There is a conversation that has emerged in Barbados concerning the ‘visible’ leadership style of Prime Minister Mia Mottley. A style that is accentuated if compared to the unobtrusive approach by her predecessor. Some feel justified levelling the criticism because Mottley presides over the largest Cabinet in the history of Barbados, probably the world if measured on a per mille basis.
What justification can there be for a prime minister to be at every ‘dog fight’ if the large Cabinet is unable to give wings to Mottley’s mantra – many hands make light work?
The blogmaster recalls during An Interview with Prime Minister Mottley conducted by David Ellis soon after the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was elected to office – Mottley explained her reason for the large Cabinet. She asked Barbadians to be patient and to judge her government by results. After 15 months in office, it is fair to suggest several of the ministers are struggling to find their feet and undeserving of a minister’s salary during a time of austerity.
In the pseudo Westminster parliamentary system of government practice in Barbados all roads lead to the prime minister. It is not uncommon to hear the reference “primus inter pares.” Our culture is one where there is an expectation the prime minister must solve all problems. Have a read of this blog through the years, there was an unrelenting attack on former prime minister Freundel Stuart because he appeared to be uncomfortable in the leadership role and was rejected at the polls in unprecedented fashion.
A key characteristic of a good leaders is that they recruit the right people to do the job. This is why the quality of persons offering themselves for political office is important. Are we confident members of parliament elected on the 24 May 2018 possess the requisite skill set to get the job done?
The blogmaster is on the side of the side of the leadership style that works. The fact Mottley is always out front may reflect on the quality of her team. If this is the case who is to blame?
Our governance system needs reform. There was talk from the minister early in her term about devolving authority from the office of prime minister. Update anyone?