Tue 19th Apr 2005
St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Jamaica and New Zealand are the three most beautiful countries in the World. The core of our Vincentian culture is to own a comfortable home. I am proud to say that SVG is the leader in the Caribbean with the high quality of housing we posses. Vincentians are very talented and have excelled in many areas. Those who live abroad maintain a high quality of life and are well respected. I personally recall that while working for His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, 1980 - 1984, I was an ambassador for my country. I was awarded The Most Blessed Order of Brunei for honourable, loyal and distinguished military service.
We in SVG Green Party recognise that there are immense weaknesses in the socio-economic development of our blessed country. The 17 years of NDP government and 5 years of ULP government have left our nation divided. Our sense of mutual respect fractured, our economy stagnating, and the price of utilities water and electricity and basic food items skyrocketing. Poor and low-income families are being put under enormous pressure to survive. SVG Green Party will take positive steps to alleviate the plight of poor and low-income families.
History tells us that a strong country is built from the bottom not the top and that authoritarian governments have negative results in the long- and short-term. The ULP regime has made a U-turn from democracy towards dictatorship and the impact is the slowing down of development in SVG.
SVG Green Party is about liberty and providing everyone with equal opportunity to build a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their family. We are about supporting people to recognise their full responsibilities in playing a positive role in the development of our beautiful country. SVG Green Party strongly believes in the supremacy of God and that the role of an orderly and democratic government is to protect and strengthen liberty and responsibility. A good government must put into place mechanisms to redress the imbalance between the powerful and the weak, between the rich and the poor, between immediate small gains and long-term economic, social and environmental stability. The shortage of water in dry periods should remind us why as a nation, we should all say no to the ULP cross-country road.
SVG Green Party strongly believes we should make sacrifices to enable better opportunities to those who have less. We wish to modernise our politics to give people more say. SVG Green Party is not just in politics to manage the economy more competently and coherently than both the ULP and NDP. We are in politics to build a more prosperous, fair and open society, to protect and preserve our delicate environment, and to provide up to date education and skills training, so that no one in SVG shall ever be enslaved by poverty and ignorance. We believe that our young people are our future, and given the right opportunities, they will excel beyond expectation.
Much of what is proposed by SVG Green Party requires no begging, just political will and SVG Green Party skills in prudently and innovatively managing our economy. Deep-sea tuna fishing in the Atlantic Ocean is a multi-billion dollar asset to SVG's economy. The ULP and NDP have unwittingly given our Atlantic Ocean tuna fishing licence to foreign nations for a pittance. SVG Green Party will cancel all fish licences held by foreign nations and introduce joint-venture fish licences to make the tuna fish industry the engine of the SVG economy, complemented by the existing sectors.
The billions of dollars from fish must be used to implement sustainable development, to provide jobs for young people and a high standard of living for all our people. To achieve our aims and objectives we need good vision, strong faith, strong discipline, courage, determination and to work hard together. There are no quick fixes, no instant solutions. If we do not develop our country ourselves, no one will.
SVG Green Party has faith, discipline, determination and most importantly vision. Together we can do it. Please give SVG Green Party your vote in the general election.
We ask for God's blessing in all our endeavours. A sincere message to my fellow Vincentians.
Ivan O'Neal BSc(Hons), MSc, MBA
Leader and co-founder of SVG Green Party