:: by Kimalee Phillip ::

On January 10th, 2013, it was announced to the Grenadian public that Prime Minister Tillman Thomas had advised the Governor General of the need to dissolve Parliament ultimately calling for an election date to be set within the following 90 days. Grenadians knew that an election was impending but the decision to dissolve Parliament had made the moment more real and urgent.

by Tamara Natalie Madden
by Tamara Natalie Madden

Typically, Grenadians have felt that for years, their options when it came to voting lay primarily between two dominant parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New National Party (NNP). However, there have always been a multitude of other political parties such as the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP), the People’s Labour Movement (PLM) and with the creation of the National United Front (NUF), Grenadians now have more options, that is, if they decide to exercize their constitutional right to vote.

The existence of a range of political parties may suggest a variety of options regarding political philosophies, foreign policy ideas, local initiative proposals and possible reforms when it comes to health care, education, law, public housing and socio-economic and human rights on the island. However, the level of critique and public spotlight that should be placed on political parties, leaders and their various platforms has either been limited in scope or limited to particular audiences.

Given the current political and economic climate and the increasing distance Grenadians have felt from their elected leaders, it is critical that hard and concrete questions be put to our leaders and that they be held accountable to answering them in ways that expand beyond the typical political rhetoric.

The goal therefore is to come up with a list of questions to be put to our leaders that fall under the following suggested themes:

by Tamara Natalie Madden
by Tamara Natalie Madden

1. The Economy (taxes, job creation, deficit, investments etc.)
2. Health care
3. Public infrastructure & transportation
4. Education (infrastructure such as the public library, student debt)
5. Housing
6. Democracy and Accountability (elections and legislative reform, Senate etc.)
7. Tourism
8. Families (fighting poverty, pensions, the elderly, the disabled, children, violence against women etc.)
9. The Environment (protection of our lands and sea, climate change etc.)
10. Culture & the Arts
11. The Diaspora
12. Social Programs
13. Agriculture


The goal of this exercize is to not only help differentiate the parties from one another based on their platforms and goals to allow for Grenadians to make a more informed decision, but also to have something to point to after leaders have been elected to hold them accountable.

We are working on setting up a forum, which may or may not take the form of a panel comprised of a representative from each political party. If you have ideas of what this forum should look and if you have questions that you would like to direct to our political leaders and parties, please email Kimalee Phillip at mskphillip@gmail.com by Friday 18 January 2013. 

__________________

Kimalee PhillipKimalee Phillip is an anti-colonial labour and community activist living and working in Toronto. She completed her Master’s degree in Legal Studies at Carleton University where she analyzed the colonial impacts on gender and violence against women in Grenada. She currently works as the Resource Coordinator with the York University Graduate Students’ Association, serves as the Equity Officer with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 1281 and does organizing work with Spice Youth Toronto Community Initiative and the Network for Pan-Afrikan Solidarity.

Holding To Account: Grenada Elections 2013
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  • niki

    how many people vote in 2013 elections

  • Jody Daniel

    Social Issues

    (i) In light of the sensitive issues associated with child protection and domestic abuse, does your government intend to support the institution of a family court? If yes how, if no why not.

    Environment (my biggest concern)

    (ii)Background

    The incomplete Levera development project has threatened the survival of the critically endangered Leatherback Turtle that nest on our island. Furthermore, the proposition by the Cinnamon 88 developer in 2007 resulted in uproar from environmental NGO’s globally and locally as the population of our critically endangered Grenada Dove could have been threatened.

    What policies does your government intend to implement to ensure that Grenada’s Terrestrial and Marine ecosystems are not degraded due to “development” since we have signed and ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

    Economy

    (iii) It is evident that due to the global economic crisis many countries have experienced minimal or no growth. In retrospect, as leader of Grenada from 2008, what would you have done differently to foresee speedy recovery and consistent debt servicing?

    Education

    (iv) Due to universal education many students are forced into what one could consider “grammar schools”. What does your government intent to implement to ensure that students who are not academically inclined acquire the needed skills for the job market?

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Jody, Thank you for your detailed questions. We really appreciate you taking the time to engage us in this effort. Please spread the words so that we can continue to expand out reach.

  • Anthony C. George BEM DJM

    I am perplex that such a small beautiful country with a tiny population of 110,000 should be given a choice of so many fragments of political parties. In my opinion, it demonstrates a masqurade of political opportunists of disunited egocentrics parading in the name of democracy. God help us from this falsehood; and give us honest selfless and good government.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Anthony, can you elaborate a bit? Is your opinion that having multiple parties or having new parties emerge when approaches to governance do not coincide, is problematic? If so, share your reasoning.

  • I’m so ready to sit in an audience before a panel of our politicians and listen to them answer the peoples questions with critical and logical responses. I want to see our people most importantly the youths and vulnerable populations holding leaders accountable, demanding more and settling for nothing less than is deserving of our intelligence and common sense. I want to live in an age where I can be proud of the political mobility of my people. I want to be able to say “yes” I helped to build this great nation, standing of the shoulders of fore fathers and not forgetting our mothers.

    I wish our people would pour out their questions, as small or grand as they are. I think we need to advertise this initiative through the local media.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Kizzy,Thank you for sharing this. It is so powerful what you are saying. We are going to share this on the facebook page.

  • Venus

    When would we – students – who sat cxc and got all our subjects receive our money? We were promised.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Thank you for your question Venus.

  • Salisha.F

    One of the questions I would like answered is:

    As the population in Grenada is impacted by an ever increasing aging population what steps are being taken by the government or in conjunction with the private sector to ensure the proper medical, social and support infrastructures are in place for the elderly and their care givers. Is there a plan to use these endeavors to create employment opportunities and training opportunities especially among the youth who are chronically underemployed?

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Salisha, thanks for your question and keep spreading the word about this.

  • I really like this initiative. i think it’s critical to have something against which to measure.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Truly! We hope that you take the time submit questions because we know that on your blog you raise some important critical issues.

  • misskinx

    Reblogged this on Misskinx's Blog and commented:
    My attempts to get the youth critically thinking and getting involved with the political landscape of Grenada.

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      We are truly honored to help amplify your voice. This is so deeply necessary as many youths fall into the same pattern of supporting a party without evidence, without having their deepest concerns and desires addressed.

  • Well put, will have to share this round

    • Groundation Grenada Action Collective

      Wonderful! It takes all of us to step up and hold our leaders accountable.