Abstainers, Yes and No Voters will decide Grenada’s CCJ Referendum Polls Results

 

By Hudson George

 

In reference to J.K Roberts article (Is Grenada’s CCJ Referendum Unfolding the Worth of the Opposition?  September 20, 2018).  However it seems that Mr. Roberts is taking a party politics approach towards the CCJ referendum issue and I personally think he is wrong.  If the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) takes an openly no vote position campaign towards the referendum, the party leadership will be shooting themselves in their feet. They supposed to take a neutral position and allow citizens to decide whether they should vote yes or no, in order to put an end to tribal politics and forward with democracy.

Mr. Roberts supposed to do his political mathematics homework on the March 13, 2018 general election and pay attention to the numbers of people who abstained from voting and the numbers who voted for the political party of their choice. If he focus his attention to those numbers, he will realise that the CCJ referendum will not   be a successful exercise in this upcoming referendum because it will be impossible for the yes votes to get a two third majority.

Basically, in a political culture as what we have in Grenada where people put their political party affiliations above democracy, there is no good reason why Mr. Roberts should be looking at the referendum as a political issue, for the NDC politicians to oppose in order to gain political mileage. His opinion on the issue bothers me and it leaves me asking the question:  How long it will takes us Grenadians to understand, that we must embrace democracy before party politics?

On the other hand, the ruling New National Party (NNP) politicians are not thinking much different from Mr. Roberts. They have already polarised the referendum with party politics, by allowing some of their influential political activities to promote vote yes for the CCJ. I personally think that is the biggest mistake the NNP government is making because some Grenadians have not fully recovered from the last general election’s fever. Some people still have a lot of political gripes.

In addition, it is a known fact that most Grenadians have the same kind of political mentality of aggression towards their opponents. They are fully aware of the fact, that in our political culture the winner takes it all. With that sort of mentality it creates two major political parties similar as two parallel lines opposite to each other on the same direction and it does not matter how long those lines are drawn, they will never meet and join at the end because they are straight on the same course.

However, those two parallel lines are similar to the NNP and NDC political parties   heading towards the same political destination in a competitive way to gain political power.  And their mission is all about securing political power without no compromising.

So, it will be wise, if the NDC leadership can avoid making themselves too visible, by opposing the CCJ referendum. However, if some of the NDC supporters are openly vocal in opposition of the CCJ, it is their democratic rights as individuals to do so but the leadership should not get too deeply involved.

Additionally, the NDC supposed to learn their political lesson from the Constitutional Referendum, November 24, 2016, when they openly advised voters to vote no on all the bills.  The leadership should realise that even though the majority of voters rejected all the bills by voting no, but sixteen months later the NNP still won all the seats in the March 13, 2018 general election, while the NDC suffered a humiliating defeat.

Presently, the issue about CCJ referendum is not as important as the Silver Sand Hotel conflict on Grand Anse Beach.   The average Grenadians understand that Grenada Anse Beach belong to them and they are opposed to artificial walls structures on the beach. They are more interested in protecting their sovereignty than voting for the CCJ, therefore, it is not very important for J.K. Roberts to inject party politics into the referendum because the votes have already divided in three parts before the exact day of the polls November 6, 2018.  As it is expected, there will be no major surprises in the results.

We all know that one group of voters will abstained from voting and the other two groups will vote either yes or no.  So, when the votes are counted, it will be impossible for the yes side to get a two thirds majority victory.  Then we will have to go back to square one again to fix our democracy.   And when we fix it good, the next we have a referendum, the people will understand what they are voting for.  All for now they have no clue.

 

 

 

As Grenadians, we have the rights to criticise the government because there is no elected opposition in parliament

 

 

By Hudson George

 

Caribbean politicians supposed to know that when their political party control all the seats in the lower house of parliament in a British Westminster style democracy, it does not give them the rights to dismissed criticism from concern citizens.  For example, in Grenada there are no elected opposition members of parliament in the lower house. So, presently it is up to us as Grenadians to play the role as opposition, when we are not satisfy with government policies that affect us.

However, in our present political situation there are some important issues to address.  Issues such as the construction of new hotels on Grand Anse beach, the Caribbean Court of Justice and the dangerous usage of deadly pesticides that killing citizens in the rural communities. 

Basically,  all these issues are affecting ordinary citizens the most but because, the population are religiously divided politically between the two main political parties,  some of us are now looking at those issues as party politics, rather than the people’s interest that can affect us presently and  the future generation.

Based on my observation, it is blatantly clear, that most visible social activists who have invested interest in politics are refusing to address the issue pertaining to the usage of dangerous pesticides in the farming communities, even though they are aware of deadly effects these chemicals have on human beings lives.

Unfortunately, they are turning a blind eye on the issue because, they are more interested in the politics of tourism and saving our sea coast and marine lands. I personally, believe  that all those issues must be addressed. 

Furthermore, I personally support a vibrant tourists industry for Grenada. I think it is a good policy of investment because, our beautiful beaches, blue sea waters and different colours of sand are some of our natural resources and we should be able to make money from them by attracting visitors to our tri island state nation.  In addition, farmers can sell their products to business persons within the tourists industry to make a comfortable living.

On the other hand, I do not support any foreign or local business investors who want to claim any part of our beaches.  The coastline of Grenada and all the beaches belong to us the people of Grenada and no government whatsoever, should allow business people to encroach on the beach and construct any concrete structure.

Every Caribbean country is different. So, if there are private beaches in other neighbouring countries that have a vibrant tourist industry, that does not mean us as Grenadians would allow rich people to come to Grenada and take away our attractive resources from us.  However, it is very important that the government do the right thing by making sure that hotels owners respect the rights and freedom of all Grenadians, regardless of class, colour and race.

In addition, in terms of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) issue, I think that those lawyers who are advocates for the CCJ are disrespecting Grenadians, by saying that they have to educate citizens about the benefits of CCJ.  So, I am wondering if these big-time lawyers are not aware of the difference between the word “Education” from the word “Indoctrination”.   

However, any kind of quick fixed lecture and literature that will be given to the Grenadian people to vote yes, for the CCJ, is basically indoctrination to believe in something but not really educating the people about the issue. I personally believe education is based on facts and not beliefs.

Now, in relation to the issue of dangerous pesticides affecting citizens in the rural communities, it all boils down to the fact that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture have no interest in health and safety of farmers and other persons who are living in the farming communities.

Cancer is on the rise in the rural communities because of pesticides. People are dying and the authorities do not care. They are still importing hazardous pesticides and the innocent and naïve farmers are still using it.

Unfortunately nobody really cares because farmers are considered as lower class citizens. So, if those in authority can cooperate with the people, and in the interest of the people, no concrete structure will be built on Grand Anse beach. There will be no more importation of dangerous pesticides in the country and no persons with legal training will be given the privilege to indoctrinate citizens to vote for the CCJ. Because indoctrination is not education and beliefs are not really proven facts.

However, as Grenadians we have the rights to criticise the government because there is no elected opposition in parliament. If we remain silent the government will not be able to serve our interest. We have to wake up our elected politicians and tell them that they are our elected servants and they supposed to govern the country in our interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley is not aware of Grenada’s brand of democracy?

By Hudson George

On the issue about Grenada upcoming referendum to become a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley was the main guest speaker on the topic, held at the Trade Centre in St. George’s, just recently. However it seems as though she is not aware that Grenada model of mini democracy is a brand of post Eric Gairy political era of dictatorial politics and all the governments after Gairy’s regime benefited from his dictatorial misuse of power by refusing to restore the local government system.

However, I am begging Ms. Mottley to advise the present NNP government to restore local government in Grenada, if they want Grenadians to vote “Yes” in the upcoming referendum to join the Caribbean Court of justice (CCJ) because, most of our educated folks who are actively involved in party politics do not understand what is democracy. They only understand how to hold on to political power by any cost, if and when given the opportunity to govern the country.

Presently, the culture of Gairy’s mini dictatorial brand of politics is embedded in most Grenadians political mindset and it makes them develop a mentality to hate opposition voices because they lack the ability to respect opposing views and opinions. With that kind of backward mentality, it is easy to see that Grenada’s democracy is a sort of modified form of Gairyism, whereby, supporters of the two main political parties think that whatever their political leaders tell them is gospel truth and there is no other methods for proper reasoning discussions.

In addition, the two most visible attorneys leading the campaign for Grenadians to vote “Yes” in the upcoming referendum are also guilty of supporting previous regimes that could have restored local government but it was not in their interest to advocate the cause. Their interest was about holding on to political power with their political friends, without out any regards for the ordinary people.

However, I have listened to Dr. Francis Alexis speak live on GBN “To The Point” programme about why Grenadians should vote yes in the referendum and a few days later Ruggles Ferguson who is also an attorney was on the same GBN programme with host Brenda Baptiste making arguments to convince voters to vote for the CCJ. Basically, what they were saying, is that the CCJ is a better court system than the Privy Council but I personally have doubts about it because most Caribbean people still think the same old way as the colonialists taught them.

Even though the two legal trained men are advocating for the same cause, their argument is not on the same political settings. Dr. Alexis is saying that Barbados is a progressive country in terms of practicing British style Westminster democracy. On the other hand, Ruggles Ferguson is saying that Grenada supposed to be a progressive country because, during the people’s revolutionary government era, the goal was to get rid of colonial Privy Council, so he thinks it is a good opportunity now to dump the British Privy Council as the highest court of appeal.

I personally think Dr. Alexis and Mr. Ferguson are both opportunists playing politics because, after the U.S. Army invaded Grenada in 1983 and multi-party election system was restored, Dr. Alexis was an elected member of parliament in the Herbert Blaize NNP government that was installed with the help of big powers and some other Caribbean countries that still have the local government system functioning.

So, the big question is: If he has so much respect for the Barbadian high standard of democracy, how come he never advocate for the restoration of local government, after the people’s revolutionary government dictatorship crumpled?

In addition, Dr. Alexis had the opportunity to restore full democracy in Grenada, when he was an elected member of NDC government under the leadership of Nicholas Brathwaite and George Brizan prime ministers, when he held the office as the Attorney General.

On the other hand, as a Grenadians people we must not just vote “Yes” or “No” on the referendum based on our political affiliations. We must reflect on our past history and pay attention to the type of persons who are in the political arena, trying to hold on to power and those who are trying to grab on to power because, some of them think that they are entitled to govern the country, in order to fulfill their political dreams and agenda.

If we are not very careful, a majority vote for the CCJ can lead us into some uncomfortable situations that we do not expect. For example, there are some political players who have their feet planted inside the political arena and they are trying desperately to make a major comeback in frontline politics; and if they succeed, there is a possibility, that they will be in a position to craft new laws that we may not like.

So, basically, if Barbados is the perfect model of Caribbean Westminster style democratic system of government, I think that Prime Minister Mia Mottley should advised the Grenada NNP government to restore local government system because, based on our political tradition, Grenada supposed to have two levels of government. And after local government is restored, then we can vote to join the Caribbean Court of Justice.

However, without fixing what is wrong, it will be impossible for the government to ask us to vote for what is right. So, maybe Mia Mottley is not aware that us Grenadians, have something to fear.

Grenada Jab Jab Masqueraders portray Historical Characters about Slavery and Oppression

By Hudson George

Oppression and slavery are the basic reasons why Jab Jab masqueraders spell words incorrectly and they are able to attract large followers and continue to dominant the two days of Grenada street carnival celebration. However, there are historical evidence to prove why they portray themselves as characters we can identify with.

Basically, Jab Jab masqueraders, are just characters celebrating the Emancipation of Slavery in their own ways. It is very easy to see the characters they portray as they travel to the various villages in the parishes before they enter the town in their parish or neighouring parish.

The most amazing thing they portray is the words they pretend to be spelling from the books that they are carrying but the words are not written in the books. However, even though their method of spelling some words are vulgar with obscenity, they are portraying the characters of free black men and women who were not given the opportunity to attend school to achieve a proper education during the days of slavery.

They are showing how black people were treated during slavery because, after slavery was abolished on August 1st, 1838, it was a day of celebration for an oppressed people who were not able to read and write, so they were illiterates not by choice.

It is obvious that the former slaves were mimicking the slave masters reading newspapers and most likely teaching their white children how to spell words to become literate and intelligent.

So, while some conservative Grenadians tend to looked down on Jab Jab masqueraders as vulgar citizens, there are some strong elements of historical truth they exposed in two days carnival on the streets across the country

In addition, there are some Jab Jab masqueraders from Mt. Rich village in St. Patrick parish, who have a unique way of mimicking the slave masters’ evil deeds towards the slaves as they perform their street theatre. They are so creative, they know how to put on a theatre show on the street by attracting  travelers in motor vehicles and local villagers. And this is the way they make their money by singing and spelling words for persons who pay them for a performance.

In their street theatre performance, even though they are vulgar, the way they organised the cast is very professional. For example, one particular member of the band portray himself with the wooden stick to command the spelling session. His character role is a person with authority and dominance as Massa.

On the other hand, the other member who always leads the songs with the nice singing voice, portrays himself as an intelligent person, who is very assertive of his role. His role is to make spectators believe that he is scholar by calling out the number of the songs in the book.

This unique band of Mt. Rich jab jab sing and rhyme words in a poetic way about women, police and church leaders. But what is amazing about their street theatre as they move from village to village is that, their main spectators are mostly women who enjoy the way they spell words and how they wear their short pants, jockey shorts and sometimes female underwear to draw spectator’s attention. It is obvious that some women enjoy the way these jab jab whine and gyrate as opposite sex in a sexual manner.

Additionally, the bigger bands of Jab Jab tend to attract larger followers as they beat the drums and sing. And as they parade through the streets their numbers grow bigger as spectators become jab jab converts and join the bands. However, after they are initiated with the blackness of the Jab Jab uniform, they start enjoying the musical sounds from the drums, conch shell and bell as full pledged members.

However, I think it is very important for us Grenadians to protect our rich unique Jab Jab culture. If we keep our traditional Jab Jab culture in the rural communities and make Grenville town the central place for a big Jab Jab celebration during carnival, it will be  very good for the rural economy. It will attract visitors to come to the big parish to see the roots of pure Grenadian culture.

It is a known fact that St. Andrew and St. Patrick are the two parishes that have the original Jab Jab drum players and the best Jab Jab spelling entertainers too.

So, it is very important that the Spice Mas Corporation (SMC) make Grenville the Jab Jab City during carnival celebration. If the SMC do the right thing, St. Patrick jab jab masqueraders can enhance the activity by participating Grenville celebration.

The History of Mas’ Voleur in Grenada Carnival

By Hudson George

As today’s Grenadians keep focusing on J’ouvert as the beginning of carnival, they are not aware of Mas Voleur and the role of Mas Voleur played in the history of Grenada’s Carnival in the olden days..
Basically, the word “Voleur” means to thief. So in the true tradition of Grenada’s Carnival, the night before J’ouvert is known as Mas Voleur Night when mas players and lovers of mas and carnival, supposed to go out the night before and thief a pig on the large estates and hide the pig in the bushes to slaughter and cook J’ouvert night.
In addition, mas’ voleurs supposed to steal yard fowls in their village to cook, if they are not brave enough to steal a pig on the estates pig pen because pigs make a lot of noise when strangers tried to steal them.
In order for the mas’ voleurs to be successful on their hunting and stealing of pigs and chickens to cook for J’ouvert night cooking celebration, they have to dress very scarily, so that they can frighten persons who see them in the late hours of the night, when the night is as dark as pitch
So, on Mas Voleur Night, mas voleurs supposed to walk with a big bottle of “Taddy” which is a byproduct of molasses to give the pigs to drink and when the pigs drink the “taddy” they become drunk immediately. And when pigs get drunk they are easy to steal because drunks pig doesn’t make noise they cannot handle the liquor in the taddy.
However, those mas’ voleurs used to steal a pig that they can carry from the estate pens. Those days carnival was held two days before the Ash Wednesday that falls in either in February or March month when green peas are in season.
So, those mas’ voleurs used to steal large farmers peas and yam and cook too. The only thing they used to buy was the ingredients to put in the pot and flour to make dumplings.
Mas Voleurs like to make their dumplings real tight and hard. They like to make big dumplings. After they eat, those who playing “Yeaee” which is the blackest and most scary Jab Jab in their tar oil costume, would start to beat the drums and whine and spell and the youngest Jab Jab role is to be the Joe- Young.
The youngest Jab Jab supposed to able to spell when called upon by the Jab Jab professor to spell a word. And the young Jab Jab supposed to be able to whine down real low because he practice whining over a blazing masanto/torch before the carnival, so he is able to whine down real low.
In addition, those mas voleurs who playing Shortknee does start to sing their Chantwell songs about love affairs, violence, women business, politics and other hot topics in the villages.
However before the break of day, which is known as J’ouvert, after the mas’ voleurs finished eating their dumpling and peas and stolen meat, they participate in burning fire, known as Conbulay. They burn old huts, juba and cane fields too. In addition, they pull debris on the streets and overturn any obstacles in their way.
When it is about 5: AM in the morning they start the J’ouvert. And as the jab jab mas’ start blowing the conch shell, beat the drums, ring the bell and sing songs and dance, while spectators pay them to spell words like manicou and nutmeg.

Additionally, the mas’ voleurs who play Shortknee Mas dressed in their costume and come out on the streets about 6: AM. Spectators who love Shortknee Mas come out from their homes to see the masqueraders as they sing and chant on the streets as they do some street theatre at the crossroads in the junctions.

So, in the real tradition history of Grenada carnival, J’ouvert morning is not the beginning of carnival. The beginning of carnival in Grenada is supposed to be Mas Voleur Night. However, there is an essence of rebellion in Grenada’s carnival celebration, where the masqueraders supposed to steal what they need to cook for J’ouvert night from the big plantation owners.

The tradition of stealing animals to cook from the big estate plantations could have been a way of showing revenge toward the estate owners who were descendants of the slave masters, or it could have been for basic needs because, in those days, the majority of black people did not own lands where they can raised pigs and fowls on a large scale.

Capitalism and religion create conflicts and wars in the Middle East, while the rich get richer and poor people are dying.

By Hudson George

Capitalism and religion create conflicts and wars in the Middle East, while the rich get richer and poor people are dying.

Presently, there is a big war going on in Yemen and lots of children, women, old people and poor people are dying, while the rich countries sell weapons to the various warring military groups for millions of dollars to fight against each other for power to control the resources and become proxy rulers for the bigger powers.

Unfortunately, money, power and slight differences in religious belief divide those Middle Eastern countries and they are not willing to sit down and compromise. It is not in their cultural nature to come together and discuss matters and reconcile. They prefer to fight on and whosoever wins the war benefits.

The Saudis and a the Iranians cannot get along based on their slight differences in their version of religious belief, so it seems as though they prefer to settle their differences on the battle field in Yemen, as both countries have their allies in the Yemeni civil war battling for their cause.

However, as the influential neighbouring countries such as United Arabs Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iran jostle against each other for dominance in the region to control Yemen, they know that the industrialised nations need the oil and gas and these same industrialised countries will supply them with weapons.

In addition, it is heartening to see the same rich industrialied countries are the ones who are benefiting financially. Now that the conflict has reach a climax, while the United Nation seems to be a third party acting without any influence for various reasons, while innocent civilians are dying.

In addition, those of us who were taught by western powers to respect and accept democracy, are now wondering why the big military powers that claim to be promoting democracy are selling weapons to the warring factions to fight wars in a region, that never practice western style democracy.

So, as the fighting is going on for control it is expected that Christians will be searching the books in the bible, to find scriptures in the various books that within the bible and say it is prophesy that is fulfilling in the middle east.

However, based on my personal life experience, I do not believe this prophesy fulling doctrine. I believe that human beings are just greedy and they will fight wars against each other to fulfill their social and financial needs.

So, as the conflict continues in Yemen for greed and power, we can only hope that one day in the future the people in the Middle East, will find another method to solve their political, social and religious differences, because the only ones wo will benefit from the bloodbath are the countries who are manufacturing and selling weapons to the warring factions. And unfortunately, these are the same countries consuming the oil and gas in the Middle East for the price  that they chose to pay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Kathleen Wynne retired political hurt. Some black folks jump unconsciously on Doug Ford’s Red Tory bandwagon

By Hudson George

After Kathleen Wynne retired political hurt. Some black folks jump unconsciously   on Doug Ford’s Red Tory bandwagon

A lot of black people in Ontario cast their vote for Doug Ford and his PC party because they are scared of many things within the society. On the other hand, most black people in Canada are Liberals and they still voting for Pierre Trudeau, even though Trudeau is dead.

White Canadians still voting for the founding fathers of Canada that represent the Red Tory Conservative. However, it is same way black folks are voting for the Liberal party in memory of Trudeau.

So, after Kathleen Wynne throws in the towel and retired political hurt, when she realised that her Liberal party cannot win the election, well, most of them black people jump the Liberal ship and hop on the Doug Ford PC party bandwagon.

In my opinion, I think Ms. Wynne wanted her supporters to vote for Doug Ford rather than voting for Andrea Horwarth NDP. Wynne became jealous of Howard. That kind of jealousy is very common among women in general. It is a big problem among women, even though they always keep crying about women equality, they still hate each other.

Furthermore, a lot of black folks cast their vote for Doug Ford, because he promises them cheaper liquor and no working income tax  for the working poor. In addition, some black folks had liked the late Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, because he used to use drugs and Doug Ford is Rob Ford brother. Some black folks think when a white person like drugs, they are cool. So they believe if Rob Ford was cool, therefore, Doug Ford must be cool too.

Almost all black people claim to be Christians and they love the PC political values, even though the PC party is more racists towards black people. In addition, most Black folks are afraid of Kathleen Wynne policies based on biblical ideology

They are afraid of her leadership because the pastors tell them about Babylon and what happened to the city of Babylon. Black folks are afraid of the Christian God they never see physically, more than they afraid of racism.

So when the political dust settles and Premier Doug Ford starts to implement Red Tory policies, then all them black folks will start crying out again about racism and how the police this and the police that.

Anyway, I cast my vote for the NDP, as I always do, since I am voting in Canada. At least I did not vote in vain. The NDP is the official opposition and they will speak for me and others who think as me as they represent us in parliament. So, congratulations to Doug Ford and his PC Party victory. I hope he will do well for the all the citizens of Ontario. I wish him all the best.

All best wishes to Opposition Leader, Andrea Horwarth as she is getting ready to challenge the mighty Doug Ford and his Troy government at Queen’s Park Parliament.