Ineffective Opposition Has Given Rise to a De facto Dictatorship
Since the shellacking the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) received at the polls in the last general election held on the 24 May 2018, the citizenry has had to make do with a contrived opposition. The Reverend Joseph Atherley who presented himself as a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) candidate was influenced by a divine intervention- the blogmaster suspects- when the 30-0 result was careening towards a constitutional crisis to cross the floor.
The adversarial nature of the politics practised in Barbados has quickly exposed the passive political persona of Atherley. Under his style of leadership the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PPDD) will struggle to compete in what is popularly referred to as a blood sport. To Atherley’s credit he was able to lure trade unionist and social commentator Caswell Franklyn to his team, who to date has been the member of the party equipped to bare visible political fangs. He is supported by a youthful but inexperienced Crystal Drakes. Drakes continues to grow in stature as time passes.
The 30-0 now 29-1 has created a vacuum in Barbados politics. Our system of government was designed to accommodate an inquiring opposition IN parliament. What cannot be refuted is that an elected opposition represents an alternative government in waiting. At the time of posting this blog there was no evidence the PPDD had announced 30 candidates, therefore, if something unforeseen were to demand a general election there would be concern.
It gets more interesting.
The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) – the other half of the two political parties to have dominated elective politics in Barbados – continues to struggle since the 24 May 2018 to win hearts and minds of Barbadians. Like Atherley, President Verla De Peiza of the DLP lacks the charisma- in her case add support from the party base to do what is necessary to transform the DLP. Like the PPDD the DLP is in the process of selecting candidates to represent all 30 constituencies. A good critique is that De Peiza as shadow person for finance has been ‘outspoken’ by both Senator Crystal Drakes and of recent former Senator Maxine McClean. To hear from deputy Irene Sandiford-Garder one has to visit her Facebook page.
The ideal position is for a third party movement to emerge to create viable options for a fedup electorate. Despite a record number of third party registrants contesting the last general election, they have flattered to deceive. Not one has differentiated itself by advocating policies that resonate. It should be clear to new political parties they must have an all-encompassing approach to winning the hearts and minds of the electorate. One cannot turn up six months before an election with a realistic hope of winning. To Atherley and De Peiza who have been unable to deposit representatives in ALL the constituencies, this must be regarded as an insult to the people they want to represent. Have we reached a point where the needs of the party trump the needs of the people they want to serve?
Come on you other political parties, get your act together!
The 24 May 2018 result has created a situation where we have a de facto dictatorship.