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Sunday, November 11, 2012


Evaristus Jn Marie is known for his “selective” frankness and objectivity and this time the target is the Minister for Tourism, Hon Lorne Theophilus. Apparently, the ex-senator has done his own job-fit analysis and he has made the news with the results thereof. Based on the results, his inferential verdict is: Lorne is not the best suited person at this time to be St. Lucia’s Minister for Tourism.

It is indeed a bold and (seemingly) "non-partisan" verdict and perhaps one which requires a measure “testicular fortitude” to pronounce; more importantly, it may start a debate which, by and large, may enrich and even deepen our democracy. Even more fundamentally, the ex-senator seems to be implicitly questioning the PM’s judgment in appointing the 40-yr old Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul/Saltinus as Minister for Tourism (and the Creative Industries).

But perhaps, the PM has a different political “frame of reference”. He probably sees Lorne as young and talented; and has therefore “chanced his hand” in investing in the Minister’s youth and multi-talents, in which case it is up to him to stand and deliver by providing sound policy leadership for the complex and indispensable tourism industry.

In 1997, the PM did a similar thing with the dynamic and proactive Phillip J Pierre; and despite his youth and ministerial inexperience, “Pip” delivered admirably. His advocacy was very strong and indeed he brought in an abundance of value-added competencies to the job. In the end, his experiments worked and he delivered. Today, Phillip is in many quarters dubbed to be a model Tourism Minister for St. Lucia’s (and perhaps the OECS).

And this may well be the reason for Jn Marie’s nostalgia; but he must give the young minister the time to unfold and define himself in his new role as Minister for Tourism.

Indeed, sources close to the Minister indicate that he is achieving; and it may be unfair to measure him, Chastenet and “Pip” using the same yardstick. Lorne appears to be their “anti-thesis” when it comes to management style and advocacy. From that perspective, Jn Marie’s verdict may be premature and misplaced.

If Jn Marie wanted to attack Lorne, a better target to aim at would be the management of his constituency which has apparently become increasingly problematic and is characterized by what is perceived to be in a “state of disarray” and “skirmish” attributed to the Minister’s regular and prolonged travelling itineraries overseas.

Choiseul is perhaps the only constituency that has not held its constituency conference which was scheduled in May earlier this year.

While the PowerHouse wishes Hon Lorne Theophilus a successful tenure as Minister for Tourism and the Creative Arts, we also wish to advise him that as he gets his feet “wet” in his new role as Minister for Tourism, he must also seek to keep them firmly grounded in the constituency he represents. The rural folk of Choiseul/Saltibus attach much premium to personal interaction with their parliamentary rep.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent article. Well balanced. Choiseul is the 'new' Ohio of St. Lucia - a must win swing- district for anybody who wishes to form the new government. Hope the district rep recognises this characteristic of the new Choiseulian electorate. It would do him well to maintain an active, progressive but humble presence in the community. Elections are no longer won 3-6 months before the polling date. Spending a million on the ground 3 months before election day will simply not do it. Ask Rufus... then take a look at Obama's strategy; he never neglected and maintain his campaign offices in the swing states throughout his tenure as president. He knew that his re-election depended on his team. Why do you think he was so emotional when he addressed his team the day after the elections? A lesson for all - hope Hon Theophilus was watching.