KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Some opposition area representatives don’t ask the government for things on behalf of their constituents, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said this week.
Gonsalves made the point at a press briefing in which he said his government has responded to the request of Ottley Hall residents to have streetlights installed in the area.
“I remember when I was elected in 1994, [a constituent] came to my law office. He said, ‘Comrade, I know now that you go to Parliament you will give them hell; you will criticise the NDP administration.’ … He said, ‘But I want to advise on something else. You must beg’,” Gonsalves said in recounting the conversation.
“Well, I don’t say beg; [the constituent] said ‘beg’. Ask; make representation,” Gonsalves said in reference to the seven opposition area representatives.
“You don’t have to make representation just about members of your family or your own profession. Make representation about the people.
“And what sense it makes you come to Parliament — you feel you have to spend some time asking questions. Okay. But out of your questions you ask, there may be 10, 15, 20 things that may emerge that you want. You know that those 15, 20 things can’t be done now that you want done. But there may be five things, which you can get done.
“Talk to me; tell me what are those which you think, like for instance, the lights, … the police station, … some laptops, making sure the street is clean and the garbage is picked up, that medicine is in the hospital,” Gonsalves said.
“But not to use it in your belief that you have to use it in some grand charge and score some political points. It’s a different time. It’s a different time,” the Prime Minister said.