COMMENTARY – It has become indisputable that hypocrisy and ignorance is commonplace in both the United Workers Party (UWP) and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), who make substantial decisions for the wide population. Collectively, neither looks certain on what they communicate, and as such there’s no tenacity of conviction.
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Dr Kenny D. Anthony, previously announced during a national address on Thursday, May 19, that nomination day would be on Friday, May 27, 2016.
Six days later, Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and a second national address (in contrast to four and a half years and no real press conference, other than soft-talk and lightweight questions from selective media) Nomination Day was rescheduled for Saturday, May 28, 2016.
Prime Minister Anthony proceeded to explain his interpretation of the law governing Nomination Day and even, in a rare oddity, apologized for his flip flop. “In any event I wish to place on record my apologies for any difficulties or any inconvenience that this unavoidable change may cause and trust that all will go well on Nomination Day so that we can proceed to elect the new Government of Saint Lucia on the 6th June 2016.”
But that was not sufficient to quell the subliminal messaging of shibboleths on the left and the right, thirsty for sex, religion and voodoo that dominate Saint Lucia’s election campaign.
The UWP sought to question the nomination day flip flop as best they could to the effect that “the procedure relating to the fixing of the date for the nomination of candidates for the General Election and blasted Prime Minister Kenny Anthony as arrogant, insensitive and uncaring. To hold nominations on a Saturday, which is the Sabbath for over 35,000 Christians of various denominations in Saint Lucia, the bulk of whom are Seventh Day Adventists.”
I have to submit that this is an expression of hypocrisy and ignorance at its best. A dual appendage that has over time benefited both parties to dumbfound the misinformed. It is likewise a charade to the custom that Saturday, the “Sabbath”, is a “nonworking day”.
On the meaning of what is really the “Sabbath”, “work”, Symbolism and St Lucian imagination, I opt for the capable hands of my comrade theologian.
However, this does not prevent the question of whether taxpayers of Saint Lucia should ask for a refund from Friday and Saturday worshipers who do not perform “work” on the “Sabbath” and benefit from dual civic holiday observance. The most recent is Corpus Christi, May 26 – the liturgical solemnity celebrating the body and blood of Jesus Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist.
Perhaps it is “the usual religious hypocrisy on the part of modern day Pharisees, who only raise issues that suit them and in this case ignore the relevant bible teaching regarding the relationship between Christianity, secular government and society, in which Christians are expected to conform to all earthly authorities [Romans 13].”
Matthew 22:21 says: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.”
Guy Joseph has expressed profoundly that, as a practicing Adventist, he is “especially offended” by Nomination Day on a Saturday. Perhaps convenient to forget, the Elections Act provides authority for him and others (likewise) to be represented by a duly authorized representative or agent.
Here’s the important thing. The process is not restricted in any way so he should decide to use what suits his fancy. Except, this may not be sufficient to preserve his religious beliefs, sensitivities, convictions and interpretation, and that of his newly ordained monsignor.
On another note, if Joseph is so offended by nomination day on a Saturday, his “Sabbath” then permit me to ask, what about the Sabbath and holy day(s) of others?
Can there be clarity on the annual Cricket-O-Ramma on Good Friday and the elaborate celebrations that follow? This sure sounds horrible!
And the worst part: is such behaviour in keeping with “the arrogance and lack of respect for people’s religious rights and freedoms?”
On Saturday, June 4, the UWP is scheduled to host a grand rally. What does that mean for Saturday worshippers? Perhaps, Jimmy Henry should help “lament on his plans”. Yikes!
Makes sense right! And while at it, is there relevance to the thoughts espoused and that, beneath the glass in this general election campaign, is the power trick to impersonate church and state colonial disloyalty?
As Rev. Dr Martin Luther King Jr, put it in: The hearts and habits of men: MLK on Law and Morality:
“So while the law may not change the hearts of men, it does change the habits of men. And when you change the habits of men, pretty soon the attitudes and the hearts will be changed. And so there is a need for strong legislation constantly to grapple with the problems we face.”
The Pharisees had tried to trick Jesus by asking him if the Jews ought to pay taxes to Caesar. As power throughout history has always tried to dupe and subvert those it felt threatened by.
Did Allen Chastanet make a mockery of the Catholic Church and to seemingly disrespect the clergy?
This placed a question mark against his judgment.
But more frontal, as of publication, Archbishop Robert Rivas is absent in the theory, philosophy and Canon Law, to reflect and refresh Catholic teachings. Not a word, not a word, not a word ~ (tee shirts available at the Star publishing) in contrast to the hasty defrock of his fellow priest, Fr Stephen Quinlan in 2014.
What good is this then? What I do know is if you turned back the irony, it curdled into sarcasm.
That’s why on the heels of power tricks to circumvent the gullible and take control of the country it is fundamental to know the laws of Saint Lucia.
The problem is that simply but reading from sections of the Elections Act and the constitution of Saint Lucia is one aspect. To understand and apply the law requires a higher level of adjudication that is devoid of an impoverished mind, let alone political virgins.
Here’s what’s important. Were the laws of Saint Lucia contravened in relation to Nomination Day flip flop and the “Sabbath”? The answer is no!
If anything, the UWP missed an opportunity to double down on the political and to call out Prime Minister Anthony’s common flip flops. Strategist and aides blew an opportunity to argue procedural glitches and the hasty judgment to an early election.
And surrogates were unable to draw from the keg, and nail him for dragging his feet to fix the economic mess and inability to take charge to catastrophe security concerns that plague the country.
However, while flip flops have become the norm for the SLP over the last four-and-half years, the UWP has been under constant restructuring – as such they are not ready to govern. This is based on most observers’ analysis to only “disappointments and dreadful happenings.”
Thus, how will the UWP provide Chin, Chin, Chin (change) in the pockets of Saint Lucians? Does the smugness to irony that is consistent with exceptional weakness and bewilderment matter anymore?
For instance, when Jesus’ reply to the Pharisee who showed him Caesar’s golden image was in fact usefully ambiguous – he did not specify what exactly belongs to God and what to Caesar.
And so, in this current reality, personal responsibility will be required to render what belongs to God, the Sabbath, religious beliefs and what to Caesar.
Until then, the final voters list for General Elections is expected to be published on Monday, May 30. Advance polling will take place on June 3, and General Elections will be held on June 6, 2016.
There can’t be any flip flop with that… “the die is cast”! Here’s hoping, the art of the “die” belongs to the people.
Melanius Alphonse is a management and development consultant, a long-standing senior correspondent and a contributing columnist to Caribbean News Now. His areas of focus include political, economic and global security developments, and on the latest news and opinion. His philanthropic interests include advocating for community development, social justice, economic freedom and equality. He contributes to special programming on Radio Free Iyanola, RFI 102.1FM and NewsNow Global analysis. He can be reached at: [email protected]