Amid the National Democratic Party’s (NDP) reluctance to push any of its candidates, except its leader, into a political debate, Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Chairman Andrew Fahie is describing the NDP’s position as impractical.
The NDP, whose leader is Myron Walwyn, seemingly believes political debates should happen among the leaders of the respective parties and not necessarily that of district candidates. But Fahie said the territory’s Westminister model of politics is what makes the NDP’s reasoning flawed.
Fahie argued that, based on the Westminister model, a person is not guaranteed to win the electoral seat they contest even though they are the political leader of a particular party.
“That’s why it’s important for debate by districts so that each person can understand the level of thinking and the quality of life that a representative wants to be implemented … Every candidate that is running can end up the premier,” he said.
“For example, if you have Party X and the head [of that party] is an At-Large candidate and they lost their seat but seven other members win, then they have to make a decision on which out of the seven in the same party will become the head. That is some of the dynamics involved with the Westminister model that we have,” Fahie reasoned.
The VIP leader said he will not shy away from a leader’s debate but said such a debate should only happen after district debates have concluded.
He further ridiculed the NDP for refusing to participate in any further district debates. Before the NDP made its position on debates known this week, it had fielded Dr Hubert O’Neal to participate in the now-concluded Ninth District Electoral Debates.
The NDP’s Dr Hubert O’Neal’s performance in that debate has been described by some as underwhelming.
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