Submitted by William Skinner
Any objective analysis of the Opposition Peoples Democracy Party (PdP), would conclude that the PdP, has performed admirably. As one who closely follows parliamentary debate, in both the Lower and Upper chambers, I must state that in the Lower House, Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley, has been measured and extremely focused in his presentations. He has supported the government when he deemed necessary and has been direct, precise, and penetrating in matters he opposed.
The two opposition senators, in the Upper chamber, Crystal Drakes and Caswell Franklyn, have demonstrated a firm grasp of all issues. Senator Drakes’ contributions on Economic matters, have been outstanding and far superior to some emanating from the government benches.
Senator Franklyn’s most recent clobbering and public take-down of Attorney General Dale Marshall and PM Mottley, herself a former Attorney General, in relation to the botched appointment of a “second” Deputy Commissioner of Police, has been a defining moment in the life of the current parliament.
However, in this writer’s opinion, the most encouraging development, has been the public emergence of Opposition shadow persons, on national matters. We have been given clear and appealing discourse on Transportation, Culture, Health, and other sectors. They have been thought provoking and free of political bombast when critiquing and offering alternatives policies. An almost unbelievable change from the nonsense and one-upmanship, that represent the standard diet of the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour party and their politically blind party loyalists.
The organization should now go forward and build constituency branches; seek to broaden its membership and commence selecting candidates for the next general elections. I am certain that on the present path, the PdP, would attract those who are genuinely fed up with the BLP/DLP unofficial coalition. A very tall order but not as insurmountable as many would have us believe. Therefore, I totally disagree with Comrade George Belle, who recently put the PdP, in his “mock” party column.
In conclusion, Reverend Atherley and his entire team, should be complimented for in many ways, keeping the flickering torch of democracy alive within our island state. I have no doubt that some of us who questioned, his elevation to Opposition leader, would now admit that to date, he has performed beyond expectations. Sometimes, fruit comes best from a twisted bough.