by Linda Straker
“Showing Patriotism” and “Advancing the Principles of Self-Reliance” are 2 of the 12 core principles announced by the opposition National Democratic Congress at the launch of its Policy Agenda to cover the years 2017 to 2030.
Presented to the public on Thursday night, Political Leader Nazim Burke said that the Policy Agenda is not a manifesto, but a document setting out a framework for investing in the future of Grenada and the Grenadian people.
“This Policy Agenda defines the broad goals and objectives of our party, and is intended primarily as a guide for decision making, although there are some specific programmatic proposals stated. Our Manifesto, when it comes, will properly detail our plans, programmes and projects which we intend to implement,” Burke told the packed Trade Centre which has a seating capacity of approximately 1,200.
Burke, who was introduced by former Political Leader and Prime Minister Tillman Thomas, explained that the Policy Agenda incorporates their vision, 12 core principles, political philosophy, belief in self-reliance, and commitment to transform Grenada.
The core principles are:
- Acknowledging the Supremacy of God
- Showing Patriotism
- Demonstrating a High Level of Personal Integrity
- Advancing the Principles of Self-Reliance
- Securing Grenada’s Economic and Social Development
- Putting People First
- Empowering the Youth
- Education First
- Protecting the Poor, Vulnerable and Disadvantaged
- Protecting Women and Children Against Violence
- Recognising the Value of the Diasporian Community
- Creating a Social Partnership.
Describing the Policy Agenda as a mixture of principles and policies intended to achieve social cohesion and economic transformation of the Grenadian society, Burke said that its broken down into 5 pillars:
- A Framework for a Well-Ordered and Equitable Society
- A Framework for Economic Growth and Sustainable Job Creation
- A Framework for Personal Social and Physical Development
- A Framework for the Development and Empowerment of Carriacou & Petite Martinique
- A Framework for Diaspora, Regional and International Cooperation.
“Altogether, in this Policy Agenda we have addressed 26 different areas of public policy which we believe speak to the aspirations, wishes, needs and circumstances of our people,” he said.
The Party used the occasion to unveil its rebranded logo and symbol. Vincent Roberts, Party Chairman said that the new logo is to signal the new approach of the NDC as the party presents itself as a credible alternative to the government.
“The logo now incorporates the three national colours — Red, Gold and Green. This inclusion of the national colours is a break with the colour divide in our country and is something the people asked for. We have heard your call, and as our Party Leader said, “We are prepared to demonstrate, in word and deed, that there is a place for every Grenadian on this journey and that no one will be left behind,” Roberts said.
The heart remains; it is the registered symbol of the NDC and is representative of our love and commitment to the people and patrimony of our nation.
The new branding also signals a departure from the past and the embracing of new attitudes, different approaches, new thinking, the application of new methodologies, and the indication of a new hope and a new level of tolerance among us all.
The presentation of the policy comes weeks after the party admitted that three political strategists from Jamaica who are associated with the People’s National Party (PNP) are providing guidance as part of the preparation process for the party to get ready to contest the next general election, which is constitutionally due by early 2018.
“We are seeking their opinion and their assessment of our systems, and what they consider our level of preparedness. We have agreed to have frank dialogue with them and to give them access to our systems and process procedures, so it can assist in making that determination,” Roberts told a news conference in late August 2016.