The Unity Labour Party Manifesto 2015
Table of Contents
My Dear Voters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
These are the fourth successive general elections in which I am accorded the honour of leading the Unity Labour Party (ULP). In March 2001, in December 2005, and in December 2010, the voters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines first elected, and then twice re-elected, the ULP to constitute the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We come again to ask you for your support, and your vote, to consolidate and extend the tremendous gains which our country has made thus far.
Our request for your support and your vote is based on seven main grounds:
The ULP has the people-centred vision, the philosophy, the historical sensibilities, the policies and the programmes to uplift further the quality of life of Vincentians of all walks of life.
The ULP has a record of outstanding, and unprecedented, achievements which have benefitted every family, and the nation as a whole. These accomplishments have been secured in the most challenging circumstances.
The ULP has a supremely talented team of candidates, containing diverse talents and a proper admixture of experience and youthfulness. Moreover, we are, and have been, since your election of us in 2001, a united and integrated whole, devoid of internal squabbling and confusion.
The ULP possesses a quality leadership which has been tried and tested in the extremely difficult circumstances of the worst global economic crisis for 100 years, and multiple natural disasters. The ULP’s leadership has made an immense difference for the better.
The ULP has kept its promises to the people in every area of public policy and thus has made St. Vincent and the Grenadines a much better place in which to live than before.
The ULP has a profound love for the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, individually and collectively, unmatched in our country’s history.
The ULP offers continued hope to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines accompanied by a reaffirmation of our faith in God, made manifest in the deeds of our people, in tandem with each other and their leadership, so as to enable us to achieve mighty things, individually and collectively, as a nation.
The ULP’s vision is centred on our people; our philosophy is that of social democracy fashioned from universalist principles and grounded in our own Vincentian and Caribbean historical and contemporary circumstances; our socio-cultural outlook is premised on the self-evident truth that we in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are a magnificent component of our independent, authentic Caribbean civilisation which has its trajectory for further ennoblement in the interest of our people’s humanisation; and our policies and programmes in every area of governmental endeavour are creatively designed and implemented to uplift the lives of our people.
All of this is well-known and is instinctively in the consciousness of our people. It resonates even in the hearts and minds of the Opposition, as was made plain in their leader’s public response to a query about their fifteen-year plans for St. Vincent and the Grenadines: “ASK RALPH!” Our government’s 12-year National Economic and Social Development Plan 2013-2025 is available to the public on the government’s website and in hard copy.
The ULP has delivered on its promises and pledges to uplift markedly the condition of life of our people and our nation in the following twenty central policies and programmes, among others:
✔ Jobs and Wealth Creation in the Real Economy (Agriculture, Fisheries, Tourism, Manufacturing, ICT, Assorted Services);
✔ Reducing Poverty and Undernourishment;
✔ Instituting and implementing the Education, Health, and Housing Revolutions;
✔ Strengthening Citizen Security;
✔ Improving the climate for doing business, including the facilitation of domestic and foreign investment;
✔ Ensuring fiscal consolidation, and stability of the financial sector and monetary system;
✔ Building up the country’s physical infrastructure including roads and bridges, seaport development, airport development (Canouan Jet Airport and the Argyle International Airport), sea and river defences, and road stabilisation;
✔ Revolutionising the many-sided arrangements for Comprehensive Disaster Management in the context of the harmful effects of adverse Climate Change globally;
✔ Putting Science and Technology, including ICT, at the centre of socio-economic life;
✔ Strengthening the National Insurance Services (NIS) and the Social Safety Net systems;
✔ Lifting real wages for workers in the private and public sectors;
✔ Reducing the incidence of taxation;
✔ Strengthening the delivery of Electricity, Water, Sanitation, Solid Waste Disposal, and Telecommunications Services;
✔ Boosting Sports and Culture;
✔ Developing special areas such as the Grenadines and areas north of the Dry River;
✔ Protecting and Improving the conditions of life of workers, farmers, the elderly, youths, women, sportsmen and women, cultural and creative artistes;
✔ Delivering good governance in every material particular, including clean and efficient government.
✔ Integrating our nation at home and in the diaspora.
✔ Deepening and extending regional integration and further ennobling our Caribbean civilisation;
✔ Enlarging the scope and efficacy of our Foreign Policy;
Over the next five years, the ULP pledges to consolidate and further extend its existing public policies and programmes which have been so beneficial to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Moreover, there are several major initiatives for full implementation over the next five-year period ending on December 31, 2020. Among the central pledges are the FIFTEEN STARS:
☆ The further creation of jobs and wealth; and the push to Zero Hunger;
☆ The push to Zero Hunger and the further reduction of poverty;
☆ The imminent opening and operation of the Argyle International Airport;
☆ The delivery of 12-Megawatts of Geothermal Energy within an overall plan for enhanced utilisation of renewable energy;
☆ The relocation and modernisation of the Port to the Bottom Town area; and the extension and enlargement of the Cruise Ship Pier at a new location in Arnos Vale;
☆ The further modernisation of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, and the relocation of some of its major departments to, and enhanced health delivery at, an Acute Referral Hospital to be built at Arnos Vale;
☆ The consolidation and deepening of the Education and Housing Revolutions;
☆ The start-up of the building of a modern city at the Arnos Vale site of the E.T. Joshua Airport consequent upon the commencement of operations of the Argyle International Airport;
☆ The rolling-out of the most ambitious programme ever of road construction and rehabilitation (including bridges), and the building of sea and river defences;
☆ The construction of the National Stadium;
☆ The re-development and upliftment of capital city, Kingstown;
☆ The further building of resilience to climate change leveraging international incentives to bring investment and green jobs to our country;
☆ The development of significant tourism plants including at Mt. Wynne-Peter’s Hope, Canouan, Union Island, Mayreau and Bequia; assorted tourism services such as the attendance of overseas students at the four Medical Schools, Cruise, Yachting, and “nature” tourism, will be further developed;
☆ The facilitation of major developments in agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, assorted services (including the expansion of ICT);
☆ The initiation of massive confidence-building measures to reduce markedly unwarranted political divisiveness and to aid the process of reconciliation, love and unity among our people.
These initiatives are at the centre of our efforts to shape our nation’s future together!
The ULP has demonstrated over the years that strong leadership, strategic thinking and action are its hallmarks. If one seeks to cross the developmental divide or chasm in baby steps, the inevitability is that one would fall at the bottom of the widening gorge. Accordingly, major leaps are required within a small, resource-challenged economy and society like St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the actualisation of genuine, sustainable development. Thus, the impressive path-changing accomplishments thus far and the large vision and accompanying policies/programmes for the next five years.
Timidity, learned helplessness, pessimism and a lack of faith in our people lead to hopelessness and non-achievement. The ULP offers boldness, courage, optimism, faith, hope, love, and the grace of right reason which all lead to progress and a better life.
Our team of candidates consist of five seasoned stalwarts from the ULP’s 2001 – 2005 electoral triumphs (Sir Louis Straker, Montgomery Daniel, Edwin Snagg, Herman Belmar and Comrade Ralph), four experienced leaders but yet of modest years from our election victory of 2010 (Saboto Caesar, Ces Mc Kie, Frederick Augustus Stephenson and Luke Browne), and six first-time candidates – new leaders with fresh ideas (Carlos James, Jomo Thomas, Debbie Charles, Berisford Phillips, St. Clair “Jimmy” Prince, and Camillo Gonsalves). Each of our fifteen candidates is of high quality, well-trained or educated in his/her field of endeavour, possessed of endearing attributes and personal achievements, and blessed with an enduring love for our people.
I am most grateful that Almighty God, the members and supporters of the ULP, and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole, have accorded me the honour and privilege of leading this especially gifted team of candidates in these 2015 general elections.
I promise to continue serving the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the best of my ability, in humility, with honesty and diligence, with love for all the people, in accord with the blessings of Almighty God, and in obedience to Him. I have dedicated my life to the service of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Caribbean; I have been a political activist for 47 years and have been a candidate in all the general elections since independence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 1979; I have been the representative for the people of North Central Windward for over 21 years; and Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for almost 15 years. I have acquired over the days and years of my life the knowledge, understanding, wisdom and experience, and have been accorded the gift of abundant blessings, to serve you in the Office to which you have elected me. Through all the vicissitudes of life, through all the changing scenes of life, I have kept close to you, cognizant always that the highest office in the land is that of citizen.
I am, and have always been, responsive and responsible to you. I have not been puffed up; I have not been rude to you; I have no malice towards anyone; I have kept no record of wrongs; I rejoice in your successes and feel the pain of your setbacks, disappointments, and difficulties. I have always been in solidarity with you simply as “Comrade Ralph”, your friend. And I love you very much. We must all love each other!
These are the last general elections that I am offering myself as Political Leader of the ULP. Please stay with me; please stand by me. I reiterate my request for your support and your vote. With your support and God’s blessings I pray not to leave behind any unfinished task.
In this 2015 Election Manifesto, packed with quality, practical policies and programmes for the next five years, the ULP presents the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines “A Beautiful 2020 Vision With Love”.
Let us shape our future together for the better with Labour love! Forward We Go: Four Inna Row!
Dr. The Hon. Ralph E. Gonsalves
Political Leader of the ULP