Barbados Elections 2022: Factors and Losers
Submitted by Observing
The dust has settled, the people have spoken, and we now prepare for at least 3 ½ years of BLP governance. There are many issues and factors which impacted the result, including campaigns and candidates but I have chosen to highlight those that were considered fringe but were still collectively significant.
31 months of silence only to emerge to “counter program” our Sunday Sun with a narrative on the Prime Minister’s great traits and Mrs. Depeiza’s negative one. Definitely blunted anything Lucille Moe said (not that she had much of an impact anyhow) and reminded a large enough percentage that it should have been him after David. They speak about a woman scorned but it seems a Chris scorned is even worse and more bitter.
With 18 months to go and a full majority in hand the dice were rolled knowing that the other players weren’t ready. Politically sound and brilliant. The result speaks for itself. We can debate constitutional changes to a PM’s power for snap elections but the gamble paid off, politically at least. Otherwise I am not so sure. The Omicron spread will be an entirely different beast. The return to school is the first casualty. There will be more. As TheoGazerts said in another thread, the government would do well not to view this a as a sweeping/clear mandate.
Covid and Turnout
A large amount of persons still remain in their curtilages up to this day even without Covid. Many of these are older persons. I am certain that many did not venture out to vote. Also, 4000-5000 persons were not facilitated to vote. A turnout of 43-44% in a modern democracy is the inevitable result and should be cause for concern. Effectively the ruling party has received the support of 28% of the voting population. Let that sink in for a bit.
The contest for President of the DLP over the last tow cycles took some nasty turns. It is reminiscent of the primary battles of United States politics. Guy Hewitt’s pronouncements on Mrs. Depeiza and the ensuing brutal battle however left lasting damage. First, because the statements were perceived to be true. Second, because they occurred close to the election and before she had any chance to recover, consolidate and groom her young team. The rapid disappearance of the said Guy rather than a kumbyah moment also lent to the view that the DLP wasn’t ready and the leadership battle is far from over.
Glorious years? Seriously? Stupse. Won’t bother to waste any more words on this one.
It is a known secret that there was trouble in the BLP camp. The “pick up stumps and go home” move forced the hands of those that may have wanted to be eager. True to form though, this was NEVER spoken about on the BLP’s side. No one denied it, no one hinted at it, no one even acknowledged it. This is the existential difference between the two parties. One airs its laundry in public. One pretends it has no laundry. One bludgeons itself with barbs pointed inside rather than outside. The other is polite and vague even in criticism. One looks for ways to divide itself hoping for spoils that will lead to victory. One focuses on victory first, spoils after. I think all Bajans know which is which.
Mia Mottley’s stature
Perceived personal flaws aside Mia is a lifetime shrewd politician whose 2018 insurmountable margins made it near impossible for the DLP to make inroads. Couple this with recent international acclaim and it was always going to be difficult. The DLP erred in focusing on Mia again too much, but then again what do you expect with Steve Blackett as your campaign manager. Hopefully they finally listen, learn and allow the new candidates to grow in their positions and focus on ISSUES rather than the INDIVIDUAL. There is still room for them even against Mia but they have to take heed. It is an indisputable fact that she is not as popular locally as she would lead us to believe and she is definitely not at her 2018 levels and still falling.
Special mention: The Biggest Losers
• ALL of the Old Guard
• DLP strongholds of St. John and St. Lucy
• Joseph Atherley
• Voices of opposition in the country
• Trade Unionism