Return of the Old Guard
An interesting conversation point that will attract interest is the impact David Estwick, Michael Lashley, Denis Lowe and Richard Sealy will have on the 2022 general election. The four were members of the Freundel Stuart cabinet and the previous government soundly rejected by the electorate in 2018.
There is nothing unusual about defeated political candidates offering themselves to the public. To do so they must have successfully negotiated won the party requirements to win selection. Political parties are private entities after all and the membership free to select candidates of choice.
Notwithstanding the preamble a look at the four members of the old guard and what it means for the DLP’s chances on the 19 January 2022 AND beyond is a constructive discussion to have. Although decisions taken by political parties are private – obviously there is the national import.
The involvement of the four forces the ‘new’ DLP to defend old issues ventilated in the 2018 political campaign. Issues that arguably contributed to the DLP’s unprecedented defeat. Denis Lowe had the Cahill issue and the blogmaster expressed concerns about him being a Peter Allard stooge of Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary fame, David Estwick’s public disagreements with former minister of finance Chris Sinckler, Michael Lashley’s questionable association with Trans-Tech etc. The big question for the political pundits – is the risk reward ratio calculated in favour of the Verla De Peiza led DLP?
Onlookers must surmise that the DLP conducted private polling to test the water in the four constituencies and the DLP executive was satisfied with the results. The unknown is whether the involvement of the four will negatively impact the national swing percentage. The size of the swing margins in the majority of constituencies the 2018 general election were large and the DLP will not want to make decisions to compromise the swing pendulum away from the BLP this time around. Another unknown is the extent the pandemic will have on voter turnout as it relates to the respective bases. Disillusioned DLP members opted out from voting in 2018, some may have voted BLP. Then there are the independents many who may decide to avoid the risk of standing in gatherings for reason of health safety. A cohobblopot of issues which the usual talking heads will try to make simple for a susceptible electorate.
The reality is that Barbadians are comfortable with the 2-party system that exists as it is in many countries. It should be obviously if we want the transformative changes in the economy, education, energy and water generation, waste management and others, like minded Barbadias will have to infiltrate the two main political parties to help with accelerating change in the national interest.
The blogmaster is of the opinion returning the four to the fold is a mistake not for the reasons mentioned but the threat to De Peiza’s fragile leadership hold on the ‘new’ DLP.