Opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) caretaker for St John’s Rural North, Joan Underwood has put the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party’s June 2014 general election victory down to the public’s desire to send a message to the
UPP rather than an overwhelming endorsement of the ABLP.
Underwood, who served as an ambassador but had no senior role in the last UPP administration, made the remark while comparing the local election results to the 2016 US Presidential election result. She argued that Donald Trump was victorious because of a desire to send a message against Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.
“It’s a phenomenon. I don’t think it started in the US where the electorate makes decisions with self-interest, without truly considering the consequences of those decisions…in sending that strong message, the unintended consequences are devastating,” Underwood said.
“It happened in June 2014 right here. Persons wanted to speak out against the adverse economic circumstances in which they had found themselves under the latter part of the UPP second term in office,” Underwood said.
The former ambassador said the UPP was punished for taking fiscally responsible decisions that hurt the lifestyles of many residents and citizens, who felt the UPP had forgotten about them.
“In the context of what was happening globally, we had an administration which made some choices in terms of fiscal responsibility and conservative approach in terms of governance and finance which adversely impacted where people live and how they feel, and their realities on the ground, and because of that people in coming out to vote in June 2014 sent a strong message to the UPP,” Underwood said.
The UPP caretaker argued, however, persons worsened their situation by electing the ABLP into office and their policies are incoherent and illogical.
Meanwhile, UPP Chairman D Gisele Isaac argued the electorate in Antigua and Barbuda is too docile and failed to exercise their power in holding the government to account outside of general elections.
“Unlike the American people, we don’t know our power. Unlike Europeans we don’t know our power. We are unfortunately saddled with this notion that our rights and our privileges, if you want to call them that, come and emanate from the government in power,” Isaac said.
More in today’s Daily Observer.