By Hudson George
In a small underdeveloped country like Grenada where job resources are scare, citizens look to the government to create employment, while politicians used their political campaign skills to entice voters to elect them to office.
In return, voters expect the party that wins the general elections to fulfil its promise that attracts the majority of voters. So the big question is: How will the new government fulfil its promise to deliver what voters are expecting?
After the new government parliamentarians are sworn in and the prime minister appointed ministers to serve in the different ministries, this is when most citizens within the general population start making political comments based on which political party they are aliened to.
Grenada system of government is modelled on the British Westminster parliament standards and the prime minster has all the power to govern the country from the centre. Such a kind of power makes the prime minister a five years term dictator.
Due to the fact that Grenada is not industrialised and there is not a high growth evolution in the local cottage industries, Grenadians who are a living abroad in those highly industrialised countries are sending money and foodstuff in barrels to their love ones back home. Remittances money is important based on the old traditions of family ties that keep people together,
Now that Grenada has a new government, the ruling party has to create jobs for some the party supporters and political activists. Politicians’ across the board in general are aware of the importance of foot-soldiers as the driving force to mobilise and convert voters in order to win the election.
Foot-soldiers are very important small islands state politics and they are now a necessity in Caribbean politics. The fact is that Caribbean people are mostly tied to an oral tradition cultural society. Village gossip and rum-shop are more influential than libraries and national news report.
It took this present ruling New National Party (NDC) more than thirty years to understand and accept the cultural pattern of Grenadian voters, while the present opposition New National Party (NNP) were able capitalised on that cultural pattern to win the most general elections, until they got a shocking defeat earlier in this year’s June 23, 2022 elections results.
Now, it seems as though this present ruling NDC government is focusing on keeping a strong voting base as their main opposition rival. They are getting rid of some government workers who were most likely hired with political string attached, rather than through the right channels and they are giving their party supporters the job space.
Presently Grenada is experiencing a “teeth for tat” political change within the public service and other institutions such as boards of directors, while the opposition political activists are crying out loud about victimisation.
In other for the present government to hold on to power, it is very important that the politicians keep the party supporters happy. In addition, they must diversify development and erase the old mentality of centralising all major institutions in the south of mainland Grenada.
In conclusion, although Grenada’s politics is a model of British Westminster democracy, culturally Grenadians are a not British people. Grenada is a former slave society country and it citizens are culturally based on the legacy of slavery and colonialism. It is not expected that the political culture will change easily as long as there is a lack of employment for the youthful population. Therefore, it is very important for political parties to secure a strong loyal base support.