Out of Circulation

Those of us old enough remember may recall the days of the brassy penny and ha’penny (half penny), and remember when they were replaced by the shiny new one and two cent pieces. We never thought they would lose currency.

But as of July 1st, they have. They are no longer legal tender; meaning they have no value. To be fair, the Eastern Caribbean Monetary Authority (ECCA) announced that this would eventually happen as early as 2015, and encouraged people to take them to a Bank of your choice.

In preparation for their removal, The ECCA announced a rounding off policy whereby items or bills that ended in anything other than multiples of 5 cents would be rounded off. Therefore, an item that cost 3 or 8 cents or more would be rounded upwards to 5 or 10 cents and items costing 2 cents or 7 cents or less would be rounded off to the nearest 10 cents.

For some, the rounding off exercise seems complicated, but only because businesses continue to price items as “normal” instead of adjusting shelf prices accordingly. We will observe whether any such adjustments will be made.

Likewise, those of us old enough to remember and who follow politics will remember the days of the St Kitts Nevis Labour Party (Labour) that controlled the affairs of the Trinity, then State, now the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. From 1967 to current time, Labour was in government for all but 15 years. At one time, all eight seats in St Kitts were held by the Labour Party; and even in opposition, Labour still enjoyed the popular vote!

Then in 2015, the people served notice that they were turning away from Labour as a government. In the intervening years, poll after poll indicated the people’s determination not to return to Labour. The results of the June 5th election confirmed that indication; the Labour Party won only two of the eleven seats and garnished only 37% of the popular vote.

This is its biggest defeat ever on two fronts; seats and the popular vote.   It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the Labour Party is seeking to have a do-over election. The loss and the magnitude of it is confusing to the party.

Like the one cent and two coins, the St Kitts Nevis Labour Party and its surrogate the Nevis Reformation Party are out of circulation. Neither has any currency anymore.

The question is, can they re-invent themselves? Unlike coins, politics has a cycle, so only time will tell.