With a twist
There’s nothing quite as invigorating as being on the ground on Polling Day, seeing so many people actively engage in the democratic process. It started with a very early morning stop at the polls in District Six, which ended up being quite the race to watch. That evening, the air in the auditorium was positively buzzing while a Beaconite was busy covering the live reading of the 2023 general elections results. It was interesting to witness the ebb and flow of emotions as witnesses absorbed the numbers, eventually coming to the realization that a coalition government was on the horizon. The final composition of that government was solidified on Tuesday with the new administration being sworn in. The reporter’s feet may have gone numb while she crouched below the pool of media documenting the historic moment, but she wouldn’t have missed it for anything. She wishes all the candidates well now that the race has concluded, and hopes they get some well-deserved rest. But after a breather, she looks forward to seeing campaign promises fulfilled and direly needed improvements made.
Waiting in agony
On election night, another Beaconite closely watched the change of facial expressions at the Multi-purpose Sports Complex. While he was excited to know who won, he was also excited to see so many families out that night to witness the release of the voting information. Couples, mothers and fathers with children, the elderly, residents and visitors all gathered to see who won. But as the hours went by, some smiles transitioned to worry. It was a wait which told a story of concern on the faces of families excited to know who their leaders would be for the next four years. The Beaconite was particularly happy to see children in attendance. As they grow, they will be aware of who their leaders are and whether they were at a history-making event. They may one day tell their children of that night back in April 2023. Whether the attendees at Monday night’s event welcomed the results or not, one thing is for sure: They were all in. As for the leaders, they now have a mandate to fulfill. They should understand by now how their conduct from election night onward will impact the minds of those who waited in agony to hear if they won.
A Beaconite who has covered five elections in the Virgin Islands has never seen one that ended in a coalition government. Perhaps as a result, he has never before seen a Polling Day that didn’t end in a wild late-night or early-morning motorcade. But because the winner of government was not decided Monday night, everyone went home relatively quietly. He was sorry to miss a good motorcade because he enjoys the exuberant celebration. But he also knows a coalition is always a possibility in the ministerial system.
In the midst of all of the election craziness, a Beaconite celebrated Eid amongst family and friends in Connecticut. She was happy to see so many people after a long time and was wished a happy holiday by her friends in the Virgin Islands. She was also able to witness Ramadan celebrated in Morocco and the different ways Moroccan culture coincides with the religion. One of her favorite places that she saw was the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. With all of these experiences, the reporter is grateful for the time she’s had to explore more of the world and connect with those closest to her. With a changeover of government and new political beginnings for the territory, she hopes that leaders will keep sight of what’s truly the most important thing: the people of the Virgin Islands.