Douglas Wattley has become the latest advocatewhose departure is being used as evidence of a Team Unity disintegration. He jumped off the bandwagon allegedly on the grounds that he doesn’t want to be muzzled and a dissatisfaction with the CMO/Stem Cell/ regenerative therapy issue. Readers will recall that we pointed out some difficulty with the way the CMO’s departure was orchestrated.
There are some assumptions in politics that are at play here:that those who campaigned against my enemy are for me and will remain with me. Also, the people of who campaigned against my enemy must be rewarded with a position, and those who campaign for my winning party want something in return. It is this concept that drives lobbyists here and elsewhere, and is a strong argument for campaign financing laws.
There are many who have expressed disillusionment about Team Unity – for all kinds of reasons. Some want electoral reform; others want to see somebody –anybody, jailed. Some want all the campaign promises fulfilled now. Yet others claim that the economy is going south. The PM has been trying to address the economic issues, citing data from, for example, IMF/World Bank and Social Security. Some feel that he is trying too hard to convince us that the economy is running good; and that crime and violence is drowning out a positive message.
If there are cracks in the Unity armour, the administration would be well advised not to ignore them and let them become chasms. Unity must bear in mind that the Labour Party has always won the popular vote even when it loses an election,although the popular vote does not count in a first-past-the-post elections. The difference has been in the distribution of votes. Unity must also bear in mind that the margin of victory in two of its winning constituencies was statistically insignificant; only 4 votes determined one seat and 36 defined another.
In our history of coalition governments, after one term, one partner ascends and the other declines. Former PM Dr. Simmonds didn’t need the coalition after his first term and the NRP, its previously strategic partner became relegated. Eventually, after 15 years Simmonds’ government disintegrated into nothingness – and eventually only held 1 seat, that of No 11 in Nevis. We saw a similar situation when NRP became a partner with the SKNLP. Time is not on the side of the incumbent as timemoves more swiftly now.
Team Unity in Government must be careful not to alienate supporters, nor to disillusion independent thinkers. Such action may give new meaning to term limits.