After 10 years of economic hardship there is the reasonable view held by intelligent Barbadians that at the top of the pile of campaign issues should be a full ventilation of economic plans by contesting political parties during the 2018 General Election. Given the flat trendline on the national productivity graph for the last 10 years and beyond- is it reasonable for sensible Barbadians to prefer a campaign message that will engage voters on this subject?
During the last 10 years we have not significantly changed the supply or demand side of the food consumption equation. Is it a sensible for Barbadians to DEMAND a conversation about food security and how existing food consumption habits are negatively impacting foreign reserves AND the health of the nation e.g. non communicable diseases and obesity?
Given our status as a Small Island Developing State located a hop, skip and a jump from the Equator, should we not be more advanced in the production of energy from alternative sources?
Both political parties in the post Independence period have allocated billions of dollars to education. Are we satisfied with the output from the investment i.e. profile of our industries, conditioning a relevant work ethic and psychology of our people, developing the physical infrastructure of the country that is fit for purpose, protecting the environment, managing waste and waste to energy …
Have we focused enough on ensuring there is a relevant governance framework to deliver the people’s business? Surely the performance of key working committees of parliament like the Public Accounts Committee and Committee of Privileges to name two have plummeted to an embarrassing level. The lack of fiscal discipline to managing public finances and an indifference shown by all and sundry to government financial rules; inability to produce audited financial statement etc, exposes a level of unprofessionalism, incompetence that a sensible electorate should want to demand action from OURSELVES to address?
Theses are a few of the issues that are always top of the mind for the blogmaster. These are issues that should be of concern to all Barbadians. Given the unprecedented economic and other experiences of the last ten years the country has had to endure, there is reason for ALL Barbadians to change how we manage conversations with politicians when they come aknocking at our doors and in other interactions when presented with the opportunity. Change must start with the person reflected in the mirror, WE must be the change. WE must demand the change. Continuing to cede OUR civic responsibilities to members of the political class is lazy, ignorant, dangerous and assures that it will be business as usual.
The style of the blogmaster is never to be ‘longwinded’ on the issues. We live in the microwave age where the attention span of the audience rivals that of the bird, priorities and information are shaped by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other computer generated algorithms. The upside is that by being a small island there is the opportunity to create and coalesce behind a plan of action. By holding elected officials accountable this is an opportunity to begin the change process. We have to change the indifference to how matters that directly affect our lives are managed.
Every election cycle we have these kinds of conversations that are analogous to the ones we have about the 11+ or the minibus culture. Some positions need to be taken NOW to steer Barbados away from being a failed state. The politician is just a cog in the process, We create the process.