Vote Buying on the Rise in Barbados

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart said he witnessed it.

Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart said he witnessed it.

The electoral system is one which Barbadians have been proud of until recent general elections.  The cries have been getting louder and louder from the public that votes have been bought on election day. Yes we have had political candidates in the past wooing the public with “corn beef and biscuits” at the village shop but that is where it ended. How big is the problem of vote buying in Barbados?

We have a situation in Barbados where both political parties appear to be guilty of the practice of throwing cash and items around to garner support. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart could hardly post general election to inform the public he witnessed vote buying on election day. His revelation was followed by a similar statement from an equally indignant Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite after his swearing in session at Government House.  Today in the news general secretary of the Democratic Labour Party George Pilgrim stated he had advised members of the public who witnessed vote buying on election day to call the police. One wonders if the Prime Minister called the police when he saw what he saw.

Members of the BU family who were around in 2008 may recall similar concerns raised about vote buying. BU actually posted a blog – Activities In The Farm On Election Day. What is unfathomable is that with all the cash, iPods,watches, herb that was reported to have been distributed on election day, there was only ONE arrest made by the police.

For some reason an alarm was been triggered when we listened to Prime Minister Stuart who spoke so fiercely on this matter on election night (early morning). At this point we will attribute the feeling to gut and keep it under wraps for the moment. What we know, and former BLP candidate for St. Michael North West confirmed it on the afternoon talk show, vote buying is being practiced by BOTH sides. BU wonders what Dame Billie Miller, who has been part of Observer Groups to monitor elections all over the world, must be thinking given the state of affairs which has arisen in Barbados.

The most disturbing aspect of vote buying brings two issues together. Those being bought represent the block (ZR, Minibus) element who come from the most depressed segment of our society and are prone to criminality given their socialization. This group which needs to have certain negative behaviours unfrozen are now being encouraged to do wrong by surrogates who they know represent the political hierarchy of Barbados. The second issue is that the large sums of money being ‘gifted’ must be coming from deep in the coffers of corporate Barbados or even worse, from ill-gotten gains. Ordinary Barbadians are aware of the close relationship which Bounty has to some of our politicos. We will not state any more on this for the moment.  All the indications are exposed to show that Barbados is well on its way to follow the path of a few of our neighbouring islands.

The question for some of us is what can we do to stem the drift. On the weekend a UWI, Cave Hill political scientist, Tennyson Joseph emphatically stated that there is practically little the government can do to stop the practice of vote buying. That was all we needed to hear. To quote Prime Minister Stuart, if we can’t solve these problems after exposing our people to tertiary education, why bother?

Good luck with building a society (please protect us from Pacha, Bush Tea and Baffy).

0 thoughts on “Vote Buying on the Rise in Barbados

  1. Something is wrong that the DLP won the elections and the Dems on BU cannot enjoy the victory. They are on the defensive and attacking anyone who raises the point that they won by buying votes.

    Something is rotten in Denmark!

  2. The C.U.P will see them in the courts ,
    The Coalition of Unified Parties broke no laws , took no funds , give nothing but the truth , and we will seek the truth ,
    Now, not only was a Massive Fraud on the Bajans of Barbados done to also to the clean Parties.
    We Will have our day in court , Stay turned and we went to the NATION , CBC , AND BARBADOS TODAY.

  3. Barbados going under. Captain the ship is sinking.

    “A good country with good people being led by a poor government”

  4. Hi Damani,
    I do not know you from previous blogs so I have no record on which to judge, but it is reasonable to give you in the first instance the benefit of any doubt.

    Now, you said you spoke to the Police and they told you that you have no substantive evidence on which they could proceed or launch an investigation.

    You then sought Legal advice and was told that the information you gave was not enough to be taken forward.

    However, you decided to go Public on your own bat and state that the Prime Minister ought to have known, on the basis that someone whom you cannot identify told you of events that were supposed to be taking place at his office.

    Election days are busy for candidates, do you know if the Prime Minister was in his office?

    In order to prove a case evidence must be produced. In a case of this nature it is not enough to say that you have heard of events in other Ridings, which gives substance to your story, that is not evidence that is hearsay.

    Can anyone corroborate your story, were you alone? Can anyone say that the person you saw, came from or works in the DLP’s office? a yellow shirt is not enough.

    I say this not to cast doubt on your story, but you said you will write to the Nation News. I hope you will not outline it as you have done here.

    – – – – – –
    Experience has taught me on BU and in politics generally 5 years is a very long time indeed. Think of it 2018, only time will tell who will last the distance or for that matter me.

    On my part I will now lay low, have a few long cool drinks and listen to some good music and let this volcano of anger blow itself out.

  5. I get your point Yardbroom, my case is exceedingly difficult to prove and it doesn’t help that the only other witness was my elderly aunt.

    But I want to know where this money was coming from because the operative certainly did not look like the wealthy type. Note that this incident occurred before election day while the operative was wearing a dems shirt and he told me to collect the money on election morning.

    If not Freundel, who gave the operatives this money to go and buy votes for him? That means that unknown third parties are involved and this makes the situation more sinister than I initially thought.

  6. Is the DLP really serious about vote buying. I am residing here in the United States and I saw for myself in the barbados nation the minister of housing Michael Lashey giving keys to a house in St. Philip to a family a couple weeks before the election. I also saw the prime minister in another edition in the nation giving keys to a family in St. Michael. If that is not the biggest form of vote buying then I don’t know what is. Those houses could have been given away without world knowing about them a couple weeks before the election. Wasn’t that a publicity stunt by the prime minister and the housing minister. We are not talking about last year we are speaking about a couple weeks before the elections. That is probably why the pm refused to call the elections because he had a couple more houses to build so that the whole world could see. Before the DLP is critical of anyone else the should look in the mirror and clean the mote out of their eyes. I think they are a bunch of hyprocrites.

  7. Vote selling is NOT new and frankly I would like to encourage everyone to GET INVOLVED since there is nothing more to be gained from the whole election exercise …!

  8. So..your response to me is to grow up? I thought reasonable adults explored all of the legal avenues while trying to expose wrongdoing as I have attempted to do. By growing up do you mean to say nothing?

    That is what you supposedly mature individuals are leading me to believe. That I should keep quiet because nobody will believe me and those who know I am telling the truth will either cry me down or leave me standing alone out of fear, depending on which side they support.

    I cannot and will not be silent because my conscience will not allow me to turn a blind eye to corruption.

  9. @Georgie Porgie,

    Maybe if more, including politics, found something ‘useful to do, we would not be in this mess.

    Then again, some apparently are very able at finding useful ‘things’ (including young ones) to ‘do’…in the biblical / literal sense…

  10. @GP PS – is that the new version of the age old ‘hokey pokey’?

    I guess the jump part is an addition of new fangled choreography…another raphy….

  11. That may also explain why the old gent with th wife with a hearing problem never made it to vote on the 20th….

    The night before he told his wife that he would be up at 6 am with the election…

  12. Or why the young gent with the dumb blonde wife also did not mak it to vote…

    He told her the night before that he could not wait to exercise his right and put his thing in the box the next morning.

  13. Hear the one about the political candidate passing a road on the South Coast last week at night?

    He stopped to give a girl 200 dollars. She promply jumped in the vehicle and gave him a good time.

    A bit surprised, even if happy, he smiled and then said ‘that was great, but all I wanted was for you to give me your vote’.

    She replied ‘ Vote? For you?’

    ‘THAT will be a thousand!’

  14. The politican was campaigning, working a district. He came to Mr.Brown’s property, walking through the odd chicken, duck and pig.

    Reaching the door, he knocked. Mr.Brown answered. ‘I am ….of the … party and wish to ask that you vote for me’. Mr.Brown replied that he does not vote.

    So the candidate asked ‘tell me, how much, 100, 200, 300?’

    Brown pondered, looked quizzically at the candidate and then said ‘fine come out back and do something for me, I dont want money’.

    When they went out back, Brown said ‘drop your pants and stick it through that hole for 5 minutes’.

    Somewhat taken aback, the candidate thought for a bit, but then, remembering he reallly wanted the vote and thinking that it cant hurt to put it in a hole for 5 minutes , obliged.

    As he did so, hee felt a sudden gripping and then proceeded a few minutes of terror but surprisingly, pleasure.

    After a little bit, it stopped and an old donkey emerged from behind the paling and trotted off.

    Shocked, the candidate turned to a pleased looking Brown and screamed you mek muh … a donkey?

    An abashed looking Brown then responded…very apologetically…

    ‘I am sooo sorry, but you see, Betsie is getting very old, so I just thought that if I put one jackass to another, I would get a nex one.’

  15. Crusoe

    HA HA HA … I wid you and GP… This selling vote thing is nothing more than a storm in a teacup. Caswell will tell you scores of more relevant violations that take place during an election that deserve a hell of a lot more scrutiny … HA HA HA

  16. @crusoe
    Lol. Ya killling muh.

    That’s a pretty big teacup! I could only imagine the size of the pots and pans!!!


  17. Oh please get off the paying for votes issue and tell us about Al Barrack and associates. Where are we on this issue? When will this next payment be made? Who really benefits? Al Barrack or associates? Are they really associates?

    David this buying vote thing is so miniscule I wonder why you even thought it necessary to raise it at this time. Enforce the law charging those found guilty of white collar crime in Barbados and then look at this vote buying.

    In Government today whose hands are clean? We know that the PM’s hands are clean let him place the others under investigation before naming his Cabinet. I agree with the call for Estwick as MOF – that’s provided he wants a Minister with clean hands. We are not telling the PM what to do but sharing views.

  18. Politics in Barbados here of late reminds me of the Russians during the Cold War. They tried everything to get the common Rhine Army soldier to sell them vital information .Offers of money, Easy payment plan on expensive items such as art pieces and encyclopaedia, free drinks, especially after an important military exercise . And when all of these failed, …. SEX was their ace up the sleeve, so they thought. Will this last item be on the list of sweeteners in future election campaigns in Barbados? I am still trying to work out what a young lady meant, when she asked me what can she personally do to get me to go out on election day and support he Mr X.

  19. Colonel Buggy,

    The young lady probably has daddy issues and was offering you “some”.

    The vote fuh he was just to get your attention.

    I also want to know if OFFERING to buy or sell votes is the crime because there is no legal way to prove that a voter did what he said he was going to do.

  20. @Observing

    deal with David’s question (the AG and PM). Now answer mine re speaking out…how many people have come out and said on this blog that they saw votes being sold or were witnesses to votes being sold even though it was widespread?

    Inter omnes constat -It is agreed among all- (hope my Latin is correct) The PM;AG other MPs both DLP and BLP said that some hanky panky went on in some ridings, for the record I heard of examples back in 2008 where money changed hands for house repairs, appliances etc. It seems that you and David want action – quam celerrime –as quickly as possible- from the PM or the Atty Gen. but the next Election is not on the immediate horizon so there is plenty of time to get legislation/rules prohibiting this practice by then.
    I just found it bizarre that out of all the ridings some stranger approached “Damani” in the PM’s riding and offered him money to cast his vote in a particular manner, conveniently the only witness is an old aunt (maiden?) who is an unreliable witness. Barbados is certainly a unique country where strangers approach you and offer you money and you are not even in the environs of Bush Hill.

    Someday I will take a course in creative writing, then perhaps I will be as good as Damani.

    • Sargeant

      There is no need to put laws in place: laws against buying and selling votes already exist. When the PM claimed that he saw instances of buying votes, I hope that he would have reported the matter to the police. If not he would be an accessory after the fact.

      Sent from my iPad

  21. From the slow and not to bright one – me.

    Buying of the vote.

    Let me see, a certain politician for 3 weeks prior to the general election does have a pot on where all and sundry does be able to come an eat a full bowl of food, not corn beef and biscuits, but yams and potatoes, en chicken, ev’ey day until election dun.

    Now if i unnerstan dis righteous indignation ting dat Fumble en Cynfia from Sin THomas talking bout, to what degree is dat pot uh pottage, wid a bowl cossing $5/$10, considered buying a vote?

    I guess it gots tuh be a “hard Sir Grantley” (oxymoron inserted here for emphasis) or sumting in dis range befo boaf uh dem gine get duh panties outta shape…

    Dat is a lost fight Fumble, one which if you pursue you gine hafta lock up some uh you candidates fuh too.

    For example, John Boyce bring on a good set uh wukers at MTW jes befo de general election dat he gine haffa fire dis week causing MTW cyan afford to pay dem nuh more.

    Now tell me dis, is you Fumble gine lock up Whisper fuh dis sophisticated “vote buying” or dem grantleys dat he spend from de government coffers, got de sanction uh de Governor uh de central bank, and is holy and washed in de blood, cause dem from de local equivalent of de Vatican??

    Update pun de job ting. Since wunna know dat Vivianne ent gi me nuh job at de Nation writing i did apply fuh a pic at de GIS people tuh help dem fabricate de lies dat dem writing bout de various ministries good wuks. Well, wunna muse know dat i ent get nuh pic dey neider. Miller, and Baffy, wunna needs to tell me whu it is dat i doing wrong!! i prepared to tek eubonics classes if dat is necessary. I wonder ef owen wud hire me?

  22. @sargeant
    Always good to have civil conversation. Let me say I know for a fact that there are many others reading who experienced similar as Damani or who witnessed it. Damani just happens to be “blogger enough” to put it out there. Take my word for it (lol, what an oxymoron in this forum)….but yes, it happened. In places and on behalf people one would not have expected (da’s effin ya expect much from any politrickshun anyways). Both B’s and D’s.

    I don’t want nor expect quick action, just some action and some denouncement, eventually. Others have spoken at length (big bribe vs.small bribe, money vs. light bills, vote buying vs. large contracts etc.) so I’m, letting it rest there….for now. And in any case I enjoying Crusoe corny tail jokes too much.

    I think we all agree that we are in a potentially sorry state, for other reasons including and besides this but again I wish ALL our leaders well.


  23. @Piece uh de rock,

    I does like your riting. Effin you woan write a blog, yuh cud keep senning artikles tuh de newpapers. Yuh cud compete wid hoadie.

    specially like dat bit bout de GIS and fabricacion. Dat is funny.

    @Colonel Buggy. ”I am still trying to work out what a young lady meant, when she asked me what can she personally do to get me ”

    You fuh real?? Man yuh could get in dat Buggy and RIDE boysie. Dang, yuh miss dat boat? Stupse. Unless yuh happily married a course. I wud not be an encouragement tuh you causing rucktion wid yuh wifey.

  24. AC i can’t understand your reasoning sometimes. How can you accuse the BLPites of turning the vote buying scandal into a political football when it was the Prime Minister and Mr Adriel Bratwaithe who first cried wolf, wolf by making the accusations.

  25. balance i have three eyes one of discernment. most of the time that eye seems illogical to the natural eye . this too you might not understand.

  26. @BAF, lordie, ac now says she got three eyes, yuh bes run whil yuh can!

    One more for the road.

    A candidate was on Pinmold Street last Tuesday night, collecting votes, with his entourage. Being a bit pompous and liking to show off, he loudly proclaimed ‘ hi there, here is two hundred dollars, as a special occasion, yuh know, your vote counts’.

    The indiividual replied in a sweet sweet voice ‘ but cuhhhhhhh dearrrr ah haaaahh ……, how this occasion could be special, nuhhhhh? Dis is the same money yuh does always give me?’

  27. Damani…..don’t go the racism route when it comes to Indians and Whites in Barbados, both races have been allowed by the black majority over many decades to accumulate great wealth. The politicians know this because most of them aided these races in the accumulation of great wealth, the politicians therefore know who to turn to for funding and votes when elections roll around.

  28. how does money explain the rise of Freundel as measured in all the polls. Peter’s first poll had him at 9%, the Barbados Today Pol had hin at 23%, the next poll had him at 39% I think and then at 34%.

    I think a number of pundits seem to have become so locked into the hapless Freundel mode that they cannot now admit they were wrong.

  29. I thing for peter, harold hoyte, george belle and a number of others, there is no way Freundel could be on par or ahead of owen in popularity in barbados. They are having difficulty with a reality that is at odds with their view of the world.

  30. i do no understand why this is an issue. it happened in the day of cornbeef and biscuits at rumshops around the island. what can anyone do if it takes place, that will be between the politician or his assistant and the persons receiving the money. no legislation will stop it. it is someone’s word against another who witnessed money being passed. no one can know what the money was for. i am not saying that it is right. it is clearly a sad situation but nothing can ever be done to halt it. maybe it is this way due to the fact that those who are receiving the money are usually those who are in need of jobs, food, necessities and are generally ignored; the money would provide something they need for the moment;, so without caring about the country or what is right, their first concern is themselves and family.

    if proper issues were addressed maybe there would be no need for it in the first place.

  31. @Pinkie

    Is that it? Throw your hands in the air?

    Don’t you think by discussing vote buying that other related issues can be brought to the fore? Back in the day of corn beef and biscuits politics can it compare to what is happening now? Do we need to consider using technology to improve the system? Does the police need to be supported by legislation to support sting operations to entrap a few of these miscreants?

  32. @David
    How come folk holding Barbados ID cards and living in the UK,Canada and the US for many many years can come to Barbados at election time and vote.That is an unknown that the pollster must factor in his analysis.The margin of error must be greater when cash money, other giveaways and overseas based id holders are factored in.Electronic voting,entrapment,cctv in voting booths,heavy fines and confinement,disbarring guilty candidates are things to ponder upon

  33. This vote buying thing has gotten out of hand, as well as the party colours thing; I hope we NEVER get to the Jamaica stage. Maybe it would have been better if the P.M and A.G had kept their mouths shut, as the BLP has already conceded defeat. However, with some marginal seats that close and deciding the end result of the elections, one has to ask if the government in power NOW is really the one the local electorate reaaly wanted

  34. On investigation, I understand plane loads of especially Bajan/Canadians came into the country to vote, maybe overseas voting has not yet been legalised but there is more than one way to skin a cat. What I would like to see, is all the ministers- elect, be madated to declare their assests before they are sworn into office. After all, it is the same DLP who just passed the act just before elections and they should be the ones to set the example. Are we the electorate, just allow this sham to be just a six weeks woinder?

  35. Gabriel Tackle
    You have just spoken a mouth full. I heard technology was used to its extremety in this elections, I thought it was a joke but now I am hearing mentioned again, I must take note.

  36. @Crusoe
    You fuh real?? Man yuh could get in dat Buggy and RIDE boysie. Dang, yuh miss dat boat? Stupse. Unless yuh happily married a course. I wud not be an encouragement tuh you causing rucktion wid yuh wifey
    Must be slipping .

  37. @Carson
    Can you answer these questions for me. How many houses has the government built and housed those families from March of 2008 through December of 2011? Of the houses that were built how many times was the media called in by the government to show the people of Barbados that they are building and housing famalies. Do you get the point now. I read the news papers every day and I have never seen it done. It was only a couple of weeks before the elections that I saw the Prime Minister and the Housing Minister in the daily smiling and handing out keys to families. If that was not vote buying then what is?

  38. Apparently it is reported that the guys down Deacons seemed to have organised themselves under a tree and waited for whichever party to pay them.

    What is the difference between that and organising yourself in a legitimate organization such as a Union such as BUT or NUPW and pledging your support for the DLP so that you can get an elevation to Office under the same government if they are successful. Karen Best did it, Bobby Morris did it.

    Wunna think poor black people gine allow themselves to be fooled all the time by big pretty talk. Poor people have become educated. With the push for entrepreneurship, I advise these young men to register a non-profit organisation and wait in a building next time.

  39. From the little interaction I had with politicians, I saw clearly where they do ignore a section of the populace during the five year period but around election time they rush into these areas with bags of money, cause they know that the ignored voters are the ones who are suffering the most.

    I also have a problem with both parties DLP/BLP, whenever they have a can of sardines or anything to give people who are down on their luck, had a fire or some misfortune in their lives, the first thing these politicians do is call in the media with cameras for a photo op. This is tacky, low class and very degrading to the recipient. You are using taxpayers dollars to degrade the unfortunate citizens that you represent, the world does not have to see what they get and also see your smiling faces. Get a life and some ethics.

  40. Yet when they are giving huge concessions in the millions of dollars to COW, JADA, and all their secret contributors, these same politicians do not call in the media, we only hear what they are giving away to the minorities, at the expense of the majority, when their is political fall out.

  41. Videos expose Kenya cash-for-votes scandal

    Two candidates standing for governor seats in Kenya’s upcoming elections have been caught on camera appearing to give cash bribes to groups of youths in exchange for votes.

    Ferdinand Waititu, standing for the Nairobi governor seat for the TNA (the party of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta), was caught on camera seeming to bribe a group of young people in Donholm, a less affluent suburb of Nairobi, on February 6.

    The video footage appears to show Waititu giving a speech promising jobs, food security, funding for women and youth groups, and railing against cheap alcohol.

    He then appears to leave a bundle of cash with one of the young people in the group, giving instructions that it be shared among the rest.

    In Kisii county, in southwestern Kenya, James Ongware – an aspiring governor standing with the CORD coalition of Prime Minister Raila Odinga – is shown instructing a crowd of youths and middle-aged men to queue up in order to receive cash at a campaign event near a primary school.

    The footage has been released by the Kenyan Human Rights Commission (KHRC), which is independent of the government.

    I am sure that these candidates belong to the Barbados Labour Party equivalent party in Kenya.

  42. @Carson Cadogan
    I never knew of any Minister in the BLP whose Visa was revoked and was investigated by the USA authorities. I know of one in the DLP though.

  43. FED UP

    Have you ever wondered why Lynch, big shot former BLP Minister, could not get an American work permit?

  44. To hell with the Bajan politics, the only thing that is real for me now if for the Shanique Myrie case. I hope Yard People tune in and stay tuned in with back up plans for the outcome!!! This case will certainly not be wished away, real action is necessary in this one. But, watch and see, Yard People.

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