Ralph Gonsalves: Still the best man for SVG By Lesli Patterson

Hon Dr Ralph E. Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Love him or hate him, Ralph Gonsalves is the best man for St. Vincent and the Grenadines at this time. Indeed, should elections be called next month, next year or in the next four years, Dr Gonsalves should be returned as Prime Minister with an overwhelming mandate.

I am one on the Comrade’s  biggest critic! But even as I critique some of his policies, his politics and general approach to governance, I do so knowing full well that the alternatives, Eustace and the NDP, are patently worse.

My differences with Gonsalves are deeply philosophical and ideological. While he espouses a social democratic approach to governance that is grounded in the core applicable tenets of the Marxist remedies for addressing societal inequities, I am a classical liberal who forever preach the paramountcy  of the market and the purely capitalist path to social and economic development.  Deep differences of this nature are difficult to overcome.  However, in the context of political discourse on issues related to statecraft, one is still able to find some common ground.

Recognizing that ideology must be tempered by the harsh and unforgiving reality of the times, one must be pragmatic in addressing the extant socio-economic issues. It is his commitment to embracing pragmatism that has led me to be an admirer of the Comrade despite our ideological differences.

I therefore declare Ralph Gonsalves as the best for St. Vincent and the Grenadines for a number of reasons:

  1. Given his intellectual depth and academic acuity, more than any of his contemporaries, Gonsalves has a grasp of the complex and challenging issues impinging on the development of the country.
  2. Gonsalves, is prepared to take the risks that are necessary to ensure that SVG can leap beyond its present state despite the difficulties.
  3. The Comrade has the capacity to envision a desired reality and possesses the force of discipline, committment and dedication to create that reality in the face of insurmountable obstacles.
  4. No one has demonstrated the depth of love and the breadth of understanding of the people known as Vincentians.
  5. Comrade is a political genius. Love him or hate him, he knows how to win national elections.

I envision that Dr Gonsalves and his party will be in office for a very long time. Should he demit office, it would be on his own terms and in his own time. The Comrade will play a very long innings; he will retire not out; and proudly walk back to the pavilion with his bat held high and tons of runs on the board.

There is none like the Comrade!

Lesli Patterson

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Vincy at heart on January 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    it one thing to talk about the governance of our small economy, but it’s actually another thing to manage it in these difficult times; it may well be that managing on the edge of chaos has emerged as the only viable alternative. the state of the global economy and it rate of change and degrees of uncertainities are simply too much for traditionalist politicians to negotiate. In this global economic maelstrom that we are forced to exist in, political leaders have to be deeply in tune with possible connections, partnerships, and plan of actions that would redound the general economic good of all. What we need is action and players in the pavilion cannot provide that. Only the man in the middle knows the state of the pitch and the uncertainity of its bounce. The Comrade finds himself managing this economy in these difficult times. He was never a traditionalist nor do we urge him to become one. This is neither the time not the place for such men. Give such men their rightful due-a seat in the spectators’ balcony so that they can be intrigued by the state of play. emmmm!


    • “The IMF estimated that unemployment in this country is somewhere between 25 to 30 %. This figure is estimated to be higher because the IMF used the figure given by the government to arrive at this percentage.” STATE WAGES ARE FORZEN AND NEITHER THE GOVERNMENT NOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR ARE HIRIRNG. in FACT THEY ARE SIMPLY REPLACING EXISTING POSTS AND ONLY IS THE FUCTIONS CANNOT BE HANDLED BY CURRENT STAFF!

      As to civil servants, they only get paid thanks to $30,000,000 91 days treasuries! If you have to borrow simlply to pay wages and salaries how is this management? We are not talking about educational and infrastructure investments…WAGES AND SALARIES!This situation is highly unsustainable, ALREADY MORE THAN 3/4 OF STATE REVENUE IS SUSED TO SERVICE DEBT AND FOR AMORTIZATION! AS THIS REVENUE TO DEBT RATIO RISES MORE TAXES, FEES AND HARSHER CUTS WILL GO INTO EFFECT!


  2. Every days are numbered and the economy is a world wide crisis…a win is a win does not matter how he did it. (Is the little things that counts)Thanks to the PM for taking SVG forward!!!!!!


  3. Posted by L Sutton on January 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I never knew that there were so many DOTISH people in SVG.


  4. It is utterly ironic that Patterson grasps the challenging global socioeconomic paradigm of our times and yet nominates the author of failed policies to help us weather the storm.
    Given our large deficits and a negative growth rate incarnate in the haemorrhaging of NIS contributors (high unemployment), the inflated cost of living and the increased level of criminality (as it relates to burglaries, narcotics, robberies etc.), it is blatantly evident that AN ECONOMICS SKILL-SET is required!

    In this regard, not only can Gonsalves be substituted, but the selfsame with his legal background, who continues to be corrected on technical economic points and whose policies have brought us where we are is absolutely unqualified.

    At this juncture in our development, do we need someone who takes un needed risks? Or someone who assess the situation and make the requisite strategic investments?

    Where is the pragmatism and creativity in the socialist and mendicant foreign policy whose matrix is ideological? Are any trifles of note “given” to us? A better approach would be to coalesce international support around feasible projects and impactful policies. Whatever happened to competent management and the respect and strategic partnerships it affords?

    Granted however, that the strategic political prowess of Gonsalves is albeit impressive, but not exactly what we need is it. How does this factor into the developmental trajectory of the country?

    This strategy has more or less been to channel sparse resources towards one segment of the electoral spectrum, attempting to) starve the opposition into submission (a MOSTLY figurative statement). Where is the love for the three teachers and countless others who has been victimized?

    Gonsalves’ days are numbered. If he is as enamoured as the author suggests why the less than one percent electoral difference between the two parties? What can or is Gonsalves capable of doing to turn around the economy and the downward electoral trending fortunes of his party?


  5. Let me say thanks to Leslie Paterson for this well written piece. However, if you would take just a brief look at the first response to your well written piece you will get the picture. Like I always say: LET US NOT JUDGE THE COMRADE BY THE ALMIGHTY, LET US JUDGE HIM BY THE ALTERNATIVE….!!!!


  6. Posted by Observer on January 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm



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