cost housing areas, such as Independence city, Entrepot, San Soucis, Carellie Gardens, Reduit Park, Reduit Orchard, Beausejour, which have been transformed into premium housing areas? What low-cost or affordable housing project has been undertaken by the Labour Party since coming into office.

    The UWPees must expose their achievements and expose the betrayal of the SLP, as a party of the poor and working class. The Labour Party was famous for criticizing Sir John for engaging in infrastructural development whilst neglecting human development. In retrospect all the infrastructural projects that were laid down by Sir John have redounded to the tremendous benefit of St Lucia. Can we say the same about such edifice structures as the Beausejour Cricket Grounds in a country that does not have club cricket or schools cricket island wide. On the principle of rotation the next cricket world cup will be held in St Lucia for the next quarter century.

    When a political leader develops a reputation for making promises that he does not keep; when politicians flout the laws of the land with impunity; as far as giving account on allegations of financial impropriety in their ministries; when they award contracts and consultancies in a nepotistic way; when they are seen to acquire sudden wealth soon after coming to office, a deep cynicism seeps to the lower levels of society.

    This expresses itself in the rational conclusion that if politicians can get away with it, why not therest of us?On the principle that a country gets the leader it deserves, December 11 will tell us whether we as St Lucians will endeavor to take the path of the dawn of a new era in government in which we demand accountability from our elected leaders, or choose a path of continuing deception.

  3. How ironic that floor-crosser (double-crosser?)Mascoll should be the mouthpiece for BLP on how safe they are to remain in power.

    What a shame some of the old stalwarts like Sandy can’t be put back into harness like Compton to give the electorate someone credible as an alternative. Pretty remarkable for an 83-year-old to have the drive to accomplish this.

  4. John

    There may be something to what you say newcomer.

    In Sandi, the DLP may have a secret weapon for which the B’s will have no answer!!

    Age, experience, wisdom ….

    Naaa. all are politicians when it boils down to it.

    It will probably come down to the fact that as always, Bajans once they have had enough just vote to change the Government.

  5. very very very very interesting results…lets see how the next few months develop.

  6. John

    I heard Sir John Compton saying that one of his first orders of business is to ensure that St. Lucia benefits and enjoys CWC but that it doesn’t end up with a hangover.

    These are words of wisdom which come from age and experience.

    With the amount of money Barbados has spent we also need to ensure we don’t end up with the mother of all hangovers.

    Owen needs to listen ot these words of wisdom from an experienced man and not rely on his own experience, no matter how vast he may think it is.

  7. Jerome Hinds

    Good suggestion John. But the pimp Owen is not even listening to himself. As a matter of fact he has ceased to have any “conversations” with himself. But you leave him………

  8. Lady Anon

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  9. Hants

    DLP has a competent leader in David Thompson.

    Barbados is well developed and just needs honest politicians with good education and common sense. They have an army of experts in the Civil Service and the Private sector to guide them.
    Problems occur when politicians become greedy and scheme to get Rich quick.

    If you think of it, politicians take way too much credit for responding to things that occur naturally.

  10. not the old anonymous

    “…politicians take way too much credit for responding to things that occur naturally.”

    Excellent thought Hants.

  11. John

    “The father of first world Barbados”

    “Pa Pa”

    Here are two terms used to describe two prime ministers in the Caribbean.

    I don’t know where either one came from but the contrast between the two is stark.

    One sounds like it was made up by a set of paid consultants, like the ones who got the Barbados Mutual to change its name to Sagicor.

    The other sounds like it was earned naturally and will remembered for a long time ….. like its part of a legacy.

    It has class!!

    I make this post just to point out the stark contrast, not because I have any strong feeling for Sir John Compton.

    I wish him well.

    Nuff respect!

  12. Zeus

    St. Lucian here, and while I see a miserable articles has attracted miserable Bajans, I need to opine that many St. Lucians are appalled by these results.

    The article from the Star gives a ridiculously biased view of what exactly was going on and it already seems to be kissing the feet of a less than Democratic government in power rather than even attempting, just once in its miserable tenure, to give a fair and balanced viewpoint of this travesty.

    You see, only less than 2000 votes gave the UWP victory, and that was due to factors of people saying they wanted a strong opposition, NOT a new government, others, Labour supporters, stayed at home, thinking that the third incumbent year was inevitable, and some were simply enticed by monetary gifts to vote (I was witness to a man claiming he was paid a couple hundred bucks to vote UWP’s way.

    A lot of Lucians are expressing regret for nto coming out to vote, or voting the other, or accepting money, and are very uneasy about this new government. Please get this straight. The former government SLP was a party of the people who had just a little too much confidence in the Lucian public’s intelligence level to believe empty accusation of corruption or misgovernance. Compton’s government will not be for the people, but for the rich folk who will return to receiving handouts, whilst the poorer folk will get nothing, as evidenced in hotelier, and multi millionaire Allen Chastanet in the conflict of interest role as Minister of Tourism.

    This is coming from a St. Lucian who knows what is going on in here and who was there under both administration and with enough sense to know, which is the better choice.

  13. RRRicky

    Zeus, thank you for providing annother perspective. Like BFP say all the time, blogs be much better for getting at the truth because everybody can contribute not only the people that own the newspaper an tely.

  14. John

    Politicians are politicians. We all know how they operate.

    It is fortunate that BFP is around to get different viewpoints.

    Perhaps St. Lucia needs a similar outlet for people to speak freely.

    …… or maybe they can use BFP as Zeus has done.

    I liked to see the little guy (Sir John) win, but I am well aware that he is a politician, like any other.

    Next time I would like to see Kenny Anthony win. This way, there is constant flux and a chance to keep them both clean.

  15. God Bless David

    Question – Is John Compton still sleeping with 14 year old girls? When I saw that this old paedohile won the election in St Lucia I just could not believe it…

  16. West Side Davie

    GBD… Was there something in the news about Compton and young girls or is this gossip you are talking?

  17. John

    Lord have mercy!!

  18. Lady Anon

    Zeus…whether or not it was the result that St. Lucians expected, it is the result that the pple voted for. It does not matter if 2000 votes or 1 vote gave the UWP the govt, the fact is that they have the govt and the pple have spoken…whether or not it is what those disappointed St Lucians (like yourself) want to hear.

  19. Patois

    Where does Zeus get off calling Bajans miserable. He better haul he patois so and so. Compton won because there were nearly twice as many murders in Saint Lucia as there were in Barbados which has nearly twice SLU population. St.Lucians voted to take back their country from criminals. I agree with them on that. Crime was out of control under Anthony. GBD methinks Compton too aged now to sleep with them young girls(sigh). Then again theres viagra(laughs)

  20. Quik Quak

    yep it is true about compton and 14 yr girls. Soon after elections he was courting a 21 yr old.
    And by the way, there were love letters he wrote to a young girl, contents were exposed on local whilst he was prime minister. She used to pose as his neice overseas.
    But that is what the people wanted.

  21. Lucian at heart

    We voted whom we wanted. Kenny et al ran the country to rak and ruins and they were the self fulfiling ones. They had to lose, and it is because of the premise that they were so popular, that they still cant come to grips with their loss. They just have to deal with it and move on…

  22. 14

    BFP,

    With a few more months before the 5th anniversary of the St. Lucia General election results the upcoming poll should be quite interesting……as it was these results caused an electoral tsunami in Jamaica and Barbados.
    Interestingly enough…the St. Lucia and Barbados results are quite striking.

    PM Compton & PM Thompson have since gone to the great beyond.
    While Opposition leaders Kenny Anthony & Owen Arthur are in poll (no pun intended) to avenge their electoral defeats !

    We shall await the outome.

    BFP, by the way what has become of Jerome Hinds ? His contribution above 5 years ago about Owen Arthur was strikingly telling.