If Dr. Keith Mitchell decides to rule Grenada with an iron fist, the majority voters gave him the political apparatus
By Hudson George
There are various reasons why in today’s politics, the majority of voters chose to vote for a particular political party based on the love and confidence they have in the political leader. For example, just recently Grenadians voted in a general election and the ruling NNP party led by Dr Keith Mitchell won all the 15 seats. However, if we open our eyes wide, we will see clearly, that the American and Russian voters did similar as the Grenadians voters.
Couple days after the Grenadian election, the voters in Russia voted to overwhelm for President Putin to remain as their president because they want a strong leader who can challenged the western countries on the world political front stage for superpower domination. However, just over a year ago the American mainly white voters elected Donald Trump as their president because they want a leader who will make America great again and Mr Trump promise that he will fulfil their dream. Trump drives the fear in them because they feel threaten by Latinos culture making a big inroad within the American tradition society created by the founding fathers of their mighty nation.
Now, in the case of Grenada and why the majority of voters are satisfied with Dr Keith Mitchell long reign of political power, is because the vast majority of Grenadians like to be ruled by a strong leader whom they love and whatever the leader keep on doing, whether it is good or bad, they will still make excuses to justify the leader’s action as the right thing and the decision he made.
For example, during the long year’s era when Eric Gairy and his GULP working-class movement dominated Grenada’s politics, the Majority of voters keep on electing Gairy back into office, without looking at the mistakes he made during the five year term period. It was not in their interest to criticise Gairy’s errors. All they cared about is that they love “Uncle Gairy” because he was the little black man from the east, sent by God to liberate them from the oppression of colonialism.
However, the political pattern of Gairy’s leadership ended on March 13, 1979, when the children of Gairy’s followers decided that enough is enough and they wanted a new brand of politics with a new generation of politicians. On that great historical day, they rebelled against Gairyism. In the event that took place on that special day brought about a revolution led by Maurice Bishop but unfortunately, the culture of holding on to a strong leader did not change. Bishop followers were no different from Gairy followers. They both followed their leader without questioning the bad things that were happening.
Presently, we are back to square one again. This time around the majority of Grenadian voters unanimous voted for Dr Mitchell’s led ruling NNP in all the political constituencies, therefore, there is no elected opposition. Unfortunately, what makes the situation more disturbing for those of us who are thinking out of the political box, is that the governor general is appointed to that post of Her Majesty Representative by Prime Minister Mitchell and based on Grenada’s constitution the prime minister has all the power within the democratic system.
So, it is very easy to see all the political apparatus are in place for a future dictatorship, if Dr Mitchell decides to rule our Tri-Island State with an iron fist. He has all the powers in his domain. The governor general was not elected by the people. Her status and position can be taken away from her if she tries to challenge government policies. Basically, our only hopes are that Dr. Mitchell will not put on the iron fist style of leadership. On the other hand, we cannot forget the days of iron fist rule under Eric Gairy and the most brutal period under Maurice Bishop version of dictatorship.
Additionally, those of us who are quick thinkers can see clearly, that Dr. Mitchell decision to hold the election on March 13, 2018, was his personal plan to eliminate and bury the memory of Maurice Bishop March 13, 1979, led a revolution. Dr Mitchell made a very good calculation on the date so that his landslides victory at the poll will go down in history as the leader who won all the 15 seats without using one single bullet from the gun but through the democratic process.
In conclusion, I personally think something is wrong with the way the majority of Grenadians participate in the Westminster style of politics through the democratic process. Basically, in my opinion, I think it is undemocratic for a people to use the democratic process of multiparty politics to elect a one-party government. If that pattern of voting continues, I predict in the future it can lead to violence when the opposition forces become fed up with that kind of political culture.
In addition, I think the New Democratic Congress (NDC) needs to rebrand. I know that some of them are trying to blame their political leader for the party’s defeat but they must blame themselves too. It is their duty to come down on the ground and engage the grassroots people in order for them to win the next election in five years’ time. They are depending on too many armchair conservative political activists to who are politically hopeless to deliver the party political message. They need to get rid of some of their political activists who are very vocal in the media criticising the NNP government with the same old talk over and over again. These activists doing is more harm to the NDC because they are not the kind of persons who will engage grassroots people to face to face in a political discussion.
Anyway, I think it is the duty of all Grenadians to be vigilant against any brand of one-party state government. Whether the government is elected by the majority through the democratic process, or if they came to power through the barrel of the gun. We are too small for one-party rule.