Fact: Stillborn Third Parties
The St. George North by-election is done and dusted and there are conclusions this blogmaster is prepared to make from the predicted result.
Although the political climate is ripe for a so-called third party political movement, it is evident the country is not prepared to seriously consider the option as presented. A collection of individuals who are individuals with no discernibly alternative message or philosophy making the simplistic assumption that disaffected voters would have switched support from the two established political parties. Individuals whose political parties lacked the resources to construct an apparatus in the constituency to signal permanence and allow for the nurturing of relationships with the electorate built on trust.
It seems Barbadians prefer political leaders who possess the panache, among other qualities, of a Tom Adams, Owen Arthur and Errol Barrow. The Stuarts and Sandifords represent a a deviation from the norm which is explained by political historians and informed commentators.
Leading a political party in today’s world requires a unique skillset. Leading a third party against entrenched political parties will require a VERY unique skillset. Gareth Evans: how to be a successful political leader suggest political leaders must possess key qualities. The declining skillset shown by the political class is a global trend. It is not a Bajan condition and we should ask why.
- Serious intellectual ability
- Sound judgement
- Basic organizational and time management skills
- Communication skills
- A clear sense of strategic direction
- Unimpeachable personal integrity
- A work ethic
The life of a politician in today’s world is not easy.
There is enough data if the start point is 1991 when the late Richard Haynes led the National Democratic Party (NDP) in the general election to support informed positions in 2020. In the classic movie Star Wars, Yoda the character we love to quote said ‘the greatest teacher failure is.” which translates to – we learn from our mistakes. This blogmaster has concluded that meaningful change to the political space must come if change agents commit to a strategy of forcing change from within the belly of the beast. The odds of success seems more probable than hoping for a movement that will always lack the financial and people resources to invest in what is required to realise success. Butting heads with the establishment is not a task the courageous is keen to undertake.
In 2018 Walter Blackman attempted to be that agent of change – we suspect based on his body of work (Walter Blackman is BACK!) – by throwing his hat in the ring to present as a candidate in the 2018 general election. The strong culture which enshrouds the duopoly violently rejected him. It will be worth the time to study Walter’s brief odyssey into local politics to extract learnings.
If we keep continue with the same approach nothing will change. It is not escaped political observers including the blogmaster how Mia Mottley has been recruiting political talent and taking other decisions to consolidate the BLP’s political grip.
Can we discuss the Trojan Horse approach for 100 marks.