In this article of 11 May 2007 published in the Nation newspaper, Reudon Eversley discussed the behaviour of the Caribbean voter as demonstrated in the recently held general elections in St. Lucia and Bahamas. In both cases the incumbents were expected to do well but it seems that the Caribbean voter is becoming intolerant of the entrenched governments and contrary to what transpired in the past; they are quietly prepared to indicate dissatisfaction on E-Day. This growing trend would have been noticed by Prime Minister Arthur who any day now is expected to announce the much guarded general election date in Barbados. What we know for a fact is that it will be called sometime between now and November 2007. Going into next year is unrealistic for obvious reasons, one should always avoid “pigeon holing” oneself.
So until the election date is announced by Prime Minister Arthur the “silly” season has officially begun – delayed by the CWC 2007 – and the Barbadian electorate perhaps for the first time since being able to vote will have to make an important decision. Should the BLP be retained, which is a party greatly perceived on a legacy of improving the economic prosperity of the country? Or should a surging DLP, a party which has been in abeyance, some would say turmoil for nearly two decades and living in the shadow of Errol Barrow be given the opportunity to build on the performace of the BLP which appear to be suffering from the usual third term lethargy.
BU is in no doubt that Prime Minister Arthur being the consummate political tactician that he is would have already made some of the observations made by Eversley in his column. Logic therefore dictates that if he intends to win a fourth term he will be drawing on all of his political savvy to “nail David to the cross”. Of serious concern to Arthur must be the very large group of respondents in the last CADRES poll which indicated that although they were satisfied with Arthur’s leadership they still wanted change. The expectant euphoria derived from a windfall from CWC 2007 has nullified the trump which Arthur had up his sleeve as the “teaser” to call an early election. It begs the question if Arthur has a back-up plan. It appears that a further setback has been suffered by Arthur during the closing of the last budget debate, where a broadside was launched by Leader of the Opposition David Thompson concerning certain party donations which were received to Arthur’s personal account. The Barbados political landscape is therefore fused with some excitement at how those people who are dissatisfied with government according to the CADRES poll will behave.
All the above provides context to support the proposition that Arthur maybe overstaying his welcome. In the United States the Electoral College shields the public from directly voting for a president and the output of it all is that a US president cannot occupy the office for more than two 4 year terms. In the United Kingdom which practices a system similar to ours there is a tradition of Prime Ministers resigning from the position whilst in office. The recent decision of the current Prime Minister Tony Blair exemplified the point. BU is of the view that the changing of a Prime Minister after 10 years gives the opportunity of the party to rejuvenate and ultimately get stronger given the advantage of being in government. It appears that in Barbados and the Caribbean our leaders have the belief that once elected Prime Minister; it becomes a life long appointment. BU thinks that it reflects a selfish act on the part of our political leaders.
Arthur is on record as stating that he has some things he want to finish, at the top of his list is to make the dream of a CSME a reality. They are some that believe that to complete this task is important to his legacy. Others put forward what some may think is a frivolous reason that his new wife wants to experience her moment in spot light as First Lady. Whatever reason he has for pushing for a fourth term; it is apparent even without quantitative analysis that the invincible aura which resulted in the long Arthur coat tails of previous elections have been seriously shortened.
His resignation may still allow the BLP to reinvent itself to a Barbadian public still wary of electing the long suffering DLP.
IS OWING going to announce that he will not run again?
Maybe, just maybe, he realizes that the game is up and like most big ups when the time has come, decides to exit stage left.
The usual quote is “I want to spend more time with my family ”
Maybe some others are ready to jump ship.
All the more reason for a “Mens Only Club” to start circling the wagons for the fallout?
Regular visitor~Arthur would have to have “balls” to step down now. Power is an infectious feeling we understand.
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Step down and do what? There is no life for Owen Arthur after politics just as he himself confessed there was none before politics!
Let’s see what the BFP Tuesday lawsuit update has to say. He may resign or step down & move to the island where his bank is located. Is the big house obtained from ? (COW) up for sale?
If Walcott could ever win that seat after the way he has mismanaged the ministry of health we Barbadians deserve nothing better than licks.
By the way noticed how the blp is loaded with those of uncertain gender is this a new trend???
My count now is DLP 21 BLP 9
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