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Trend suggests appointed PMs lose at the polls: Gonsalves

Jamaica's Andrew Holness is the latest appointed prime minister in the Caribbean to be rejected by the electorate.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – there seems to be a trend where persons who are appointed prime minister in the Caribbean lose when they face the electorate, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday.

He was at the time responding to a question from a journalist.

Gonsalves, a political scientist, mentioned Arnhim Eustace in St. Vincent, Vaughn Lewis and Stephenson King in St. Lucia, and Portia Simpson Miller and Holness in Jamaica, all of whom have led their parties to electoral defeat after being appointed prime minister.

“The politics is often not simple arithmetic, it is algebra. So, not every case you would necessarily see it happening but there seems to be some kind of trend there,” Gonsalves said.

“And, I will tell you this: when you get it like that and people reject you, I don’t know cases where anybody got it back,” he further stated, adding that Holness “is probably young enough” to have another chance at becoming prime minister.

“It is not so easy. People form their impressions of you; whether you are made of prime ministerial timber or not. It doesn’t matter what the propaganda says. It doesn’t matter what those in the salons who support you want to say. That’s how the cookie crumbles,” Gonsalves said.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Trend suggests appointed PMs lose at the polls: Gonsalves

  1. Poor Ralph! Stupid Ralph!

    Posted by L Sutton | January 6, 2012, 00:20
  2. L-SUTTON, why is Dr. Gonsalves poor and why is he STUPID?

    Posted by vincypowa | January 6, 2012, 01:03
  3. What about Roosevelt Skeritt? Wasn’t he inexperienced and appointed? Portia was also appointed a few years ago…….she is now PM…..the argument is shaky at best and reckless at worse…..

    Posted by Mark | January 6, 2012, 06:09
  4. No Comment

    Posted by Olbap | January 6, 2012, 13:00
  5. Disappointing article. Expected an analysis of the the statement. There is much room for discussion in the piece. On another note every time PM Gonsalves name is mentioned some responders get negative. I do not read responses that gets negative/personal. Its dumb! Be more minded! We can do better.

    Posted by More Tark | January 6, 2012, 13:40
  6. @ Mark
    I agree that its a very shaky argument. Not reckless, but definitely shaky. I will say that, actually listening to the press conference, it was clear that the JOURNALIST had a theory that he was trying on get Gonsalves to comment on… Gonsalves danced around it, saying its not that simple, but he did finally end up with his shaky argument.

    From memory, here is the recent list of PMs who “got it” not via election:

    1. Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica — (former PM died in office) — Skerrit has been reelected twice
    2. Stephenson King, St. Lucia — (former PM died in office) — lost the election
    3. Hugh Shearer, Jamaica — (former PM died in office) — lost the election
    4. Bernard St. Jon, barbados — (former PM died in office) — lost the election
    5. Fruendel Stewart, Barbados — (former PM died in office) — Jury is still out, elections soon, but he’s in trouble
    6. Portia Simson-Miller, Jamaica — (former PM stepped down) — lost the election, but later reelected
    7. Andrew Holness, Jamaica — (former PM stepped down) — lost the election
    8. Arnhim Eustace, SVG — (former PM stepped down) — lost the election

    So, as of now, you can say Skerrit is the “exception to the rule.” But if Stewart wins in Barbados, there probably is no “rule”. (I think Erskine Sandiford in Barbados was appointed after Errol barrow died, and then won the subsequent elections, but i am not sure… There were a couple other PMs who died in office, but they were from a long time ago. Anyone else?)

    Portia was an appointee who won the most recent election… but she was running against another “appointee,” so one of them had to win, lol. So I guess it cancels out in Jamaica. (Although Gonsalves saying “when you get it like that and people reject you, I don’t know cases where anybody got it back,” is b.s., cuz Portia was rejected and won back, albeit against another appointee)

    Posted by Vincy Patriot | January 6, 2012, 13:53
  7. Vincy Patriot, I have a FEELING that Skerrit is the EXCEPTION to the RULE.

    Nevertheless, maybe we need to delve DEEPER into dynamics of what led to Skerrit to become the youngest leader in Caribbean.

    For example, was the UWP a FORMIDABLE OPPOSITION PARTY at that period in time, and was its LEADER a FORCE to be reckoned with?

    What state was the ECONOMY in when Skerrit called his first general elections?

    Maybe the answers to these questions and more made Skerrit the EXCEPTION to the RULE.

    Moreover, none of the others was as young as Skerrit when they took over the LEADERSHIP of their party and country.

    Furthermore, Skerrit is the only one who replaced a deceased PM who himself replaced a deceased PM, all in the same term.

    In other words, Skerrit replaced Pierre Charles (died in office) who replaced Rosie Douglas (died in office)…in one term, Dominica had three different PRIME MINISTERS.

    So yes, Skerrit is the EXCEPTION to the RULE.

    Posted by vincypowa | January 6, 2012, 21:22

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