The meeting is scheduled to take place at Greenlands Park on 3rd February, 2011, starting at 7:00 in the evening.
Astaphan, having resigned from his post of minister of government years ago, has become quite vocal about the governance of the country and he has specifically criticized political leader of the country, Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, for his style of and his failed leadership.
The former MP contributes commentaries regularly to local media houses in which he openly criticizes the Prime Minister and provides his suggestions on what measures must be taken if democracy is to be returned to the twin-island paradise of St. Kitts Nevis.
Asked why he opted to host a public meeting, Astaphan explained that it is just another means of getting his message across.
“Public meetings are part and parcel of our culture and the practice we have here in the country out of getting your messages out. They also provide an opportunity for people to gather and fellowship and to interact in their cause and I always said that writing articles is only one part of the story. It’s not everybody who reads the articles. It’s not everybody who read MiyVue, SKNVibes or the newspaper…Some people listen to the radio, some people prefer to go to meetings, so if you want to get you message across, you try to get it across from all of the angels that are available.
“The meeting is a step; it’s not the end of anything. It represents the first step in the next stage of trying to get the message across to people. And what is the message? (It is) that in a true democracy, it is the people who take the lead. In a true democracy, it is the people who take the lead every day. Democracy is like cleaning house; it is not a once-every-five-years process. It is a daily exercise; you have to be vigilant, you have to scrutinize those who lead you. You have to scrutinize those who lead you, you have to scrutinize the institutions, the social and economic activities of the country…”
Astaphan explained to MiyVue.com that, in addition to the foregoing, the main topics of discussion for the meeting would include, “Leadership, governance, the state of the economy, the state of our social institutions, our values, where we are, how we got here, how are we to get out of it and what it will take for us to get of it. I have been speaking about the leadership of Dr. Douglas overtime and clearly, that will be something that will be addressed in a very serious manner. But I can tell you that the voices from the platform will not be voices that are articulating the causes of any political party.
“This will be a people-kind-of-platform and articulating from the perspective of the people. There will be no cussing and busing and that kind of thing. Serious, vigorous, modulated, language on the issues that affect us and basically, the bottom line is to appeal to people’s intelligence and to their sense of having to have a responsibility and commitment to their own cause to ensure that we will get to democracy…and we get better governance…”
Among the speakers listed to address the gathering at Astaphan’s public meeting are Richard Caines and Astaphan himself. The former Constituency #2 representative told MiyVue.com that he expects the proceedings to be carried live on radio and streamed via the internet.