Converting Support into Votes
There have been several analyses of the recent by-election by persons who were not candidates. It is important for the historical record, that a candidate also do an analysis.
All of the third party candidates expressed confidence that they would do well, myself included. We assumed that when persons said that we had their support, it meant that they would vote for us. That assumption was tested on election day and decisively proven false.
We all had similar access to the voters, the news media, and social media. All parties ran accomplished candidates, and offered plans to benefit the constituency. The BLP and DLP found a way to convert their support into votes. The third parties evidently did not.
The election results proved that the people generally voted for their political party, or did not vote at all. The question is, in a by-election where voters do not have to vote for their party’s interest, why would they still put their party’s interest above their own? It is this problem that third parties need to solve to become viable.
Third parties do not need to look for better messages, better candidates, better access to the media, or better platforms. They do not need to spend more time in the community, do more projects in the community, or attend more events in the community. All of that was tested in the recent by-election and proven false.
So, the question remains, why do Barbadian voters put the interests of their political party above their own? We offered full-time well-paid employment to all desperately unemployed persons in St George North. Yet, they voted to remain unemployed. We offered prosperity to every desperate family in St George North. Still, they voted to remain house poor or working poor.
We offered to permanently or sustainably address: road maintenance, dilapidated housing, lack of water, construction disputes, crop thefts, school graduates with no prospects, asthma, illegal dumping, and hunger in St George North. The people voted for their desperate conditions to remain unchanged.
What would cause a parent to elevate her political party’s interests above that of her children? Why would a pastor elevate his political party’s interest above that of the congregation? Why would homeowners, who may be slightly better off, vote to keep their neighbours in poverty?
The answer appears to be that they are not desperate enough. The unemployed are still eating. The families still have places to stay. The hospital’s asthma bay remains open. The supermarkets import food. Children earn money by selling drugs or prostituting themselves. They are not desperate enough to want their circumstances changed.
Barbados’ Constitution states that we acknowledge the supremacy of God. The Bible teaches that people under God’s care will always be able to bear their circumstances, or have a way to escape them. Third party’s are only likely to become viable in Barbados, if Barbadians are faced with what is truly unbearable. That is highly unlikely with God on our side.
Since our independence, both BLP and DLP administrations have governed us in a way that kept our most desperate circumstances bearable. Third parties can only be viable in Barbados, if the government, representing the people, formally rejects the supremacy of God. Since that is unlikely, I am no longer in elective politics.