Political analysts say third parties need to bring new ideas

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Political commentators have said if a third party is to be successful, in Antigua& Barbuda, its leader must come with novel policies.
The political leader of Tobago’s Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Watson Duke said criticisms that third parties in the region have failed to present new policies to the people are fair.
“I think a lot of third parties are quite lazy… you cannot expect to win an election based on familiarity,” he said. “You must bring ideas that are quite out of the box. But once you present yourself in the box, those ideas must be known to people.”
Duke made the comments whilst speaking on OBSERVER media’s Big Issues during a discussion focused on the viability of a Joanne Massiah led party in the nation’s political arena, which has been dominated by the United Progressive Party and the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party.
On Monday, the PDP, a third party, brought an opposition element back into the Tobago House of Assembly winning two seats from the Peoples National Movement (PNM). In the last four year, the PNM controlled all 12 seats in that assembly.
Duke said that during his preparation for elections in Trinidad & Tobago, his team canvassed the populace to uncover what their needs were and made the resulting ideas their mandate.
He emphasized the need for third parties in Caribbean democracy, but added that these parties must be “relevant”.
“There must not be parties that are there out of vexation or anger. They must be meaningful parties,” he said.
The PDP boss said these parties would represent voters who are not interested in the main political entities, and are looking for something different. However, he warned that establishing this image would “take time and hard work”.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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