The Choiseul/Saltibus constituency group of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party has been urged to grow the constituency base and organise itself ahead of the next general elections.
Delivering the feature address to the annual general meeting of the group Sunday, Doctor Alphonsus St Rose asserted that organisation is the group’s biggest challenge.
The former President of the Saint Lucia Medial and Dental Association (SLMDA) declared that the opposition cannot regain the Choiseul/Saltibus seat with its current ‘base’.
“You have to grow the base,” St Rose urged.
He said the SLP constituency group has to educate its core supporters to understand that they cannot be territorial.
“You have to be inclusive,” St Rose explained.
“You have labour party supporters who walked out; you have to bring them back in. You have undecided voters – people who don’t know where they stand; you have to go and take them back in; you have from the opposition side people who are disenchanted and want something else – you got to bring them in,” he stated.
According to St Rose, at the end of the day it is a numbers game.
“2012 reminded us how one vote – four votes make a difference. You have to bring in everybody. You cannot afford to be parochial: ‘I ain’t talking to Flambeau. Mate’s a Flambeau.’ We need the numbers,” he asserted to scattered applause.
“You can only get those numbers if you are inclusive,” he declared.
“That participatory role that you the constituency group need to play is spelled out in the party’s constitution – that’s your role; you have to embrace it,” St Rose told his audience.
“At all levels, from leadership to ground we ought to be singing in the same key. We cannot be saying different things – the message has to be one message, and very clear,” he stated.
“Otherwise, we become very dissonant,” St Rose warned.
He told opposition members that the extent to which they can muster the support of constituents to derive and fulfill the national purpose of the constituency group, will define the SLP’s ability to regain the confidence of the people and remain a formidable force.
St Rose told members of the SLP group that they had to go back to the structure set prior to 1997.
He recalled that there was a constituency group and constituency divisions.
“These are the people on the ground. The divisions feed into the constituency group – constituency group feeds upwards. That has gone and that has to come back,” St Rose declared.
“That’s how you get to know what’s happening on the ground,” he explained.
“That is very critical – organisation is your biggest challenge,” St Rose asserted.
“All of this is a process that is time sensitive,” he told his audience, adding that the goal can only be realised through hard work, motivation and sacrifice.
“That work has to start very,” he stated.
“If you wait until the bell rings, it means you are too late,” St Rose observed.
He said building and cementing a sustainable relationship with constituents has to take centre stage.
“That work has to start from today,” St Rose said.
“You cannot wait for when elections are called – that is going to be a problem.”