Moving Our Nation Forward

It was an opportunity for those once on the opposite side of the political aisle to demonstrate to the citizens of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and to the world for that matter that they are truly willing to change the old political dispensation that held the nation hostage for way too long.

The parliamentarians were on time, followed the program to the letter and acted with great pride and dignity.

The beginning of a new political era dawned on our nation.

Changing The Dispensation

For too long “an anything goes culture” inside and outside the halls of parliament was King! The unacceptable behavior of some of our former parliamentarians had become the norm for citizens, some of whom seemed far removed from the decadence in parliament.

Since the February 16, 2015 general elections, many ills of the former administration have been unearthed by the new government. While there will likely be continued probing of several matters, citizens are anxious to hear of legislation that will be tabled and passed in parliament that not only makes it difficult to act inappropriately as an official of the people but also ensures penalties are in place to punish those who blatantly choose to disrespect and break the rules by which they ought to be governed. After all, legislation helps to hold ALL parliamentarians’ feet to the fire, and should serve as a  deterrent for those in pursuit of a seat in parliament.

It has been well over 100 days since a new administration has taken over the reins of government.  Various initiatives have been unveiled to the citizens of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the business of moving the nation forward has been deemed paramount on the government’s agenda.

The Team Unity government aims to engender a framework for good governance; a way forward that seeks to repair years of blatant disregard for the Constitution. This vision is manifested through all spheres; from education and tourism to crime and the economy.

Time and again, the discussion about the paradigm shift has been touted. On February 16, the electorate stood in unison against several questionable practices of the former government.  It is the very electorate who will hold Team Unity to a higher standard throughout its tenure.

The People’s Voice

Too often as a people, we have been guilty of discounting the opinions of the normal man on the street yet it is these very individuals who speak truth to power and who constantly serve as trailblazers in the political landscape of our nation. 

It is the often discounted voices that stand up and demand that good prevails over evil and that right trumps wrong instead of the other way around. These very voices made Team Unity a reality!

Who could forget the likes of Mr. Politics and Kulcha and many others who fearlessly took to the airwaves, day after day sharing their views on the way forward for our nation?

Our very own educator and social activist “Washy” Archibald campaigned unapologetically for a shift away from the status quo that he believed was ruining the fabric of our society.

Kulcha, a resident of Tabernacle village, renowned former supporter of the Denzil Douglas administration and now staunch Team Unity supporter raised a point on one talk show recently that no amount of legislation can give an individual a conscience or integrity. Rules will continue to be broken and lines of morality will continue to be frowned upon when value systems are conveniently placed on the back burner with no consideration for doing good over evil. Is this not the kind of government thousands voted against? Surely the electorate does NOT expect the old way of governance to merely be recycled.

Tackling Major Issues

Before its success at the polls on February 16, 2015, Team Unity government hopefuls brought to the electorate numerous instances of unashamed disregard for the people’s voice by the then incumbents. The siphoning off of prime lands for debt without public consultation, the implementation of 17% VAT after an election based on no new taxes, the astronomical increases in electricity, the illicit sale of St. Kitts-Nevis passports and the nonchalant stance on crime were but a few of the many issues that struck a bad chord with voters. An alternative government easily appealed to the people and for the first time in twenty years, it seemed the people’s will trumped the will of the politicians.

Team Unity understood the feat that faced them and ultimately the nation. The challenge now is to create balance in government and to seek resolve for the myriad problems that plague our nation.  Our new government MUST continue to hear the cries of the people and to be accessible in a manner that makes this new political dispensation a truly collaborative one.

To move a nation forward is to prioritize those issues that require immediate action. It is no secret that violent crime is still a major hindrance to our nation’s development.  In fact, a recent BBC report gives a damning account of the state of our federation with regard to crime. An over 20-year old problem heavily entrenched in our society is at the feet of Team Unity demanding a solution. Sixteen violent murders in our small island nation is an indication that policing and crime fighting must be priorities for our government. Citizens are not just speaking out on crime to attack government but the desire for real solutions are of dire importance irrespective of one’s political leanings. The first order of any government ought to be the safety of its people.

Which mother feels joy at the loss of her son? Which parent wants to hear his or her child’s account of a bullet riddled body soaking in blood that he sees on his way home from school? This is the reality of modern day St. Kitts and Nevis and this is the reality all law abiding citizens must be anxious to eradicate.

Moving Forward

Our Team Unity government has moved to get it right by pooling an experienced cadre of men and women who can ably assist in restoring the people’s confidence in government. A truly multifaceted approach will help us on this journey of rebranding our St. Kitts and Nevis.

Where we are as a nation and where we want to go warrants an entire shift in the way we think, the way we act and the way the affairs of the country are handled. Continuous collaboration with the electorate will make for a better government and a more prosperous nation.

The electorate’s desire for a shift in our nation’s political culture helped to thrust a new government in power. It’s now up to us to capitalize on the gains we have made to continue the quest to move our nation forward rather than make the same damning mistakes of the past.


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