Is Vieux Fort South Lacking Strong Leadership?

When Dr. Kenny Anthony took over the leadership of the Saint Lucia Labour Party in 1997, he was a colossus of a politician, meaning he commanded respect from both sides of the political aisle. The people in his chosen constituency, Vieux Fort South, gave him an enthusiastic welcome. When he won the seat that year, handsomely to say the least, he began a love affair with constituents that has not deteriorated into a divorce, nor a separation, irrespective of what has gone on in the constituency in the past, or the present.

This year will make it 26 unbroken years the former prime minister has been giving political representation to the people of Vieux Fort South. This can be translated to mean that Dr. Anthony, as the political leader of that constituency, has been looking out for constituents while carrying out the duties of his office as a minister of government. It can also mean that over the years, Dr. Anthony represented his constituents’ preferences.

The question arising is, how could the constituency be in the state of criminality that it is in today if Dr Anthony was and continues to do the above?

Could it be that Dr. Anthony’s representation diverged significantly from his constituents’ preferences, over the years, and that the end result is what we are experiencing in Vieux Fort South today?

These are serious questions worthy of discussion, in light of what is happening in the constituency today. Lest it be said that the questions are unfair to the former prime minister’s stewardship of his constituency, it must be remembered that at some point parliamentary representatives will find themselves at odds with their constituents’ preferences. This happens all the time.

Hence another question: What important factor/s could have driven such a divergence if indeed such is the case and what can be done to improve congruence?

We are also aware of the possibility that there may be no conflict of preferences between Dr Anthony and his constituents and he, over the years, has been giving and continues to give genuine and authentic, representation to the people of Vieux Fort South.

This raises yet another question: Assuming Vieux Fort South had and continues to have strong political and community leadership over the years, how then could it have fallen into the state of criminality it is in today?

Are we to assume that the political and community leaders over the past 25 years dropped the ball on their watch?

Prime Minister Philip J Pierre, at a press conference this week, spoke of targeting the constituency with more social intervention programmes, in an effort to create a more conducive and productive environment for residents.

We are not privy to the type of social intervention programmes the prime minister is referring to, however, we are skeptical of the impact of these programmes, because this is not the first time a prime minister has spoken of social, economic and other programmes for the southern part of the island.

Government after government has given the people an expectation that Vieux Fort would take an economic leap under their watch. Despite being home to an international airport, an industrial freezone and other economic activities, Vieux Fort, sadly, never took that leap.

Twenty-six unbroken years of being the parliamentary representative of a constituency in a country that is highly politically divided, is no small feat.  It is a big deal. With the current state of affairs in Vieux Fort South, can anyone be faulted for saying that there could very well be an absence of committed leadership in the constituency?


  1. I can say without any fear of contradiction that the Voice editorial is too soft on Dr. Kenny Anthony. Dr. Anthony should have exited elective politics from the time he resigned from the leadership of the St. Lucia Labor Party. He had three terms to implement his ideas, vision, or political ideology, whatever this may be. You cannot be a successful political leader or a prime minister if you are thin-skinned, timid, indecisive, and refuse to consolidate your base nationwide. Those characteristics are the tragic flaws of Dr. Anthony. Like the old white US senators, Dr. Anthony does not know when to call it quit. And, as a result, Vieux Fort and St. Lucia will pay an immense price for his lust for power.

    In all fairness, Dr. Anthony sounds very professorial when dissecting and analyzing constitutional issues. But this does not qualify him to be a suitable representative for the people of Vieux Fort. I love Dr. Anthony but he does not have the gravitas to be a modern-day leader.

    In my last letter to my native home Saint Lucia, I address the importance of a well-structured home discipline, I recall growing up with my grandma, after her loving spouse pass away, leaving her to raise eleven children of different ages, it is a hard job an impossible feat for the faint of heart, but not my grandma, yes she did and boy what a job, they are now grown-ups and respectable pillar of the community, that takes me back to making my point, even at the old age of twenty my grandma would use the rod of correction to discipline and to command self-respect.
    If you should ask me what has that to do with anything, well you just have not gotten the reasoning behind my madness, that is to say, if you spear the road, you may spoil the child, the youth of today are being spoiled with lack of discipline, some parents do not raise the children, at an early age children raise the parents because they allow it to be so, some strive to work like a mule just to give them the luxury of everything, showing off their wealth through their offsprings, while others uphold the malice and wickedness practice at an early age.
    Our salvation is in our children, they are tomorrow’s generation, who eventually will have to govern our little Island, how can we not prepare them with morality and self-awareness to a perfect standard? I do not see things at the political level, nor do I want to see, I do not brown-nose anyone, not ever! Am just me, but I am not on trial here and therefore will say out loud, what others are only thinking, youths of Saint Lucia I ask you to get with the program, in my days of growing up, if you ask me what would I like to be after graduation, I would reply a policeman of course, the reasoning is because of the discipline my grandma install in me, so here is to all grandma’s, to all mother’s and father’s raise your children according to the words of the Lord, Almighty God has left you a blueprint to follow.
    If you raise them right they may wander but certainly return to the fold, youths we need you to stand predominately for justice, in the land of sunshine, your Saint Lucia, for the country, and yourself with inherited pride.
    Remember youths to everything there is a season, and the most beautiful flower blooms and is faded after a while, we are gifted to strike at a prime moment and is taken away leaving the balance of the work for the newcomer, why boast of past accomplishment, or bring back failures, why not take a stance yourself and make your mark, quit he say she say while the Island is being infested by thieves and murderers, rise and give your brains a racking, find a remedy you lacking or sure as fate they will send you packing.
    To all Saint Lucian leaders who have come forward to serve to start with my grand uncle Montgomery Lewis, and cousin Vaughn Lewis, John Compton, and Kenny Anthony, salute! we need more heroes like you, country before yourself, no time to reason why or you may miss the mark.
    I employ to you youths of Saint Lucia, harness your pride if you still have any, and take back your Island community by community, let the light shine and banish sorrow, too many woes, and too many sorrowful parents grieving next to the grave of eternity. You can do it or better yet it’s your responsibility to safeguard your home in beautiful Saint Lucia.

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