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Wednesday, May 18, 2016


A small team from the Choiseul Powerhouse decided to conduct a simple windscreen survey to primarily determine the impact of Chastanet’s “5-TO-STAY-ALIVE” plan on the Choiseul/Saltibus constituency.

Here is a brief summary of the results.

(a)        age 60+                 -       enthusiastic;
(b)        age 45                   -       60 moderate to less enthusiastic;
(c)         age 30 - 44            -       moderate to less enthusiastic;
(d)        under 30                -       less enthusiastic

It appeared the most enthusiastic section of the sample was leaning UWP, with the moderately enthusiastic seemingly ambivalent. Most of the less enthusiastic sample seemed to be leaning SLP or independent.

Two major findings may be extrapolated from the results:

(1)        There is a suggestion that there is a correlation between age and enthusiasm;
(2)        A large section of the sample seemed not to keen in politics so far.

There is a suggestion that the excitement of the respective bases of the two parties is still sporadic but slowly “catching up”. However, it would appear that none of the running candidates seems to have excited their base or the swing voters sufficiently to own bragging rights.

The trend shown above is not new. From 2001, the support for the political parties has been delicately poised (SLP = 49%; UWP = 48%; and swing = 3%). Hence, the small swing vote becomes the major determinant of the electoral outcome.

Theoretically, one of major reasons for that “support configuration” was perhaps Rufus Bousquet who, because of a significant personal support base, changed Choiseul from an SLP safe seat to a swing constituency.

There is little reason to believe that the trend may change in the upcoming election.

However, keep in mind that the results of survey are not scientific and hence may not be sufficiently reliable to generalised them to the entire constituency.

Saturday, May 7, 2016



Dear Bradley,

I am writing this letter to you as a public document, to express my concerns about your decision to place yourself under the leadership of Allen Chastanet as the United Workers Party’s candidate for Choiseul, to address the pitfalls of your manner of entry into the politics, and to advise you to reconsider your decision.

Undoubtedly, the first question which will be asked, is why use such a public forum to share my perspective on your candidature, when it is well known that you are a cousin-brother to me, and I might have addressed you privately.  However, since I had taken the decision to run as a candidate for the St. Lucia Labour Party in 2006, and now that you have been announced as a candidate for the UWP, neither of us can hide behind a wall of privacy.  Politics is the most public of activities, and should never be treated like “just another job”.  This is a lesson that you will no doubt learn in short order.

Further, since I have always been a front-line SLP activist, and since you and I share a close family bond, many persons, friends and detractors alike, have been speculating on whether I will be supporting you in the coming election.  The political opportunists, who are now masquerading as your friends, would have no doubt deliberately selected you as a candidate, to confuse the public, to divide our family, and in the hope of neutralising me in the coming campaign.  I have no choice therefore but to make this a public letter, though I do so with a very heavy heart and with the bond of family love that can never be broken.

For those who have been cynically trying to attach my name to your political decision, let me declare publicly that you have made your political choice, and as a free, independent and intelligent citizen, I have made mine.  Your decision is to make yourself an agent for the election of Chastanet as Prime Minister of St. Lucia, and my decision is to oppose with every fibre in my body the elevation of Chastanet to the office of Prime Minister.

My opposition to Chastanet arises from the fact that he is not prime ministerial material, he is not grounded enough in St. Lucianness to represent the interests of the entire population, and that his private life and past experiences have not prepared him to occupy an office in which the hopes of an entire population reside.  I oppose Chastanet on the ground that he is merely using the UWP, and the political arena as a platform from which he can advance the narrow economic interests of a very small clique.

The coming election is therefore not even about whether you become the parliamentary representative for Choiseul.  It is about whether Chastanet can be Prime Minister.  It is about whether the people will elect someone who is disconnected from the ordinary St. Lucian, who cannot speak their language, and who has no understanding of their daily experiences.  Everything that I have observed about Chastanet suggests to me that if he is ever chosen as Prime Minister, he will run the country in the interest of a few rich local and foreign businessmen, he will appoint some unknown and unfamiliar self-interested persons to key positions, and will never pursue the kinds of social programs that are still necessary in a country like St. Lucia still trying to overcome centuries of neglect, exploitation and oppression of its majority population.  The election in Choiseul is therefore not about you, but about Chastanet.

I am saddened that Chastanet and a few oligarchs from Soufriere, (not from Choiseul) who now surround you, have pushed you into the politics with little concern about your professional future.  No genuine friend would have convinced you to abandon the profession which you have pursued since the age of sixteen, and a mere five years short of full retirement benefits, to represent a party ridden by internal splits, with a leader who has never been successfully elected, and one who is likely to lose the 2016 general election. 

A real friend would never push you towards such a precipice.  Indeed, there are some who now walk through Choiseul with you, who are well known for harbouring personal jealousies towards your family, who may be enjoying the fact that you have toyed with your life’s profession on such a thoughtless whim.

Equally troubling to me is the fact that I have known you all my life, and have never heard you express a political opinion or show any interest in public service.  You have never expressed any opposition to Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and his policies.  You are yet to indicate, either privately or publicly, what is the basis of your opposition to Kenny and the SLP which motivated you to take such a strong political stance as becoming a candidate for the UWP.  Sadly, this, coupled with the fact that you have continued to remain at work long after your candidacy has been announced, has given you the public image of one who is entering the politics with considerations of personal material calculation.

Politics is not a job that one enters with personal calculations of “revenue versus expenditure”.  It is a vocation.  Any hint that your main motivation is private financial advantage will compromise your relationship with the people whom you aspire to represent.  A man cannot serve two masters. 

I urge you, not to allow persons who have no experiential knowledge of your family’s struggle for survival, to use you to fulfil their selfish political aspirations.  Whilst you will claim that “the people are asking you to run”, it is also true that Chastanet has seen “something in you” which is why he wanted you as a candidate.  The question is what is that “something”?  I am certain that it is not your knowledge of public policy, it is not your political skill or experience, it is not your ability to speak on a platform or in the parliament. 

Chastanet’s attraction to you resides in the surface things that appeal to his eyes but not his brain: your external physical image as a clean-cut banker and your family connection to Choiseul.  The real question is what is so dismal about the current crop of UWP candidates that Chastanet has so desperately sought you out as a “nice face” in the UWP?  I am certain that your brief involvement with the UWP might have provided some answers to this question.

Bradley, save yourself from this guilt by association.  Chastanet is merely using you as stepping stone.  You are the grassroots, banker Choiseul boy who can front for him in much the same way that the patois-speaking, Seventh-day Adventist Guy Joseph fronts for him in Castries South East.  Beyond that, he has no use for you.  He has no social connection with you.  His election as Prime Minister, if it happens, will be the hoax of our lifetimes.  It will also be a disaster for the ordinary St. Lucian and St. Lucia as a whole.  I will therefore be voting against Chastanet in the coming election.

I urge you to therefore, to remove yourself, your face, and your name from that farce.  We are a proud family.  We have always struggled to lift ourselves up through patience, hard work, public service, humility and genuine sacrifice.  We never forget our rural origins, and we know our class allies and our political comrades.  Deep down, you know that you have more in common with Kenny than with Chastanet.  Don’t allow yourself to be misled by persons who are only seeking to use you and will discard you like a paper-cup once you have served their purposes.  Do the right thing.

Yours, family love forever and always, but always politically conscious and alert.

Tennyson S.D. Joseph