An Open let­ter to Ten­nyson Joseph Allen Chas­tanet Def­i­nitely Not What The Doc­tor Or­dered!

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By Monetta S. Wil­son

It seems you are ac­cus­ing the UWP of pay­ing for votes. I am writ­ing to let you know I be­lieve you as much as I be­lieve a cli­mate change pa­per au­thored by the Cen­ter for Sci­ence and Pub­lic Pol­icy. (The Cen­ter for Sci­ence and Pub­lic Pol­icy is a branch of the Fron­tiers of Free­dom In­sti­tute which was founded by Michael Wal­lop. “His ex­ten­sive busi­ness ca­reer in­cludes man­age­ment of the Wy­oming ranch hold­ings he owns and es­tab­lish­ment of a feed­lot. He jointly ven­tured oil and gas devel­op­ment pro­jects in Ne­braska, Mon­tana and Wy­oming.” http://www.ff.org/ about)

By that I mean to let you know I would like to see your raw data. I un­der­stand your need to de­fend your elec­tion pre­dic­tion that turned out so badly. Nev­erth­less, I still would like to see the raw data.

I would like to know on what you based your afore­men­tioned pre­dic­tion. I would like to know your sam­ple size. I would like to know how you se­lected the sam­ple. I would like to know your p val­ues. I would like to know which of your peers re­viewed your find­ings and what changes were made based on peer re­view. Ba­si­cally, I would like to see ev­i­dence of aca­demic due dili­gence.

Fur­ther­more, you have been quoted as say­ing “in Caribbean elec­tions . . . what swings those elec­tions is money.” Please cite a demo­cratic coun­try where this is not the norm. Did you per­chance con­sider the role of the psy­chol­ogy of the slo­gans used by the par­ties?

The Bet­ter Days Are Com­ing slo­gan of the 2011 elec­tions was pure mar­ket­ing ge­nius. Sim­i­larly this time round

yo pe and mwen fache were equally pow­er­ful. Think back to the 1997 elec­tions. I posit that no amount of UWP money would have mol­li­fied the dis­sat­is­fied elec­torate.

I fur­ther posit that “the peo­ple who can do money bet­ter are very often the ones who can in fact win an elec­tion” line was this time around most def­i­nitely in­cor­rect. I use the case of Dr. Ernest Hi­laire. He ran what most agree was some­thing al­to­gether new to Saint Lu­cia: a well-con­ceived and per­va­sive so­cial me­dia blitz never be­fore as­so­ci­ated with any lo­cal en­deav­our. For sev­eral weeks it was im­pos­si­ble to ac­cess the in­ter­net with­out Vote Ernest ads jump­ing out at you. He ac­com­plished 100% mar­ket sat­u­ra­tion. You could not visit an app store, Face­book, YouTube, In­sta­gram, Ama­zon— or any porn site—with­out be­ing re­minded to Vote Ernest. This in ad­di­tion to a ground cam­paign where it seemed ev­ery step you made landed on money. The at­mos­phere it­self was money-scented. By your hy­poth­e­sis, Dr. Joseph, by what the Cas­tries South win­ner had in his kitty, he should have been way more than just 43 votes ahead of his op­po­nent.

It’s not at all dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand your shock. I, too, was sur­prised by the mar­gin of the UWP vic­tory. I want to re­mind you, as head of So­ci­ol­ogy and So­cial Work at the Cave Hill Cam­pus of the Univer­sity of the West Indies, that your word car­ries tremen­dous weight. I want to re­mind you of the re­spon­si­bil­ity that comes with the po­si­tion—a re­spon­si­bil­ity to speak for those who can­not speak for them­selves; a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be guided by truth and facts, not in­flu­enced by fund­ing and crony­ism.

I want to also re­mind you of your re­spon­si­bil­ity as a son of Saint Lu­cia - your re­spon­si­bil­ity to your coun­try and its peo­ple. Our coun­try has re­ceived sev­eral black marks re­cently. Your sug­ges­tion that this elec­tion was bought serves fur­ther to tar­nish our rep­u­ta­tion and dele­git­imize our gov­ern­ment. Do your think that this is what our economy needs?

I urge you to con­sider the im­pact on the av­er­age Saint Lu­cian. Those of us fight­ing to make a liv­ing while striv­ing to make the land that gave us birth an at­trac­tive place to live, visit and in­vest in need all the sup­port we can get—in par­tic­u­lar from prom­i­nent and in­flu­en­tial brothers such as your­self.

There is so much more I could say on the topic but I think I have al­ready said enough to con­vince you to re­think your po­si­tion. Or at least to con­sider that there was more at play here on Mon­day than who spent the most money. I will leave it to others to de­ter­mine who threw around the largest sums and where those dol­lars orig­i­nated all of a sud­den.

A fi­nal ques­tion: Dr. Ten­nyson Joseph, on 6/6/16 did you vote?

Ten­nyson Joseph’s com­ments on fi­nance and pol­i­tics are caus­ing de­bate.

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