While making it clear that he does not intend to leave the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) although he will relocate to head a community college in Anguilla, Dr Karl Dawson said he is not pleased with the divisive turn the local politics has taken over the last 10 years.
According to him, the situation sometimes descends into abuse.
“If you look over the last five/10 years, we have really gone into a level of partisanship as far as politics is concerned that we’ve never seen prior to those years. And, again, as we look across the isle, those who are sitting in the House [of Assembly] must realize that yes ‘you are looking at patriots – you really looking at persons who have made some level of sacrifice to serve their country’. It is sometimes abusive as, when you get in the House, people tend to abuse you.”
“As strongly as you may feel your views are different from theirs, I do believe that everyone who sits in the House has some sense of wanting to serve the country. That ought to be the unifying force,” Dr Dawson reasoned.
He noted that it is natural for political parties to be distinguishable, but said that can be achieved without acrimony. “We do have to point out to the public – sometimes assist the public in showing the differences between one side or the other. But that can still be done in a way that does not break the community apart,” added Dr Dawson.
The college principal, who unsuccessfully contested the 2015 general election for the VIP, said technology will help him to bridge the gap while he is abroad.
“Certainly [I will remain a member of the Virgin Islands Party]. I am a member now, and expect to remain a member. In this electronic age, the communication channels are wide and vary. So there is opportunity to continue to stay in touch pretty much on a daily basis.”
“In 2015, I contested the elections. Going in, I know that once you have put yourself in as a politician, that politician label will stay with you pretty much for the rest of your life. So, I have to consider that, and say ‘yes I am going in’. I think that certain things are moving in directions that I do not think is right and – rather than just sit on the side – I need to go in and make a difference,” Dr Dawson said during the Speak Out BVI programme on ZBVI Radio last evening.
He added, “It (politics) is certainly not off the list for me. I will have to see what the future holds. But I will continue to support the party as best as I can. We will see what the future holds as far as the electoral process is concerned.”
In the meantime, President of the VIP Dr Natalio Wheatley stated that Dr Dawson has been an asset to the political organization.
“You are a man of great principle, great vision, and great ideals. Those are very useful and helpful in the process of rebuilding the Virgin Islands Party… Once we are well into this process of rebuilding, the party is gonna be stronger than ever, because that’s really the type of leadership that the Virgin Islands needs,” Dr Wheatley further said.
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