Phartford Files: St. George By-Election: Acid Test or Tonic Water?
Submitted by Ironside
There is going to be a by-election in St. George North and some parties have already announced their candidates. I will not waste time speculating about the reasons – real or imagined- why the sitting MP Glyne Clarke has resigned from parliament and is taking up a diplomatic post in Canada. That is for the gossip posse.
What is important is that this by-election has come at a time when the country is at the lowest ever in its economic performance and arguably at its lowest moral ebb. Politically, the country is experiencing a rise in de facto totalitarianism, a trend being reflected around the world and led by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).
Coming just over two years after the main election in 2018, the electioneering engines should not require too much of a warm up, especially in this weather! The core question is: will it be an acid test for the government or merely some quinine for covid-19?
I will leave the bulk of the statistical political punditry to the other bloggers who may more be skilled at the enterprise of analyzing historical voting patterns and the like. Interested readers can now make use of the site Caribbean Elections Website to fuel their punditry and speculations.
What I want to do, as succinctly as possible, is to state a few imperatives/hypotheses about the by-election.
THE RULING PARTY CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE THIS BY-ELECTION. If it does it will confirm how we “feel”, namely, that the populace is no longer enamoured with the BLP and its leader what with the serial malfeasances it has committed over the last two years. If it wins, the pundits will put it down to hard core support in the constituency.
Your guess is as good as mine, though, as to whether the BLP is committing political suicide by running BWU union boss, Toni Moore. I know the BU historians will tell us about the union leaders who have run for political office over the years so I am looking forward to that rehash and the punditry that will follow. My rough estimate is that about 70% – 75% of Nationnews Facebook comments cast Ms. Moore’s selection negatively. One commentator bluntly hoped she would lose. But I concede that that is a small and perhaps irrelevant sample.
THE PDP CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO FIELD A CANDIDATE IN THIS BY-ELECTION. I have been following their Facebook communications and all other things considered, they have been doing a fairly decent job of dissecting the issues even for a small, neophyte opposition. So, not to field a candidate in the by-election would send a message that they are still not quite ready.
THE DLP CAN BE EXPECTED TO FIELD A CANDIDATE. After all, it has been predicting by-elections in two constituencies (Indar Weir’s and Trevor Prescod’s) for more than a year! Let’s see what they come up with! Again I leave my fellow bloggers to speculate…if they have time!
THE UPP MUST SHOW THAT IT HAS NOT LOST HOPE. It has fielded a candidate and we shall see how that plays out. All things considered, it gave a fairly good account of itself in 2018 election. What I “worry” about is their pedestrian and non-charismatic leadership.
GRENVILLE PHILLIPS [A.K.A SOLUTIONS BARBADOS] HAS ENTERED THE FRAY. Best of luck and more power to the Treasury!
Moving on smartly! What about issues to be raised in this by-election?
There are many hot, topical issues to inspire debate and conspire about: Covid-19, union betrayal, same sex unions, homosexual marriages, tourism, crime, BEST, neglect of the constituency, the push for republic status for Barbados and the “Thrown” Speech in general. The more enlightened and skilful party (parties) will throw in the Chinese influence in Barbados and the Caribbean. Just remember I did say “enlightened”!
All in all, I am looking forward to political theatre at its BEST!