Post General Election 2013: A Time to Decompose the Rhetoric

Building a brighter future

Building a brighter future

After what has been described as one of the most bruising political campaigns in history of Barbados, the commonsense approach is for all Barbadians to quickly put our shoulders to the plough in the interest of country. There is no time for the traditional honeymoon period. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart needs to quickly get his human and other resources in position. The current state of the local economy is well documented and should not become loss in the euphoria of an election victory.  The prospect of a challenging winter season does not bode will for the country in the short term. Restructuring the economy will take time.

The dust has not settled after 2013 General Elections but the BU household continues to be concerned about the relatively low voter turnout. The data for the 2013 General Election are (not datum) still being crunched but  according to CADRES we had about a 60% turnout in 2013. The question which Barbadians need to ask is whether this situation should continue to go unaddressed. It was interesting to listen to Mia Mottley in an interview after the general election result was known. Her focus on the need to address governance issues should align well with Prime Minister Stuart on this issue who is seen by many as a man of integrity.

Many Barbadians have chosen not to or fully participate in our democracy. Others who participate believe to place an X on a ballot paper at election day is their only requirement. BU hesitates to introduce the idea of compulsory voting in Barbados in order to promote the idea of the sanctity of the vote. Doesn’t compulsory voting shoot down the position that we are free under our constitution to vote or not vote? If not compulsory voting what? What about those in the 40% group who governments cannot boast that they are enfranchised?  It is evident – whether under a BLP or DLP administration – the political directorate continues to get an F grade concerning their ability to inspire and motivate a significant chunk of Barbadians to perform their civic responsibility. Should this be an issue?

An example of the threat to our system of governance is the increasing reports in the last two general elections of vote buying. It has become so blatant a practice that Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart felt compelled to devote a lot of time in his victory speech to the issue. In fact he stated that he saw it with his own eyes. He promised  before calling names to review the relevant laws which govern election practices. BU welcomes enforcement of the law but the concern must be the growing number of citizens who see nothing wrong in selling their votes. Some may go further to say the biggest concern of all is that those charged with implementing laws are guilty of breaking those laws without fear of challenge.

Those of us who have taken to social media to champion our views and causes must continue to be indefatigable in this pursuit. We all have a place at the table even though the traditional players may not agree. The narrow two seat victory given to the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) should serve as a reminder that many Barbadians are NOT happy about the current state of affairs in Barbados. Building a society must  sit solidly on a robust governance ideal which is successful in persuading every citizen to participate in all opportunities for decision making.

Congratulations to Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and team on your victory at the polls.

0 thoughts on “Post General Election 2013: A Time to Decompose the Rhetoric

  1. I just read page 4 of BarbadosToday.

    Is Peter Wickham so influential in Barbados that his criticism of the PM and the DLP is important to the country?

    What is your opinion of the article David or anyone else who read it.

  2. @Hants

    peter will soon become a spent force, he burnt his candles at both ends. he cussed the dems and he could not deliver as promised for the b’s. Wonder if he will still be retianed by starcom.

  3. Just read that there is a band in Barbados called BRASS SOUL.

    They were playing at Cost u Less today.

    Interesting name for a Bajan Band.

  4. Hants
    WIckham trying to wear too many hats, he can’t decide if he is a political scientist/columnist/analyst/talkshow host or Pollster.

    Can he as a talk show host separate his opinions from his research, does his opinions drive his research or is it the other way around?

  5. @ TTP
    Observing and other BLP yardflows gonna have to live five years of denial unless thet enter a detoxification program to unload some of the pressure which they had put on themselves looking for the DLP to go the way of the dinosaur. Notice how quick they have rolled out a new platform and a message entitled “ADVICE FOR PM STUART ” LOL

  6. @ Parkinson and Corrie Scott

    May I have a word, ef wunna listening. There is to be a new Cultural Industries Development Authority headed by a CEO (probably a PhD with some dance instruction experience). Tax payers money will be spent to employ even more academic types when there is already a Min of Culture which is charged with the exact same responsibility and an NCF as a begging and event planning arm.

    Again I say to you, what will it take before you recognize that you and your kind have been, are being and will continue to be taken for a ride. Already the development of the Bill has resulted in the gainful employment of a series of lawyers and public administrators to the tune of close to twelve MILLION dollars. And now we are to have another public servant refer to herself as a CEO, with a company car, a spanking new passport that is ready for loads of immigration stamps, lots of staff, professional of course, and all to serve in your name…. Stupse! Man say something …

  7. PETER and Starcom . i predict that his tenure with starcom would soon be over. Advertising dollars are at stake and his credibility has been blown to bit like the space shuttle would be indeed a challenge for Starcom to have to defend its name and reputation on a daily basis at the expense of losing audience because of Wickham. Wickham has once again proven that a person can indeed be their own worst enemy.First wikileaks and now the POISION POLL!

  8. over 40 years ago, i used to work in reveue collecting agency, and was told by an indian lady after refusing to be bribed, that every person could be bought, i still ponder about that statement

  9. Hants

    I mek the comment to get David back pun the Cultural Industries trail seein’ as how the poor Industrialists may have to be dealing with the Hon Mr Lime Lite once again. Look I know of a couple women in the Public service who are busy trying to complete higher level degrees in Cultural type topics … you know the history of kite design and so on … but they are public servants.

    If there is to be an effective CEO of any enterprise they must come with practical experience in hard selling because they are to be operating in the revenue department. But as usual this whole exercise will be about finding a job for some lonely party hack in need of official status.

  10. BAFBFP the way Mia has been treated she would be forgiven for crossing over but I think she is likely to hold strain and lead the BLP after Owen bows out gracefully to work on documenting his legacy.

  11. Green Monkey

    I did not have the Merricks project in mind at all! I understand that two substantial tourism related projects in Holetown are to start soon. A local retailer is also slated to begin significant refurbishment of its stores. It would appear that in the near future there will be a lot of activity in the domestic side of the Barbados economy. It is the foreign exchange earning side that remains problematic. I am not ascribing the potential economic upswing to the policies of the Government but that luckily for them the increased investment is coinciding with their return to office. I agree with the view that Barbados’ prospects with regards to foreign exchange earnings is a cause for much concern although I am told that the hotel bookings on the South Coast are very good at this time.

    Those that are heralding the expected ascendancy of Mottley should analyse her present involvement in the Four Seasons fiasco along with her stewardship of the Education Ministry as well as her stewardship of the BLP party funds when she was Opposition Leader.

  12. There will be NO InterSchool Sports. The DLP has once again shown their ineptitude and poor management to even get a lil school sports being held.

    They have not only let down adults but also children. WHY we put these idiots in office, I have no idea.

  13. I am not an economist but I can read and ask questions. I am concerned about two points that seem to be underlying the economic policy debate that are not quite factual. Now to me you cannot argue over facts, so if we accept these tow points as facts how does it affect some people’s views as to the appropriate economic policies. We are all supposed to be in constructive mode.

    1. When it said that we are collecting less VAT despite increasing the VAT rate, what does that mean. As I have listened to persons including economists like Owen Arthur, you would get the impression that the government is collecting less VAT revenue now than when the rate was 15%. When I check the data online what appears to be factual is that VAT revenues for the 2012 fiscal year is lower than the 2011 period, but still much higher than before the rate was changed from 15 to 17.5%
    vat 2008/2009 = 800ml
    vat 2009/2010 = 703.8ml
    vat 2010/2011 =764ml
    vat 2011/2012 = 938.9ml
    vat 2013/2013 = 923.5 ml

    Now if you did not understand this before, how does it affect your view of the VAT increase as being counter productive? Why have our commentators like Pat Hoyos and others not pointed this out? Are they ideologically opposed to tax increases, especially on higher income earners?

    2. There seems to be a notion that the foreign exchange reserves represent a pool of savings that the government can draw down on to finance an ease to the tax payers, or a sort of stimulus package. If government gives back allowances, cuts VAT and so on, the forex reserves are not a source of funds to pay for this. Now if the reserves are not a source of financing for a stimulus package, and you did not understand this before, how does it affect your view of the stimulus proposed by the BLP and supported by many, including Pat Hoyos in the nation today?

    What I have been made to understand is that when BLP aid use the reserves to stimulate what they really mean is that they accept there will be an outflow of forex if there is a stimulus, but because we have 19 weeks of cover instead of the accepted 12 weeks we can afford to some leakage. Now if you did not understand that before, are you keen on a program that the proposers accept is likely to lead to a loss of forex?

    Maybe there just are no easy answers and quick fixes out there. We also need to watch out for ideology as it relates to taxes and social services.

    • @Observing(…)

      To your 7:31 post; a good one.

      The point about forex was raised by Trained Economist a couple weeks (read comment) ago and BU’s response was that the only option for BLP in the short term was to increase the current account deficit. About the VAT analysis, not sure about what the numbers mean except to suggest that the wobble (lol) in the trend can be attributed to increase oil imports. Hopefully others will weigh in here.

  14. Is the PM also going to examine and act accordingly with those persons at the statutory bodies who have been giving out “three month contracts” over the past three weeks including on election day? What’s the difference between that and handing out cash. Will these people become permanent public servants who the tax payers have to continue paying because the dlp government will fire no one?

  15. In terms of the poll analysis, one of the questions I am asking in terms of the swing analysis is where does the swing go. There was a 4% swing against the DLP in St. Michael West for example but carrington still won. Does the swing analysis assume that votes swing from one party to the next, or does it anticipate that some may not vote at all?

  16. @baffy
    Always more in the mortar.

    @observer et. al
    Please note the slight difference (ing and er) between ourselves
    Re swing, we can safely accept that this election was unlike any other. See SMWC and SGS for example. Many will have to dig deeper for the “why’s” and some of the real reasons may never be revealed.

    @like it is
    Unlike many others on BU I am able to say

    “You were right”

    Psychology trumped statistics and probability. You have to admit though, the narrowness of the margin(s) will make for great political discussion.

    @yardbroom – hats off to you as well. We must discuss where integrity stands given the vote buying label that has been pinned on us.

    Gloaters usually end up eating their words eventually. It also shows that you do not or cannot comprehend the political and governmental significance of such a small majority. Time longer than twine.

    The fact that you can’t see through my “perceived pretense” or decipher my “leanings” means that your point is extremely dull and that your eraser accidentally rubbed out your ability to look past your bias. You may continue to shoot blanks at your humble messenger.

    The DLP resorted to less than desireable “tactics” this election. That is an indisputable fact. For balance these are tactics honed by the BLP in the past. Now, whether that allowed them to eke out a victory, I can’t say. Is it a blemish on the integrity card for the parties and country, yes. Was it politically necessary given the prevailing conditions..some may say absolutely.

    As a lover of democracy and proud Barbadian there were many things I personally witnessed that makes me sad for our country. B, D, P or Z, at the end of the day we are the ones who have to lay in the bed we’ve made for ourselves. I fear that bed is becoming quite uncomfortable.

    I await the direction and vision of OUR Prime Minister.

    Just ObservING

  17. @David
    Have a read of Pat Hoyos article which was NOT published by the Nation newspaper in the week leading up to the election. Commenter NationBLPnewspaper will be pleased…lol

    To be fair Hoyos wrote an article prior to the 2008 election in which he soft pedalled his support for the DLP ( probably fearful of retaliation). I’ll see if I can find it.

  18. @ ObservING
    …have you given any thought to taking a break from BU until you come to your senses… 🙂 Bushie misses the REAL Observing.
    It need not be quite as long as Old Onions’ recommended break (permanent), but it should be at least a month or so….

    Look man… if there was a 100% voter poll taken in Barbados the result would be something like:
    DLP – 42% (probability of voting – 60%)
    BLP – 36% (probability of voting – 90%)
    3rd Parties -1%
    Unsure but likely DLP – 8% (probability 20%)
    Unsure but likely BLP – 4% (probability 40%)
    BAFBFP and the other “don’t Cares and won’t EVER vote” – 5%
    Pat, Hants, GP and the overseas crew who CAN’T vote – 4%

    See if you can figure out why the DLP victory should really not have been such a shock.
    Anything that creates voting interest among the general population moves the chances of victory towards the DLP. …..therefore, any ‘less desirable tactics’ that may have upset you (and the BLP) simply exploited the reality on the ground.

  19. Well Owen Arthur’s 2013 slogan was “let the BLP put money in your pockets”

    Well lo and behold on page 26A of the Sunday Sun of 24 February,2013, Cynthia Forde is clearly demonstrating that she was not entertaining Owen’s message. Owen lost the election but Cynthia made sure she had her money in her pocket to shop at the same store Owen criticised !

    The FRACTURE……..continues !!

  20. @ mystified

    You are to be congratulated and will probably receive the NOTLK award not to be confused with the Golden Globe award some time in the coming week.

    You have been able in your succinct article to provide an acceptable synonym for the term buying votes that the average Bajan, certainly not Fumble, Cynthia nor George Pilgrim, are able to see… three month contracts!!!

    By the way NOTLK refers to the Night of the Long Knives and i would advise you that if you see any strange cars coming in the night to deliver this award you are advised not to answer your front door.

    In fact i would suggest that you cease using these blasphemous terms on BU because there is no vote buying conducted in the halls of the DLP, such is a sin that only the BLP is guilty of. You will note that i did not say Dale Marshall former BLP Deputy Opposition Leader, no Smiley Teets is above these practices.

    There is a falling out within a specific faction re: investments and serious financial underwritings were made for certain persons that were deemed “winning horses and could not loose the 2013 Election”. The monies invested were/are substantial and it is purported that the investors who advanced the monies but want to recoup it, at any cost.

    The Commissioner of Police and the Government Pathology Department are asked to stand vigilant in case any strange deaths occur in the next 3 months.

    Politicians and candidates “Be careful who you borrow money from”

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