St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The featured Speaker at the St. Kitts Nevis Labor Party's 85th Annual Convention, Dr Dayton Campbell of the People's National Party of Jamaica, argues that enemies are the same in the Caribbean
“My presentation today is entitled the Politics of Change vs The Politics of Perception. I want to say at the outset that our approach to politics in this new dispensation, is that we don’t have opponents on this side or that side. Our opponents they are the issues that confront our people, our enemies are the same. They are mainly poverty, income inequality, illiteracy, injustice, crime and violence, poor housing, lack of opportunities for our people especially our youth, lack of equality with regard to health care, gender inequality among other things.”
The event was held at the Marriott Resort under the theme "Greater Strength through Struggle".
Dr Campbell, a Member of Parliament for North West St Ann in Jamaica, delved deeper into his description of the politics of change and perception
“What then is this politics of change and this politics of perception that I just alluded to? Politics of perception is the politics where leaders think of an approach on policy direction and then magnify minute changes with public relations in an attempt to convey a positive outlook. This will not get us far as a people, it is a problem that spans far beyond Jamaica and St Kitts and unfortunately makes strides across the world. In speaking to the politics of change I will start with a quote from a most celebrated world leader and former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the late, the most honourable Michael Manley who stated and I quote, any realistic vision of change must be based on a notion of empowerment of people. We here seek to be practitioners of what is to be a noble profession, politics is the vehicle to deliver policies and programmes to the wider society. Change is only truly realized when people are empowered, thus the politics of change is the politics of empowerment of our people.”
He said observed that while people supported a political party that they consider the best able to deliver, the world was struggling with voter apathy as young people are disillusioned with politicians. He warned the democracy must be people centered.
“Even though politics is about winning so as to implement your programmes and policies it cannot be about winning at all costs, I repeat it cannot be about winning at all costs. There are fundamental tenets which underline movements like ours, those are participatory governance, integrity, nationalism, and egalitarianism. Participatory governance means that you must continue to involve the electorate in the decision making process, being with the people has proven to be an unbeaten strategy. Democracy must never be limited to marking an x on the ballot every five years, but rather the right to participate in every aspect of national and community life. The people must believe that they can take part, so your listening tours, your consultations, you focus group meetings those are important because you are preparing to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Everyone is therefore welcome and there is a place for all at the altar of higher service. No one can deny the wisdom of the average man and as members of varying political parties we must engage them and capitalize on this benefit. We must not only speak to our supporters during the time of elections but we must remain on the ground with the people at all times.”