Do they Care?

Submitted by Observing

In the silly season we tend to look only at politics, but it is also Covid season.  A look therefore at the recent election call through the eyes of a pandemic situation is necessary

The charts above show statistics  for Covid Cases and Positivity Rates in December. Remember we came from highs of 400 and rates of 20+% in October and November

Since then we have learned about Omicron which was first recorded in November, spread around the world by December 1 and reached the Caribbean a week or so later

What did Barbados do?

We relaxed the policy at the airport without consulting BAMP, botched the rollout of Safe Zones without consulting the Unions, started home isolation and stopped contact tracing without initially letting the public know.

Now on December 27, 2021 snap elections are called.  18 months early.  Let that sink in.

The government holds ALL medical information, projections and forecasts.  He/she is aware of all potential national security and health issues.  They more than anyone, know what the attached charts and regional situation is showing. Yet, despite this, there was a mad unilateral rush to Republic and now another mad unilateral rush to an election 18 months early.

But, just for comparison, let’s look at a few other recent elections regionally

  • St. Lucia, held July 26, 2021. 7 day Covid average at announcement = 7
  • St. Vincent, held November 20, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 0.86
  • Jamaica, held September 3, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 18
  • Trinidad, held August 10, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 1
  • St. Kitts, held June 5, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 13
  • Barbados to be held January 19, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 72…and climbing

 I think we get the picture.

In the above cases, constitutional constraints mean elections HAD to be called soon. In Barbados’ case, no such demand existed other than political or individual calculation.   A Prime Minister asked once when will leaders lead.  Leaders do not plunge their people into a state of uncertainty, in a pandemic, in the season of Advent, before the start of school with not even their own people being aware just because “they felt like.”

  • Leaders bring people together of all stripes and loyalties to heal divisions real, perceived or created by themselves.
  • Leaders go beyond just talk and live up to the ideals and values that THEY said they would.
  • Leaders take care of home drums first then worry about attention abroad after.
  • Leaders build trust through transparency and honesty. 
  • Leaders focus on all persons, not just a select few.

I think we all know that this election was not called based on national goals or unity. The general public and the electorate are clearly secondary considerations. 

Keep safe whenever you campaign or wherever you vote.  Long live the Republic.

97 thoughts on “Do they Care?

  1. Back in November/December I figured looking at the halving time that we would be into double digits if not by the end of December then early January.

    I found the fall rather fast during December and wondered if it was manufactured.

    For sure there has been a rise in December and all I got to do is look through the window and watch the planes coming in to understand a likely cause.

    If it was manufactured it was a calculated gamble by the GOB that there would be little community spread but cases would to a large extent be in the tourist population. That population has gambled that once vaccinated, they will not be too sick if they catch it, plus, England is a hell hole.

    If I am right the rise will level out and the GOB’s gamble will pay off.

    The tourists will get some sun and a break from the hell of the UK and not have put themselves at significant risk.

    We’ll see!!

  2. Observing,

    You should read carefully the statement of the General Secretary of the BLP on Barbados TODAY. Between the lines you can clearly hear that the election campaign and the elections are intended to naturally immunise the population against Omikron. We have about 50 per cent superstitious anti-vaccinationists on the island. If we are to finally end all Corona measures and ramp up tourism to 100 per cent, these savages must somehow be immunised. Through the back door, if necessary.

  3. But, just for comparison, let’s look at a few other recent elections regionally

    St. Lucia, held July 26, 2021. 7 day Covid average at announcement = 7
    St. Vincent, held November 20, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 0.86
    Jamaica, held September 3, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 18
    Trinidad, held August 10, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 1
    St. Kitts, held June 5, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 13
    Barbados to be held January 19, 2020: 7 day Covid average at announcement = 72…and climbing


    The thing you need to realise and you would see it from observing the Country characteristic curves is that not one country is in control … except perhaps Bhutan and a couple of countries in the pacific that seriously restrict travel.

    Most likely controlling factor is the weather … rain … over which no country has control.

    Our country depends on travel for a living so I really can’t blame the GOB if that is what they did.

    Got to experiment and find a way out.

  4. Only a ruthless self-serving demagogue would activate actions their citizens in harm way
    The most unnerving being the yardfowls sent out to the public forums expressing views that the PM made a right decision along with Walcoot asinine pr talking points indicating that other countries did so as well
    Well folks think of what is best for yourself and don’t let govt officials think for you

  5. At this point, 2 years into a pandemic, we have to stop using COVID-19 as an excuse to stall the restart of pre-pandemic activity. We need to get in our heads that Covid is not going anywhere. I will fault government though for not properly implementing MORE risk mitigation measures in general society before calling the Jan 19 2022 general election. It isn’t rocket science. We have the vaccines, the knowledge of how vaccine and natural immunity lasts, we have the ability to test for Covid-19, we are still using the secondary virus spread prevention measures. A “safe zone”, testing\ proof of vaccination concept does not have to be “watertight” in every case, just good enough for the specific purpose of reducing spread of a virus that has a 90%+ recovery rate.
    We navigated a fairly debilitating Delta wave without using lockdowns. We can use that experience to help navigate and reduce the impact of the Omicron wave when it comes. We look at the daily dashboard, and knowing the nature of this virus, cannot reasonably assume that the number positives detected cannot be all the positives in Barbados for that day .in other words there may be people in wider society that have Covid but have not been captured in the testing.

    To the specific process of casting a ballot, IN MY OPINION there was was a far higher risk catching Covid-19 while shopping in the crowded supermarkets during the Xmas period. Lining up on the outside then going in the actual polling station for a minute tops should be a low risk activity for the voter. The risk may be higher for the polling stating officials
    To the actual campaigning, holding of party meetings, once those are held outdoors or online the risk is greatly reduced.

  6. John,

    If i wanted to know about UK i would speak to someone in UK about UK

    How many showers did you have in 2021 Mr BO

  7. From the moment I heard the announcement of the election date for January 19 I thought it was a really bad decision as I’m expecting daily Covid cases to be upwards of 500. Election lines could easily turn out to be super spreader events. Three or four months delay would make absolutely no difference and the Omicron peak would have already passed.

  8. We all know that Preliminary voters list are available online

    but does Barbados have the science and technology for postal voting yet

  9. @ Disgusting Lies & Propaganda TV January 1, 2022 12:44 PM

    No, no protocols at all for the election campaign and for the voting booth. We should allow the Omicron virus to naturally immunise as many unvaccinated savages as possible.

    We have had enough vaccine since the autumn. How much longer are the vaccinated and the economy supposed to be driven by ùnvaccinated savages? Those who also think that garlic and hot showers are a protection against HIV/AIDS? Or should we follow the crazy BAMP doctors who still blather about freedom of choice in vaccination, possibly because they themselves are unvaccinated?

    The collateral damage of my advice is absolutely tolerable. Those who are unvaccinated and suffer permanent issues or die have only themselves to blame.

  10. Ronald Chapman is absolutely right that Corona-positive people should not be allowed to vote.

    However, he falls short. We need a single Corona protocol in the election (as an addendum to my last blog): unvaccinated people are not allowed to vote because they are potential virus carriers and they lack the necessary integrity and loyalty to Barbados.

  11. COVID positive people not allowed to vote on January 19

    Another bold faced self serving policy hell bent to undermine the Constitution and take away the people Constitutional rights
    Rather than Mia think of all.the factors involved with making such an important decision she demonstrated her power to dictate and mandate how her rights supersedes the rights of the people
    History one day would analysis her decision and like the Heroes of the past her name and recognition would be placed amongst those who have become demagogue using pretense and symbolic gestures to blind sight and pull a political scarf over the eyes of the people

  12. These fast and quick decisions always puzzle me. The objective should be to give people an opportunity to vote instead of denying them their vote. Some version of mail-in/early or voting online could be planned for in the future.

    The size of the island means that votes cast in St. Lucy can be in Christ Church or any other constituency in a matter of hours. This could quickly be explored.

    Online (No, no, no)
    Based on the events of the past few days, this may require a little more technology than what is readily available. In addition, the recent data dump containing personal information now rules out online voting.

    A work around would have people in isolation facilities provided with a unique/ secret number and then access a portal to vote. But I cannot see Bajans rushing to vote online.

    (Just ideas)

  13. Here’s why the tourism gamble is worth taking.

    Just look at last year.

    The peaks around Christmas back then were not dissimilar to what we see now.

    The gamble is we will be no worser off this Christmas and New Year.

    Could backfire, but worth the risk.

    There was a second peak in February.

  14. If Mia was in the business of addressing good governance
    He decision for the called of election would have waited until all the problematic issues were taking care off
    Instead she closes doors in Parliament that lends itself to country and peoples issues
    Now what most of what is being rolled out by PM after her footloose decision. Is a cart loaded of political poop by her Ministers and yardfowl loyalist .to stop the bleeding because of an arrogant PM serving the public a plate loaded with self-serving pies
    Barbadians were warned about her selfish nature and her attitude to make decisions form on gimmicks
    This call for election falls into the gimmicky category

  15. @Tron January 1, 2022 2:14 PM

    Ronald Chapman is absolutely right that Corona-positive people should not be allowed to vote.Ronald Chapman is an idiot.

    Ronald Chapman is a complete joker to say that and compare COVID home isolation or isolation facilities to being in boarded at the QEH or home sick.

    A caring PM would have passed sunset early voting legislation applicable only to COVID Isolated persons leaving it to the discretion of the EBC on how best to facilitate them in an early voting process and placed in 30 secure boxes on a constituency basis.

    That press conference was a total farce with both him and Leslie Haynes trying to secure their picks after January 19th by covering for the PM calling a snap election before their departments were even ready.

    Everyone knows EBC and COVID Monitoring Unit scrambling to figure out the protocols and get enough personnel in place. I am willing to bet most of the usual people who volunteer to work will not this year.

  16. What is bothersome is that they would make a ‘final’ pronouncement without scoring all the different scenarios. The pronouncement is then trotted out as gospel by some.

    At some stage we will see this final pronouncement reversed. The believers will easily move to and spout the new pronouncement.

  17. Re:- David January 1, 2022 12:52 PM

    @DavidBU How so?!?!? the original poster is stating that the Covid-19 pandemic is making it “unsafe” to hold elections now. I am stating that there will never really be a “safe” time to hold elections if we hope to mute the pandemic in the short term. Covid-19 will be here in 2022 it will still be here in 2023 it will continue to be here in 2027 it will most likely be still be here in 2032. In March 2020 and 6-12 months after, mankind was still uncertain with this virus. I am stating that after nearly 2 years, the epidemiology of Covid-19 resembles influenza. In short, for mankind, Sars-COV2 is the coronavirus equivalent of the influenza virus. The variants comes in waves with peaks and valleys. Some deaths are expected but the recoveries are far greater in comparison. I’m am stating that even though I wanted govt to implement more disease spread prevent measures, the pandemic does not involve a “doomsday virus”. I am also stating that the basic voting process does not exposes us to risk any more than when go about our daily activities. In comparative terms we are more at risk catching/spreading coving lining up inside an enclosed supermarket, inside a bank, inside the BRA at the Licensing Authority. The secondary disease prevention measures should an adequate bare minimum

    The Ministry of Health, via the Covid Monitoring Unit, has stated that those that tested Covid positive are not allowed to vote. That is a simple and straight-foward risk mitigation measure making it “safer” to vote on election day. The reality is that persons that have TESTED positive would have to be positive possibly up 10 days before the test. It means they COULD be spreading the virus all of that time. That is a reality we have been living with even before General Elections was declared. We cannot test all the population at any one instance in time. This is the reality that will cause a pandemic like this to fester. even more so if there are asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19. That is the point of vaccinations, mask wearing, hand sanitizing etc. That is the reality that justifies vaccine mandates. Measure like these will not stop a pandemic stone cold in it tracks. The more people that are vaccinated/immunized the greater chance it will reduce the severity of these waves and cumulatively over a shorter time period a pandemic is muted.

    I do not support the absurdity that those that are Covid positive cannot vote period. The same way that security and emergency personnel along with election officials are allowed to vote early, the same can be done to the Covid positive. We must remember that partially and fully vaccinated can still catch Covid. It is simply that they, in general, would be spared from the most severe effects of the disease .We have come too far to stigmatize the Covid positive to the extent that they are totally disenfranchised

  18. I wonder which party will suggest “mail in” ballots!!

    As we have seen in the US, election fraud is a result.

  19. @Disgusting Lies & Propaganda TV January 1, 2022 12:44 PM “We need to get in our heads that Covid is not going anywhere.”

    Covid19 is going to go…eventually. YOU need to get that in YOUR head. ALL pandemics DO END eventually, even smallpox, although granted it took about 3,000 years and a whole lot of effort, money and cooperation to end that one.

    But I guarantee everyone.

    Covid19 WILL COME TO AN END, sometime between today and 5022.

  20. “As we have seen in the US, election fraud is a result.”

    You are tripping again Norman Bates.

    Nut jobs like yourself are a clear and present danger in politics.

  21. The pandemic could end in 2022 — here’s what ‘normal’ life might look like soon, according to medical experts.

    Published Wed, Dec 15 202112:20 PM ESTUpdated Wed, Dec 15 20211:45 PM EST

    Almost two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, an end might finally be in sight.
    Experts say that Covid will likely lose its “pandemic” status sometime in 2022, due largely to rising global vaccination rates and developments of antiviral Covid pills that could become more widespread next year.

    Instead, the virus will likely become “endemic,” eventually fading in severity and folding into the backdrop of regular, everyday life. Various strains of influenza have followed a similar pattern over the past century or more, from the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 to the swine flu pandemic in 2009.
    Covid will probably remain dangerous once the pandemic ends — much like the flu, which killed as many as 62,000 people in the U.S. between October 2019 and April 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    But barring any major developments, “normal” post-pandemic life could arrive soon. Here’s what you can expect from the next year and beyond:

    Covid could become much more seasonal
    Once endemic, Covid won’t dictate your daily decision-making as much, as billionaire health philanthropist Bill Gates described in his end-of-year blog post last week: “It won’t be primary when deciding whether to work from the office or let your kids go to their soccer game or watch a movie in a theater.”
    Endemic illnesses are always circulating throughout parts of the world, but tend to cause milder illness because more people have immunity from past infection or vaccination. You might get a cough and sniffles, but if you’re up-to-date on your vaccinations, you’ll be protected enough to prevent severe illness or hospitalization.

    Like other respiratory viruses, there will be times of year when Covid infections peak — most likely the colder fall and winter months, meaning Covid and flu seasons could regularly coincide going forward.
    When sick, you’ll be advised to keep wearing masks and staying home
    If the virus does become more seasonal, wearing a mask on public transit and indoors during Covid season could become the norm — potentially even in offices, says Shaun Truelove, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and member of The Covid Scenario Modeling Hub, a team of researchers who make Covid projections.
    Other familiar prevention strategies, like regularly washing your hands and maintaining distancing practices in high-risk settings, could also stick around.

    “We don’t necessarily have to come up with new interventions [to prevent Covid],” Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, told CNBC Make It last week. “It’s just that we’ve got to do a better job continuing to do the things we know that work.”
    To that end, Truelove hopes people “take a little bit more personal responsibility and stay home when they’re sick,” he says. That could mean working from home if you’re symptomatic but still able to work, or taking a sick day when you know you need to rest, he adds.

    Let’s be more optimistic, People…

  22. JohnJanuary 1, 2022 7:19 PM

    I wonder which party will suggest “mail in” ballots!!

    As we have seen in the US, election fraud is a result.


    Stop talking rubbish
    But then again u in favour of disenfranchising the voter
    Another step to suppression of their rights
    What next

  23. “But I guarantee everyone.
    Covid19 WILL COME TO AN END, sometime between today and 5022”

    World leaders have got contingency plans for extinction events such as space travel with enough selected humanoids to breed and set up new a colony like with extinct species of fish

  24. @ Disgusting Lies & Propaganda TV

    “@DavidBU How so?!?!? the original poster is stating that the Covid-19 pandemic is making it “unsafe” to hold elections now. I am stating that there will never really be a “safe” time to hold elections if we hope to mute the pandemic in the short term. “


    De word (pandemic) is a convenience ….?

  25. Enclosed are the charts for the week ending 31st December 2021. I’ve added one chart on total isolations / deaths and removed one on test positivity. As we go into the first days in 2022 the outlook is uncertain. Omicron is here, possibly for over 1 week as the major uptick started just about a week ago. Omicron will bring new management challenges and possibly opportunities. All the best for the New Year to the BU family and all Barbados as the silly season is also upon us. May we choose wisely amidst the Trump-inspired tales being told by partisans – Source: Lyall Small

    See BU Covid 19 Updates Page

  26. The rising numbers from Lyal support the view voter turnout will be negatively affected by the snap call. Can we call this another threat to democracy? It brings into play the need for fixed term legislation. This is the kind of issue we need to be interested in as a people. Instead we continue to be easily distracted.

  27. I hope we can discuss some real issues seeing Lyal’s stats as well.

    This is not “business as usual” as the Prime Minister often says.

    At the height of Delta we had approximately 2500-3000 people in isolation. On top of that many people will opt to stay home rather than stay in a line for 2-3 hours or risk being infected. The lines at Popular and VAT free Monday were much more attractive

    The BLP and the PM knew where this was heading and would have had to known that Omicron was here. Is it a case of political expediency over national health and democracy for all?

    Just observing

  28. If you look closely at the graph in the above comment on Daily Covid +ve cases, you will see the new cases plateauing.

    …. which is good but which no one seems to have noticed.

    History is repeating itself from a year ago and from that we can draw certain inferences.

    Many of the current cases are probably imported and asymptomatic.

    We can look at the graph for Daily Isolations and Death and see the isolations continue to fall.

    Even better.

    By election time we would expect from the graphs that cases are on the way down, approaching if not in double digits.

    What we have actually seen is the the effect of the floods which lasted about 4 months, September to December, and secondly the effect of tourist arrivals which we hope is a blip after the Christmas recovery after 4 months.

    We’ll know pretty soon.

  29. It seems Garth Patterson has undergone an epiphany and has decided to become a social commentator.

    Voters in a bind

    Lawyer: Omicron spread could exclude some from polls
    By Colville Mounsey
    One of the island’s constitutional experts is warning that should the highly infectious Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus spread in communities ahead of the January 19 General Election, a significant number of Barbadians would be legally denied their right to vote.
    Garth Patterson QC is also putting prospective voters on notice that there was little legal recourse under the Constitution of Barbados should people find themselves in this predicament.
    Patterson explained that while there was no electoral law prohibiting COVID-19 positive people from exercising their franchise, the protocols and directives for people in isolation dictate that it was against the law to breach quarantine or isolation. He argued that no amendments had been made to the Emergency Directives to allow people to leave isolation or quarantine to go to the polls.
    During a press conference hosted by the Electoral & Boundaries Commission yesterday, voters were told that even though there was no decree prohibiting COVID-19-positive people from voting, they could not go to the polls. Head of the Covid Monitoring Unit, Ronald Chapman, further disclosed that no provision was made for patients at the Harrison Point Isolation Facility to vote.
    “The law prohibits people with COVID-19 from leaving isolation or quarantine and so the one follows the other. If you can’t leave isolation, then how are you going to exercise your right to vote? The directives under the emergency legislation are clear and those legislations have not been amended to facilitate voting. So, in the same way that you cannot break quarantine or isolation to attend a funeral or wedding, you can’t go out and vote,” Patterson said.
    According to the regulations for home isolation, a positive person can leave home isolation only when directed by the Chief Medical Officer. The isolation period is usually ten to 14 days if no illness develops. If you are waiting for a COVID-19 test result, you must stay at home until you return a negative result. If you return a positive result, the Medical Officer will advise you of the next steps. Breaching quarantine or isolation may incur jail time for up to one year or a monetary penalty of up to $50 000.
    Patterson told the Sunday Sun that the right to vote was not covered under the Constitution but rather under the Representation Of The People Act, adding that this could not supersede the public health consideration regulated by the emergency powers.
    Not constitutionally guaranteed
    “The right to vote which is not a constitutionally guaranteed right but a right which exists by virtue of the Representation Of The People Act, is subject to the broader provisions which allow
    the Government to restrict movement of persons in the interest of public health and safety,” he said, noting that under the law the Prime Minister has the power to postpone the elections by an additional 30 days. However, he made it clear that once the election writs are completed, under the Constitution, the country must go to the polls 90 days after.
    “We saw just a few days ago that it was reported that we have Omicron here and we know the rate at which that variant is spreading. Who knows what the state of the country will be in the next two weeks? We could have a massive outbreak like what we are seeing across the globe. If we start seeing numbers climbing up to 500 or 600 daily cases, that’s a significant chunk of your population that cannot vote,” Patterson said.
    The Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) spokesperson on health, Andre Worrell, contended that this was further proof that the timing of the election was ill-conceived.
    “This just underscores the concerns that persons have with the timing of the elections because of the pandemic. This is a very serious reality that with over 200 people testing positive daily, and that number expected to double or even triple, in the next two weeks heading into the election we will be looking at a major problem.”
    “We are likely to have hundreds maybe thousands of persons in quarantine and persons should not be denied their right to vote because Government failed to plan for this possibility. These are things that should have been taken into consideration ahead of the decision to call elections,” Worrell said.
    The Sunday Sun made several attempts to reach Barbados Labour Party’s (BLP) campaign manager The Most Honourable Jerome Walcott for comment but was unsuccessful. Calls to Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley for his views on the matter also went unanswered.
    On Friday the BLP stoutly defended the decision to hold the General Election this month, even as the country learnt on Thursday of the first case of the highly transmissible Omicron variant in Barbados. Walcott was adamant that the elections could be conducted safely.
    He said that throughout the pandemic elections had been successfully conducted regionally and internationally.

    Source: Nation

  30. Harder to justify excluding unvaccinated

    Israel was the first country to introduce the green pass that allowed only fully vaccinated people to patronise certain locations. This occurred in early 2021 after Israel became the first country to vaccinate a large portion of its population with a vaccine that had shown effectiveness in preventing transmission of the early variants of COVID-19.
    Since the vaccine stopped the transmission of those variants, I understood the communal benefit of limiting access to certain venues to only the fully vaccinated, even if I didn’t agree with it.
    But a vaccine has no communal benefit where it cannot stop transmission of the virus. Instead, it only has the personal benefit of reducing the severity of symptomatic disease in the vaccinated individual.
    When the vaccines showed reduced efficacy against transmission of the Delta variant, they had lost much of their communal benefit, especially since their effectiveness against transmission and symptomatic disease waned almost completely after six months. Having venues or workplaces with only fully vaccinated individuals could no longer be justified based on science or existing data since fully vaccinated people, especially those whose second dose was more than six months prior, were just as likely to catch and transmit the virus as an unvaccinated individual.
    Based on the Ministry of Health dashboard for the week ending December 27, there were more vaccinated people (76) than unvaccinated individuals (39) who had tested positive for the virus and were in isolation. This was a first. However, there were more unvaccinated people in primary isolation (20) than fully vaccinated (two). So, when the Barbados Turf Club restricted the Boxing Day races to only vaccinated people and when Republic Bank published an advertisement last week advising that its third-party service providers must be fully vaccinated, what do they hope to achieve when the data is clearly showing that vaccination is not stopping transmission?
    In comes Omicron. The Omicron variant has been wreaking havoc across Europe and the United States and the data shows that the Omicron variant is being discovered in mostly fully vaccinated individuals (see NHS data for week 46-49, where positive cases among the fully vaccinated, even with a booster, more than doubled those among the unvaccinated).
    Several studies out of South Africa and England have shown that the Omicron variant escapes the majority of neutralising antibodies provided by the vaccines. However, each vaccine performs differently against the variant, with the Pfizer vaccine being the second most effective and showing a meagre 30-35 per cent effectiveness against transmission. AstraZeneca and Sinopharm performed poorly and the J and J vaccine gave zero effectiveness. Most worrying is new data from the United Kingdom Health Security
    Agency which shows that a booster increases protection against symptomatic disease from the Omicron variant, but the booster loses its efficacy against symptomatic disease after ten weeks.
    This is frightening.
    The Omicron variant has now been confirmed in Barbados. Even the vaccinated will have limited protection against this variant with a booster providing only ten weeks of protection against symptomatic disease but almost no protection against transmission.
    So how can we still be speaking of excluding the unvaccinated from events, venues and the workplace?
    Will employers require workers to get a booster every ten weeks even though the booster provides almost no protection against transmission and short-lived protection against symptomatic disease? Some Israeli scientists have warned against giving a fourth booster, saying it may cause immune system fatigue, compromising the body’s ability to fight the virus. So what then? Will employers continue to base these workplace mandates on outdated science and data?
    On a final note, the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago recently ruled in favour of seven unvaccinated employees who were banned from their workplaces and denied their salaries.
    The court granted an injunction against the employers and ordered that the employees be allowed to return to work and receive their unpaid salaries pending the determination of the substantive matter. I will be watching this ruling closely.
    2022 is shaping up to be an interesting year.

    Michelle M. Russell is an attorney at law with a passion for employment law and labour matters and a social activist. Email:

  31. Intelligence in the face of uncertainty

    These are times of uncertainty.
    Nuhbody ain’t know fuh sure. Not knowing can be very uncomfortable for human beings because we have this ability which seems to be unique, or at least, uniquely developed among living organisms. We have strong imaginations. So when we don’t know, we have the ability to imagine possibilities. This is a great strength of the species and also a potential weakness.
    Imagination is a strength when it allows you to see potential paths of action which may lead to success, improvements or progress. It is a strength when it can alert you to potential pitfalls, obstacles and dangers. But the key word is potential. Imagination becomes a liability when what is imagined as a potential is mistaken for a certainty. This often happens because we don’t like the feeling of uncertainty, of not knowing.
    We imagine a possibility or possibilities and, in order to ease the discomfort of not knowing, we convince ourselves that the possibility is a certainty. Certainty can be more comforting than uncertainty, even if it is a negative certainty. If your tendency is towards optimism, you may choose to focus on an imagined possibility that is pleasant. If your tendency is towards pessimism, you may choose to focus on a possibility that is unpleasant.
    Possible benefits
    There are possible benefits to both tendencies. The imaginer of an unpleasant possibility may benefit by taking necessary precautions in preparation for the potential fallout.
    The imaginer of pleasant possibilities has a sense of direction and a motivation to act in a way that may bring their imagined possibility to full manifestation. However, when either negative or positive possibilities come to be seen as certainties, imagination can lead fanaticism.
    There is a line of thought that says that intelligence is marked by the ability to hold two or more opposing views in mind at the same time and still be able to function effectively.
    In other words, you can imagine two very different possibilities, see them both as equally plausible, and not be paralysed by the uncertainty. The flip side is that, on the other hand, lesser intelligence is unable to function in the face of uncertainty. It is either paralysed by the uncertainty or has to relieve it by convincing itself that one of the possibilities is a certainty.
    Times of uncertainty send imaginations into overdrive. We don’t know what is going to happen. This is not a good feeling.
    We feel the need to know. Or, at least, feel like we know. In times of insecurity, if we respond intelligently, with wisdom and emotionally balance, and we have the resources, we will take precautions against the negative possibilities and faithfully work towards the positive possibilities, keeping in mind that nothing is guaranteed. Most of us will fall somewhere on the spectrum between believing extreme, doomsday, negative possibilities and believing extreme, utopian, positive possibilities. On the path to the edges of the spectrum is where fanaticism lies.
    Fanaticism lives in fear of doomsday possibilities and hope of utopian ones. Not knowing which will come becomes unbearable and it must convince itself that one of the two or both are certainties. But convincing themselves is not enough. They must convince others as well if the imagined possibility is to feel more real. This is more difficult when times are stable.
    But when things get unstable, people start looking for certainty. The fanatic who seems so sure of themselves, full of faith and confidence in their imagination, becomes very attractive.
    The challenge of intelligence in times of uncertainty is to maintain confidence or faith while accepting the uncertainty. This way you can take positive action and/or necessary precautions without the destructive delusions and tendencies of fanaticism.

    Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email: Adriangreen14

  32. David BU

    As chief general election strategist for PM Mottley , can update the BU family on the following ?

    After speaking to Barbadians on Monday night December 27 2021 , has the PM spoke to Barbadians since then ?
    Did the PM deliver her New Year’s Day message to Barbadians ?

  33. Observing January 2, 2022 12:27 AM
    “On top of that many people will opt to stay home rather than stay in a line for 2-3 hours or risk being infected. The lines at Popular and VAT free Monday were much more attractive”

    Much more attractive to risk catching Covid in a Popular or Cherish line?!?!?!??! ( joking) Also in Barbados do we typically stay that long in a line waiting to cast a vote? I did not hear the Covid monitoring Unit stating that waiting in lines was a major spreader of Covid
    In Barbados what I am gauging is that most people AT THIS STAGE OF THE PANDEMIC are ambivalent towards Covid-19. People are more afraid of the stigma of being placed in state isolation facilities that the effects of Covid-19 itself. There is still some level of concern but it is not an primary factor in deciding in how they go about their daily activities. In my opinion this is partly reflected in the declining vaccination rate.
    Will it have an effect on voter turnout in this election? In my opinion it will be a minor factor. It think the timing of the election….the “strength” of the opposition parties and the perception of the individual candidates would have a bigger impact on the voter turnout

  34. How many people in Barbados are in the “Active Cases” group? – 1,390.

    Which constituencies are most impacted? – Minister of Health says most cases in Southern Corridor so looks like most of these cases will be in Christ Church and St. Michael.

    What do the representatives of these constituents have to say? – Nobody knows!!

    The press needs to get far more specific.

    Next three weeks will be worth watching.

    If I am right, the ohmigod variant will be no big thing and common sense will prevail.

    For sure the levelling off in cases is apparent from Lyall’s data.

    Cases may fall or turn out to be tourists who can’t vote.

    The GOB needs to be specific about the status, the number and the constituency of these cases.

  35. Folks if we wait for covid to disappear to go on with the process of life, we will be waiting for years to come it’s that simple and all must accept this.

    Until a TRUE vaccine is created that works on covid the way the small pox vaccine did on small pox or the polio vaccine did on polio, this will be our life for 2022 and beyond.

  36. re This is the kind of issue we need to be interested in as a people. Instead we continue to be easily distracted.



  37. I am not impressed by the interpretarion of provisions in the Constitution and as these relate to international conventions.

    The Constitution does actually include provision on the right to vote. It is inferrred by a specifuc paragraph.

    If anyone is excluded from voting, thisvis a fundamental breach of human rights under both the Constitutuon and international convention.

    Wish Amused were here.


  38. So if say 30% of eligible voters were Covid positive and isolating, the election would be determined by only 70% of eligible voters?


  39. It appears that the comment about ‘not being allowed to vote’ is being corrected/updated. It also appears that Mr Chapman was not the person who should make this call.

    It bothers me when we get these hasty decisions and they then have to be reversed. It also bothers me that someone who should know better could so easily make such a decision about disenfranchising voters. Our democracy is as strong as the Mr Chapman in various offices.

  40. @ David January 2, 2022 7:01 AM

    The labor courts and lawyers you cite are irrelevant. The judges are Aborigines who have rebelliousness and socialism in their blood. The fact is that Barbados has been in the stranglehold of unionists and people living on food stamps and social welfare at the expense of the business community since 1937.

    Therefore, I fervently hope that the IMF will soon order harsh cuts in the welfare state so that the masses will finally be emancipated and learn to think for themselves.

  41. “Wish Amused were here.”

    me too, he would put all of this into perspective….can’t believe anything the wimps pimps and dirty agenda purveyors say…

  42. @Theo
    “It bothers me when we get these hasty decisions and they then have to be reversed.”

    Isn’t that how this government has ALWAYS operated???

    “So if say 30% of eligible voters were Covid positive and isolating,”
    What’s more absurd is that NO ONE thought they may need a plan for this eventuality

    “Will it have an effect on voter turnout in this election? In my opinion it will be a minor factor.”

    We can only wait and see.

  43. People in isolation ‘must stay home’

    THE ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (EBC) has made it clear that Barbadians who are COVID19-positive and in isolation are prohibited from leaving their houses to cast a ballot on January 19.
    The matter had been a bone of contention during a press conference hosted by the EBC on Saturday, when head of the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, Ronald Chapman, disclosed that people known to have the virus and in home isolation or patients of the Harrison Point isolation facility would not be allowed to vote on Election Day.
    That position was then left unknown, when deputy chairman of the EBC, Queen’s Counsel Hal Gollop, said a legal position from their advisor should be sought on the matter.
    EBC chairman Leslie Haynes QC, in a Zoom meeting with media managers yesterday to provide an update on preparations for the election, said they had met on the matter after Saturday’s press conference and were satisfied the law was clear under the current emergency directive in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    ‘Can’t vote’
    “It’s very simple. Those people in isolation cannot leave home, so they can’t vote. Those not in isolation are welcome to vote. Those who come to vote but show signs of illness, the Monitoring Unit will have provisions in place for them. We expect if you are in isolation, you would not breach the protocols,” he said.
    “But very special provisions will be made for everyone at a polling station to be processed safely. We are not responsible for the COVID-19 protocols or the directives. The legal advice is the same.
    We are bound by the laws of Barbados. And the directives say that if you are in isolation you are prohibited from leaving.”
    Supervisor of Elections Angela Taylor said people who show signs of illness or display symptoms will not have a separate ballot box in which to place their votes.

    Source: Nation

  44. How many times have govt amend the Constitution to accommodate their laws and directives
    Good leadership determines that a leader takes these important constitutional issues with all seriousness
    A good leader would not sit by in silence and leave such an important issues hanging until 19th Jan 2022
    A good leader would pursue due diligence called an emergency meeting of all ministers of Parliament acting on behalf of a Constitutional right of the people using giving directives necessary to add amendments to the law with purpose of a guarantee for all citizens having a right to vote

    • @Observing

      The ministers are in administrative mode until the 20th. May God help us that no crisis should arise:

  45. She has the power to reconvene
    This issue calls for emergency action
    Not a bunch of talking heads of indecisive divided govt officials on Zoom

  46. Re: Brain damage

    How did they get their sickness

    Proxy voting is a real thing world over

    Another No Brainer! for skilled experienced problem solvers

  47. That decision is an error in law. The Constitution does infer that every citizen has the right to vote.

    And if that right exists, where there are challenges, government should make provision that those unable to attend regular polling stations have alternate means of voting.

    • @Crusoe

      Some are saying this matter is addressed under the The representation of the peoples act. The EBC is saturated with lawyers frequently interact with the political parties. We will see where this matter leads. Last election there was a last minute court case to permit expats living here after a specified period to vote.

  48. In these times Doctors and Nurses are Government Agents and could become proxies for dead and dying to vote with a witness

    like when lawyers take peoples last wills and testimonies on their death bed before they pop off on their final journey of soul evolution

  49. DavidJanuary 3, 2022 8:01 AM

    How would she do that? The blogmaster is willing to learn

    Well decisive leadership should expect that she would execute an alternative also seeking power from the President to convene Parluament
    Certainly although the doors of Parliament is closed the members and leaders are still being paid as servants of the people
    Which should translate that when an emergency interacts with dissolvement of Parilament the first order of business would be a reliance on the PM to find resolution
    Mia political games would eventually make way for barbadians to fight for their Constitutional rights and if and when that day comes things gonna get real ugly
    Leadership calls for a leader to unify a country not to divide

  50. Google shit
    A notary, also called a notary public, is a person authorized to witness the signing of legal shit usually concerned with deeds, estates.

  51. “Mia political games would eventually make way for barbadians to fight for their Constitutional rights and if and when that day comes things gonna get real ugly”

    you sound like you are warming up your sound system..
    .. and are now placed on the blacklist of foreign agents attempting to overthrow a sovereign democratic government by revolution in contempt of peaceful election process

  52. Constitutional provisions,
    21. Protection (1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be
    of freedom of assembly and hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and
    association. association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and
    associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong
    to political parties or to form or belong to trade unions or other
    associations for the protection of his interests.

    Subject to the provisions of section 44, any person who Qualifications for
    (a) is a citizen of Barbados of the age of twenty-one years or membership
    upwards; and oftbe
    (b) has such connection with Barbados by residence therein as
    may be prescribed by Parliament, 1974-34.
    shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of

    Section 21 referring to freedom of assembly in the broader sense means freedom of political action in every way. To exclude anyone from voting would put them at a disadvantage to other citizens, taking from them something which other citizens are allowed to express.

    Section 43. This puts clear allowance for citizens who qualify to be members of Parliament. If someone qualifies to be in Parliament, surely it follows that they also qualify to vote and any obstruction of that right is contrary to their right entrenched in the Constitution?

    It would be absurd for someone to have the right to be in Parliament but not the right to vote, for that Parliament.

    Nowhere in the content of the Constitution does it allow for the exclusion of citizens from such a right. Save for special emergency measures, in which case, surely a government should take every effort to ensure that all effort is made to ensure satisfaction of citizen’s rights.

    On the matter of the Representation of The People Act. No act of Parliament, no case, nothing can eradicate rights that are embedded in the Constitution. The Constitution is supreme, as I am sure you know.

    • People who are sick in a pandemic maybe considered to be exception to the rule? The lawyers will figure it before the 19th, godknows we have enough of them.

  53. Soundclash Round 1
    Junior Demus Vs Nicodemus


    Nicodemus – Da Plane Land (Tempo Riddim)

  54. What lawyers Barbados is made up.if a bunch of self serving and self seeking lawyers
    Haynes response although sickening says it all


    If I am reading the Barbados Representation of the People Act correctly, being infected with a disease does not disqualify a person being a registered voter. Also to my knowledge there has been no Act that specifically denies persons with diseases from having that right to become a registered elector. From there my interpretation is that once registered, voters CAN VOTE and MUST and ONLY cast that vote in the polling district box in the constituency they are registered in.
    Using this interpretation, denying a person that has tested COVID positive the right to vote is in obvious breach of this act. The state has to find a way for these persons to vote in the polling station by any safe means necessary or it will be disenfranchising these people
    One thought that came to mind is that if the polls are normally open from 6:00 am to 6:00pm on election day, Allow COVID Positive persons to vote at least 1 hour before or one hour after these times.

  56. The problem of Home COVID Isolated not being allowed to leave home to vote is easily fixed within the confines of the current laws.

    1) It requires the EBC setting up special COVID ONLY Polling stations where only the COVID isolated can vote at. Having one per constituency would be ideal but multiple constituencies can be combined at one polling station as well if the numbers warrant.

    2) The CMO already has the authority to give permission to leave home isolation so he can give that permission for the purpose of voting at those special polling stations.

    3) Special transportation to or from can be arranged for those needing transportation.

  57. The Current Emergency Management Directives( that expire on January 6th) states that a person breaches this directive (i.e. breaks this temporary law) if they leave their place of quarantine or isolation without permission of the CMO. The question is what happens after January 6th, 2022 in general if parliament is dissolved?. How will a new EMD be put in place? Even if a new EMD is put in place i should think there should be accommodation for registered voters in quarantine \isolation to vote
    It indicates TO ME that there is nothing fundamental under the current laws that cannot allow COVID-19 positive persons to vote IN PERSON. For obvious health considerations, I think all that is needed is to provide a “safe” environment to allow it to happen.

  58. A General Election ism called and boom, Arawak dust issue resolved?

    Clearing the air
    Cement plant closing next month to fix dust problem
    THE ARAWAK CEMENT PLANT is to be closed so that special filters to reduce the amount of dust affecting residents can be installed.
    The Checker Hall, St Lucy factory is also prepared to release a study that will reportedly provide details about the emissions from the facility said to be in line with local and international standards.
    Those decisions were announced yesterday after a meeting with Attorney General Dale Marshall, Minister of the Environment Adrian Forde, Barbados Labour Party candidate for St Lucy, Peter Phillips, Arawak’s management, and representative of the concerned residents Melony James.
    It followed an intervention by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who met with the plant’s management on Monday.
    Marshall said they were hopeful following the meeting as several key solutions to the problems were identified.
    Filter bags
    “Perhaps the most important thing for us is the fact that the plant will be closing down in February to do maintenance and the installation of filter bags; that is key. The filter bags are here but they have to shut the plant down to be able to put the filter bags in and have someone fly in to do it because it’s a specialised craft so that has to be put into place,” he said on site.
    “The discussions have begun. It is for them now to demonstrate their commitment and their goodwill. We are optimistic, but we are also prepared to be back here in a couple of weeks if necessary.”
    He also said they would be reaching out to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to conduct an independent study.
    “We are going to be requesting [PAHO] so they can identify for us what experts are available within or outside so that we can get the study done and establish the baselines that we need to,” Marshall added.
    In a statement last night, Arawak said it was pleased to share developments for upgrades to its infrastructure with the residents, representatives of Government and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).
    The company also promised to reduce its CO2 emissions and work to improve communication with residents.
    “At the meeting, it was disclosed that Arawak will retain its investment programme by continuing to upgrade its infrastructure to achieve the sustainability goals of reducing CO2 emissions as it has done throughout the years,” the statement said.
    For many years, Checker Hall residents have complained about the dust particles that cover their homes, appliances, furniture and vehicles. Individuals with respiratory issues have also made complaints.
    The issues resurfaced in late December when residents threatened to protest.
    James, a Checker Hall resident, said the protest was off, for now, as she was pleased with the discussions and that a timeline was set.
    “We are elated to have just completed a meeting with the Arawak Cement management team. They are indicating that a lot of these measures will not be completed until August of this year. As a representative of the people, we understand the issues with the global supply chain and we hope to hold them accountable to their commitments to August. We are going to continue to communicate with them until we are at a level where we are both comfortable,” she said.
    She said releasing results of an EPD study would provide information about the emissions from the plant and possibly ease those with respiratory concerns.
    “We were given the assurance that the plant meets local and international standards as it relates to the level of emissions. They are willing to share the reports coming out of the EPD with the community so we can be appeased and see what those levels truly look like,” she said.
    Phillips, who also previously met with the affected parties, said a common ground was necessary since the plant was vital.
    “The plant is an asset to Barbados and St Lucy, but we also have to put up front the lives of the residents here. I don’t see this as a political issue; it is important and it is an environmental issue. We are glad the lines of communication were reopened and we are working with everyone,” he said.

    Source: Nation

  59. Obviously orchestrated to prevent a return to normal St. Lucy DLP status and keep Verla out. Then she will lose the leadership position and the Old Guard will probably take over. And the people, outside of their constituencies, en fuhget dem yet.

    Strategy executed by the One from whom ALL Big Works Flow!

    So transparent that it is sickening. But it will probably work. After all, de Big Works did get the job done, even if only at a time convenient only to her party and not the residents.

    And Verla in Opposition will not be in Big Works deliverable position.

  60. Isolation vote ‘too risky’

    by TONY BEST A POTENTIALLY logistical and expensive “nightmare”.
    That’s how Dr Wayne Greaves, a Bajan and an infectious disease expert in the United States, described calls for Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to arrange a last minute special arrangement that would enable COVID-19 infected people now in isolation to vote in the January 19 General Election.
    “I am firmly supportive of not allowing people currently in isolation to go to voting booths to cast their ballots and run the risk of infecting others,” Greaves told the DAILY NATION yesterday.
    “Absolutely not. It would be out of the question. Scientifically, it would not be a good decision to allow people in isolation to go to a booth to vote. It would pose a serious health risk and would be a breach of (health) protocols, given how infectious this current Omicron variant is. While there may be ways to somehow make provision for individuals in isolation to vote it would pose a logistics nightmare to implement such a mechanism. Actually, I don’t think it would be logistically feasible or even worth the effort,” he said.
    Greaves said the downside of getting people in isolation to the polls could outweigh any benefits.
    “While it wouldn’t be impossible, it would likely pose a logistics nightmare and would be costly,” he added.
    Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley complained a few days ago about the ECB decision not to allow people in isolation to vote. At the time he was was quoted as saying “we have a situation here where thousands of people are going to be disenfranchised because they are confined to their homes by the same Government that has called this election. To me, this is a matter that is worthy of legal consideration and legal redress because you are disenfranchising thousands.
    Make provision
    “If you are going to call the election, make provision for some arrangement where these person can cast their ballot,” said Atherley.
    Greaves, a former professor of medicine at Howard University in Washington, disagreed, contending the risks to the health of uninfected people would be too great.
    “In this matter, the guide should be the current laws what it allows or doesn’t permit in order to protect the health of the entire country. While a specific accommodation may be possible, it would likely pose a major logistics nightmare. After all, you can’t please everybody. When the law was enacted we weren’t thinking of COVID-19. We can’t address every single situation. What has occurred is just an unfortunate situation,” he said.
    Leslie Haynes, a Queen’s Counsel and Chairman of the ECB, told reporters that “those people in isolation cannot leave home so they can’t vote. Those not in isolation are welcome to vote.”
    But Hal Gollop, ECB’s Deputy Chairman, recommended that the board secure a legal opinion on the controversy.
    Greaves, who monitors the COVID-19 situation in Barbados and elsewhere around the world, said if people “were infectious and in isolation that’s how they should remain. It would be a major undertaking” to get around the law and the health protocols at this stage, two weeks before the election.
    “In an extreme case, I think it may possible, but it would be fraught with logistics, expense and everything else. I don’t think it is practical,” added Greaves who said any new effort would be an “inordinately difficult process to manage”.
    As he saw it, “to have people come out of isolation and go to the polls is definitely a no-no”.
    Statistics from the Barbados Government Information Service for COVID-19 update for Tuesday showed there were 164 people in isolation facilities, while 1 604 were in home isolation.

    Source: Nation

  61. There is consensus from the experts after two years of monitoring Covid 19, it will be with us for some time to come. Our thinking, plans etc have to adjust accordingly.

  62. Ok @ David well stated that “There is consensus from the experts after two years of monitoring Covid 19, it will be with us for some time to come. Our thinking, plans etc have to adjust accordingly.”

    Thus what you are asking quietly is: why did this admin not implement all necessary possible steps to enable a comprehensive voting process so that isolated but able citizens could exercise their right before calling any new election

    Why not indeed!

    Was there no cost effective, secure electronic voting options possible!

    No voting by mail option configurable to address local privacy concerns!

    1,600 plus disenfranchised voters in our voting population is significant … even accepting a ratio of maybe 60% only who may have wanted to vote!

    But as you said otherwise … our admin and leaders want to play stupid and continually make mistake after mistake, after mistake.

    In truth that’s deliberate malfeasance and intent to screw Bajans.

    We enjoy it, tho, clearly!

    • The EBC and government department responsible Electoral Office appears to be anchored in 20th century thinking. More importantly the point you made – why have the political parties not flesh this out behind closed doors with the EBC instead of allowing it to rise to another one of those issues humbugging the public space?

  63. To the original point. I disagree. Mia Mottley clearly has big plans for the country and literally told us so.

    The purpose of the election IS to open the gate to progress.

    After this coming five years, people will call her Barrow #2.


    By Colville Mounsey

    With the prospect of hundreds of Barbadians being unable to vote in this month’s General Election due to COVID-19 isolation, chairman of the Electoral & Boundaries Commission (EBC), Leslie Haynes QC, says a determination will be made on possible changes for future elections.
    He told the Saturday Sun that following the January 19 poll the EBC will be conducting a logistical analysis of possible solutions to be recommended to Government, which could include the option of mail-in ballots for future elections.
    However, Haynes made it clear that the only way COVID-19-positive people in isolation could vote in the 2022 election would be through a change in the directives under the emergency powers.
    “Those things would have to be looked at in the future. However, we have to balance that with the resources that we have. Barbados is a fairly small country, but yes, those things should be looked at.
    After every election, the Electoral & Boundaries Commission carries out a review and we analyse the issues arriving from the election.”
    He added: “No doubt after these elections we will be analysing the issues that arose and determine how best we can resolve them. Mail-in ballots is just one suggestion. We would list all of the suggestions, we go through them and write the pros and cons, and then determine which is worthy of consideration to put to the powers that be. This, of course, would require an amendment to the Representation Of The People Act.”
    Questions raised
    The controversy has been brewing since Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s announcement last month that Barbadians will be going to the polls a year and six months before they are constitutionally due, raising questions about whether people in isolation will be able to exercise their franchise.
    On Thursday, 407 more cases of COVID-19 were recorded. There were 176 people in isolation facilities and 2 394 were in home isolation.
    The matter has been compounded by the findings of the most recent modelling by the University of the West Indies’ George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, which projects a worst-case scenario of a COVID-19 surge peaking at 3 500 cases daily as a result of the Omicron variant.
    Mottley said earlier this week that she would speak to the issue after she was briefed by the
    Ministry of Health and Wellness as well as the EBC. Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley has also weighed in on the issue, calling into question the integrity of the election.
    Haynes stressed that contrary to what some people were suggesting, the hands of the EBC were tied in this matter, as the law did not permit them to make any adjustments to the manner in which ballots could be cast.
    “It is the COVID-19 directive that people cannot leave isolation and come out to vote; they would be breaching the directive. A polling station is a geographical area and you can’t just put a polling station at Harrison Point. The laws will have to be changed by the powers that be; the EBC cannot go about and change laws,” he said.
    “Logistically there could be challenges too. Let us say you allow a polling station at Harrison Point – what is going to be the provision for the persons who are isolating at home? These are not easy questions to answer,” he said, stressing that the health and safety of electoral officers must also be considered.

    Source: Nation

  65. Noticed Mia is struggling to connect with the wider audience on the campagain trail
    Her zeal which she demonstrated in past election. cycle was dim or diminished by the fact she did not have Stuart administration to beat upon Hence no buzz words of sensationalism like coorks and thiefs could have be offered to wet the appetite of the voters and send them into a Stuart frenzy of asking to lock them up
    All well know that politics is a blood sport
    Hence most noticeably with past govt absent the Blp cackling geese in what appears to be a grabbing of straws moment with intent to draw blood could not help but to pull out their devious and devilish pitch fork and tried to drive it into the neck of Dawn Amstrong
    Going forward Dawn response was one of apology
    Yet questions still lingers as to why the PM can use insulting language on several occasions while making comments to the larger bajan citizen and no one ask her to apologize

  66. Good governance is inclusive within the Constituion with all the necessary directives which govt can take in their decision making
    Mia refused to ignore those directives but rather pursue a path of self righteous indignation
    A path which would forever question the legitimacy of this election
    An election which would be written into the history books laden with question marks and controversy linking Barbados election to voter suppression
    Not Good

  67. I disagree with the EBC. As Garth Patterson explained.

    No body has the right to act other than within the Constitution.

    I have to wonder.

  68. Educate yourself
    A must read

    The boundaries of the EBC
    Literally a month after Barbados transitioned to Republican status, and at the dawn of 2022, the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EBC) formally confirmed that COVID-19-positive patients, who make up the Barbadian electorate, will be unable to exercise their constitutional franchise at the next general election, which is slated for January 19th, 2022. But does that formal confirmation render the EBC blameworthy for this democratically unjustifiable state of affairs? An answer to this question necessitates an examination of the functions and legal boundaries of the EBC.
    The EBC’s functions and boundaries
    The EBC was established by and under the Barbados Constitution, and it is therefore a constitutional body.
    Section 41C of the Constitution provides that the EBC shall be independent and shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority when it is discharging its constitutional functions.
    This means that not even the Prime Minister or the Government could intermeddle in the decisions and decisional processes of the EBC.
    Under the same section 41C, the EBC’s overarching function is to direct and supervise the registration of electors and the conduct of electoral affairs in Barbados and any matters incidental thereto.
    With such a sweeping mandate, this begs the question – what precluded the EBC from putting special provisions in place for COVID-19-positive electors so that they would be able to cast their votes on polling day? In short, the EBC’s authority in this context is constricted by certain legislative requirements.
    What are some of these requirements? First, pursuant to sections 3-6 of the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Order, 2020, electors who are COVID-19 positive will be required to quarantine or will have to remain in isolation stations.
    Second, section 39 of the Representation of the People Act (ROPA) effectively makes it mandatory for electors to vote in person at designated polling stations.
    The conjoint effect of these two requirements raises the conundrum – if a COVID-19-positive elector is required to quarantine or isolate, how can they vote in person at a designated polling station? One may hasten to suggest that polling stations could have been set up specifically for COVID-19-positive electors at Harrison’s Point or other isolation facilities. That way the COVID-19-positive electors could have voted and isolated simultaneously.
    However, whilst this may be logistically possible for the EBC, there is a third legislative requirement that would put a spoke in the EBC’s wheel.
    Section 6 of the ROPA dictates that an elector is disentitled from voting in a constituency unless he/she is qualified to be an elector for that constituency and unless the elector is registered in the register of electors for that constituency.
    Contextually, therefore, as it stands, it is legally impossible for the EBC to create a polling station at Harrison’s Point or other isolation facilities to allow COVID-19-positive electors to vote, since not all of those COVID-19-positive electors will be qualified or registered to vote in the constituencies in which the isolation facilities are located.
    Essentially, the EBC could not have enabled or facilitated voting for COVID-19-positive electors without overstepping its boundaries by flouting either the COVID-19 Order or the ROPA, or both.
    Therefore, while it is easy to castigate the EBC for making the announcement, the EBC should not be blamed for the disenfranchisement of COVID-19-positive electors.
    The EBC’s hands were truly shackled. That is the regrettable reality.
    Who is deserving of blame?
    Having established that the EBC is not to be blamed, this raises the question – who is deserving of the culpability? Seasoned Attorney-at-law Lynette Eastmond and Law Lecturer Dr. Ronnie Yearwood both hit the nail directly on its head when they recently intimated that this is wholly the Government of Barbados’ fault.
    However, I will go further and say that it is specifically the fault of the Prime Minister (PM).
    Under section 61(2) of the Constitution, the PM is accorded power to unilaterally call a general election before it is constitutionally due.
    Incidentally, only the PM can exercise this power. PM Mottley resolved to exercise this power and called what is being described as a ‘snap election’. When this constitutional power is exercised by the PM, Parliament must dissolve with immediate effect, which means that all parliamentary seats automatically become vacant.
    However, only the PM’s Cabinet can amend the COVID- 19 Order, and only Parliament can amend the ROPA, and these are the two pieces of legislation that are preventing the EBC from allowing COVID-19-positive electors from voting on polling day.
    What PM Mottley failed and neglected to do before she called the snap election was to ensure that the COVID-19 Order and the ROPA were duly amended to allow COVID- 19-positive electors to vote at the next general election. If PM Mottley had done this, the EBC’s hands would not have been legally tied.
    Furthermore, an argument can be made that the failure to amend the ROPA to allow COVID-19-positive electors to vote makes the ROPA unconstitutional.
    This argument could be fortified by section 42(2)(b) of the Constitution, which states that “[a]ny law providing for the election of members of the House of Assembly shall, in particular, contain provisions designed to ensure that as far as practicable any person qualified to vote…has a reasonable opportunity of voting.”
    It certainly is practicable to allow COVID-19-positive electors to vote in Barbados amidst a pandemic, which has been in existence for almost two years now. During the pandemic, COVID-19-positive electors were allowed to vote in multiple countries, including Jamaica and the United States of America.
    There is absolutely no cogent reason why our relevant legislation could not have been amended to allow for the same in Barbados. As a matter of fact, prior to the presidential election in America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated on its website that “[v]oters have the right to vote, regardless of whether they are sick or in quarantine.”
    We cannot be picking and choosing when to follow the science and medical expertise for political expedience.
    Exercise common sense
    The PM’s decision to call a snap election without ensuring that COVID-19-positive electors could exercise their democratic franchise was improvident, impulsive and self-serving.
    The critical question left is, can the PM remedy this unfortunate situation? The answer is ‘Yes’.
    Under section 61(5) of the Constitution, if Parliament has been dissolved, the PM can advise the President that Parliament should be reconvened if an emergency arises of such a nature that, in the opinion of the PM, it is necessary for the two Houses of Parliament or either of them to be summoned before the next general election.
    To my mind, apart from the fact that we are already in a state of emergency because of the pandemic, the possible disenfranchisement of COVID-19-positive electors is so grave that it could constitute an emergency of such a nature that should cause the PM to advise the President that Parliament should be reconvened to address this problem.
    The right to vote is the backbone of any constitutional democracy. Without this right, we would not even have a democracy. To deprive COVID-19-positive electors of their right to vote, when it is reasonably possible for them to safely exercise it, is to debilitate our democracy and democratic principles.
    The PM is always quick to implore others to exercise common sense, and she fervently advocates for putting people over politics. I now implore the PM to exercise common sense by exercising her power under section 61(5) of the Constitution so that this dire situation can be addressed.
    If the PM refuses or fails to exercise this power, it will speak volumes.
    It would simply mean that this time it will be politics over people. Is this how we want to usher in 2022 for Barbados, the new Republic? PM Mottley, the ball is now in your court!
    Rico J. Yearwood is a social activist, the Head of the Public Law Department at CARICOM Attorneysat-Law and a co-host of the award-winning CARICOM Public Law Podcast.

  69. Bajans will produce volumes and treaties.
    The will wax long and eloquently.
    But after the hot air is expelled nothing will be done.

    Tired of the pseudo-intellectual BS being pushed. Men and women of words and never of action. March, protest…. Where is our Duke of York.

    Oh, the grand old Duke of York
    He had ten thousand men
    He marched them up to the top of the hill
    And he marched them down again…

  70. This government is far too hasty. Too many actions not thoroughly thought through.

    We lurch from controversy to crisis daily.

    My head is spinning!

    • “West Coast restaurants to implement vax-only policy

      In another month, patrons who wish to dine at the popular West Coast restaurants, The Tides and QP Bistro must be fully vaccinated, management announced Friday.
      Happy Group Restaurants, which manages the two establishments, served notice that it will implement a “safety zone policy requiring full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus with effect from February 16, 2022”.
      The policy also requires staff to be fully vaccinated.
      “No testing is being done and a negative test will not be accepted in lieu of vaccination. It’s a vaccination-only policy and persons who cannot provide evidence of valid vaccination status will not be allowed access,” it said.
      Management explained the policy is being implemented to ensure that all patrons, staff, suppliers and visitors to its restaurants can enjoy the experience while benefitting from the highest possible level of safety.
      Operations Director Jacqueline Sealy said: “We are happy to do everything in our power to protect our staff, customers and their families. We have had huge support from our staff to create safer restaurants.”
      Sealy added that the restaurants continue to adhere to the full suite of COVID-19 safety protocols, in keeping with Government’s policy directives.
      Several private sector companies have implemented safe zones requiring either vaccination or testing.
      Local boutique hotel, the Sweetfield Manor and the PAVAO Barbados restaurant, both located in the Upper Garrison area of the Bridgetown UNESCO Historic Area; Senses Marche restaurant and Caribbean Smile Makers Dental Clinic, both located at Belleville, St Michael, are among them.
      Last November, entrepreneur and president of the Barbados Dental Association Dr Vijay Armogan rolled out a private sector safe zone policy to protect staff and clients in his group of companies. All patrons must be fully vaccinated, have a COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before visiting the establishment, or have a rapid test done at their own expense.
      The website has already been launched.
      Back in November 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness launched the first phase of its safe zones initiative in the healthcare sector. However, challenges resulting from an apparent lack of consultation on the policy resulted in the initiative being put on hold pending further consultations with key stakeholders. (SD)”

      Source: BT

  71. @David
    The unions kept noise with Lionel C Hill. Will they keep noise with the Wet Coast restaurants?

    The effect will be sharp. Sad thing is the sharpness coincides with elections. An eventuality that the government would have known full well about. Hence the criticism they (or the PM) so rightly deserve.

    Just observing

  72. RE To the original point. I disagree. Mia Mottley clearly has big plans for the country and literally told us so.
    The purpose of the election IS to open the gate to progress.
    After this coming five years, people will call her Barrow #2.

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