DON’T Take the Money
“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
-Matthew, Chapter 5, Verse 13
FELLOW BARBADIANS, my advice to you may be reduced to the following four words:- “Don’t take the money !”
I implore you to ignore any agent of deception who sets out to lead you into temptation and evil with serpentine advice that you should “take the money” of political operatives who will soon be on a mission to seduce you during this Election season and to buy your vote.
Indeed, the vile practice of “vote buying” has become so widespread in Barbados that the agent of deception who advises you to “take the money” cannot but be aware that members and supporters of his own political party will in all likelihood be among those dishing out hundred dollar bills in exchange for votes.
I say — “don’t take the money” — because if you take the money you will be devaluing yourself as a human being !
Please recall that back in the 19th and 18th centuries rich white people were actually buying and selling our ancestors as if they were mere animals or things. Why then would we want to allow any misleader to convince us to reduce ourselves to so low a moral level that — once again — people with money are made to feel that we are for sale?
I also say –“don’t take the money” — because it is against the Law!
Surely, the “Great Deceiver” must know that the citizens of Barbados CANNOT “take the money” without breaking the Law of the land as set out in Section 6 of the Elections Offences And Controversies Act as follows :-
(1) A person is guilty of a corrupt practice who is guilty of bribery.
(2) A person is guilty of bribery who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf
(a) gives any money…..to any elector or to …any other person on behalf of any elector…in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting;
(5) Any elector is guilty of bribery who, before or during an election, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receives, agrees to receive, or contracts for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration…for voting or agreeing to vote or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting.
So, according to the Election Offences And Controversies Act both the buyer of the vote and the seller of the vote are guilty of having committed an illegal “corrupt practice”, and are liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period of six months.
And finally, I say –“don’t take the money” — because if you do take the money you will be helping to destroy your own country!
Indeed, the insidious and growing practice of “vote buying” has already resulted in thousands of young (and not so young) Barbadians forming the impression that many, if not most, politicians –including some men and women who get elected to Parliament and some of those who hold ministerial office — are no more than tawdry hustlers and con-men.
In other words, the people of our country are already rapidly losing respect for the men and women who are supposed to be their national leaders. And when a critical mass of a population lose respect for the men, women, and institutions that are supposed to provide national leadership, the nation is lost !
Furthermore, the vile practice of “vote buying” is gradually and sedulously stripping many of our youth of their idealism and moral values, and is also threatening to subvert the integrity of our electoral system, and by extension, our entire system of governance.
My fellow Barbadians, do not permit ANYONE to persuade you to become an accomplice in the destruction of your own native land. Always, set out to do the right and moral thing !