Grenada's political world seems to be populated with much more chiefs than Indians. Everyone who enters the political realm appears to think that they are the one uniquely qualified to run the country. Maybe even ordained by God. I make this charge because Grenada's politics has always displayed a characteristic that points towards this complex. This malady has plagued Grenada in the past and continues to this vary day; politicians with such narcissism to the point of not being able to work with others for the betterment of the nation.
From since the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took office, there has been reports of infighting. Of course, the conflicts between these men have always been reported as “disagreement”, but when dug deeper, who has better ideas, who is better to run the party and the country, seems to always be the main underpinnings. My ideas are better than yours, therefore I should be in control. Just over four years into their reign, Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has had to sack seven members of his cabinet. The Grenadianconnection.com reported that, “seven members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) including General Secretary Peter David and trade unionist Chester Humphrey...” According to the report, cabinet Ministers Joseph Gilbert “was fired for writing to American investors promising them a casino license without cabinet’s approval”, while the former General Secretary, Peter David, resigned from the cabinet citing differences with the Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.
What is known, however, is that there were two factions within the NDC administration. One lead by Peter David (the expel members), and the other lead by the Prime Minister. Whatever the reasons for the disagreement between these “bright” fellows, what happened next speaks to my theory. Days after these men were sacked, reports came that they had formed a new political party. “Expelled members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) are forming a new political party ahead of general elections…” reported the Caribbean360.com.
Reading these reports raised one question in my head, does Grenada need a new political party. No, really. Do we really need a new political party, and would it have better governance, if should win the next election, than the one in power now? I think not. Grenada has seen its fear share of political parties, and the same idiotic governance always plays out. Indeed, for a small country, Grenada has overflowed with political parties; some still active and others went dormant over the years. All of these parties formed out of “differences” from a previous established party. Let us step back for a minute.
There was the Grenada National Party (GNP), which was established in 1956, headed by former Prime Minister Herbert Blaize. The GNP was in power from 1957 – 1961, and again in 1962 – 1967. There was also the Grenada Federation Labour Party (GFLP), which contested election in 1957. It lost and lay dormant until 1984, after the revolution. Independence came in 1974 and saw the ruling of the country go to Sr. Matthew Eric Gairy and his Grenada United Labor Party (GULP), which was founded in 1950, and won elections in 1951, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1976. Eric Gairy promoted his party as the party of the poor people. He was then challenged, and in 1976 the GNP joined with the United People’s Party (UPP) and the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education and Liberation (New JEWEL Movement or NJM), founded in March of 1973 by Maurice Bishop as an apposition party, to contests the 1976 election. GULP won, but the election was branded as being fraudulent. Former Prime Minister George Brizan was a member of the NJM. Also formed in 1973 was the Movement for Assemblies of the People (MAP), founded by Maurice Bishop.
In the late 1970s twelve members of the NJM (AKA “the 12 Apostles”) formed the National Liberation Army (NLA). Matthew Gairy and his GULP was overthrown by Maurice Bishop and his NJM, which then become the People’s Revolution Government (PRG), in 1979. The PRG was an amalgamation of the NJM, NLA and MAP. The PRG ruled until 1983, when the country was invaded by the United States. One year after the revolution came the formation of the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement (MBPM), headed by George Louisan and Kendrick Radix. Radix was an original member of the NJM, and also a cabinet member of the PRG. The MBPM was originally a fundraising organization used to raise funds for student scholarship before becoming an active political party. Then came the New National Party (NNP), formed in St. Vincent on August 1984, and won the election in 1984. It members included Herbert Blaize, the leader, Francis Alexis, and George Brizan. The NNP was a combination of three political parties; Herbert Blaize’s GNP, National Democratic Party (NDP), headed by George Brizan, former NJM member, and the Grenada Democratic Movement (GDM), founded by Francis Alexis, in Barbados. Also contested election during that time was the Christian Democratic Labour Party (CDLP), headed by Winston White.
In April 1984, the NNP formed the Team for National Togetherness (TNT), which was its banner name. Infighting led George Brizan and the NDP to defect. NNP then reinvented itself and adopted the name Team for National Unity (TNU). In august of 1987, Kenny Lalsingh and Phinsley St. Louis left the party and formed their own. Then in April of 1987, George Brizan, Francis Alexis, Tillman Thomas resigned the party. In October 1987 the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which is the party now in power, was formed. It also ruled the country from 1990 to 1995. The leader was George Brizan; other members were GDM’s Francis Alexis, Kenny Lalsingh, Phinsley St. Louis and Tillman Thomas, our now Prime Minister.
In 1990 came the Good Old Democracy (GOD), also known as the Good Old Democratic Party; formed by Justin McBurnie. GOD is now led by Francis McBurnie. It contested the 2008 election and received only 3 votes. Things did not stop there, former DGM and NNP member, Frances Alexis, formed the People’s Labour Movement (PLM). The PLM joined the GULP in 2008, forming the United Labour Platform (ULP) to contest the election. Thy only received 0.84% of the vote.
Exhausted yet! I am! This brief time line showing the advent of that many political parties in this small island with an estimation of One Hundred and Ten Thousand people (110,000 ) solidified my argument; “too many chiefs: not enough indians”. Grenada's politicians have shown their inability to work together. They are self-indulgent individuals, who see themselves only as chiefs, rulers and nothing else. This is why they engage in political party hopscotch; jumping in and out of parties, and if they don’t get their way, create one.
Grenada has more political parties than people. I am engage in hyperbole here of course. But I have shown the number of political parties we had or still have. Yet these expelled politicians think it is best to form yet another. Folks, things will not get better with more political parties. Certainly not! Here is what we need. We need Grenada's politicians to drop their fucking, inflated EGOs. Yes, drop the gigantic EGOs they are nursing and learn to work with each other. If these guys really want to take Grenada into a better future, then work together. Differences will indeed exist, but forming new political parties is not the way to serve them. Enough political parties already! SHIT!