ALL AH WE IS ONE: Infantile disorder
It appears that the modus operandi of the earlier challenge to the leadership of Freundel Stuart of Barbados has been exported to Grenada.
The latest political news out of Grenada surrounds the decision by former Tourism Minister Peter David to resign from the cabinet of Prime Minister Tilman Thomas. Relatedly, a no-confidence motion in the Prime Minister by the Leader of the Opposition, now looms.
Significantly, the same elements which have been publically condemnatory of Stuart’s leadership have also been loud in support of the moves to replace Thomas. Indeed, the parallels are too striking to ignore the possibility that the Grenada and Barbados playbooks may share a singular authorship.
However, as in the case of Barbados, there are far deeper issues to consider in the overthrow of a sitting prime minister than the singular question of poll standings.
First, it is extremely reckless to assume that the overthrow of a sitting prime minister will not damage the chances of the party at a general election, which is one year away. Not only will factionalism set in, but the Opposition party stands to gain tremendous mileage from the uncertainty and instability which will ensue from such a move.
Secondly, only those with no sense of history would reduce the value of a leader to “how popular” he is in the polls. In the case of Tilman Thomas, one can argue that his value has resided in his personal ability to heal the fractious post-revolutionary politics of Grenada.
Incarcerated by the New Jewel Movement (NJM) during the revolution, he was magnanimous enough to free his Coardite gaolers and to rename the international airport after Maurice Bishop. Indeed, it is highly debatable whether the elements now claiming leadership would have won the 2008 election without his wide appeal as leader.
Finally, beyond what the polls say, it is also true that what matters most for Grenada (apologies, Clyde!), is a period of political quiet and stability. As in the case of Barbados, given the turbulent economic times, and the recent political uncertainty, the need for peace and quiet, should have been enough to stay the hand of any eager group, intoxicated by encouraging poll numbers.
Advisers should be more than mere pollsters, whose only claim is to capture moving opinion.
Otherwise, every morning the populace will wake up to a fresh political uprising, as fickle opinion sways from new kid to new kid.