An Open Letter to Barbadian Voters
Submitted by Grenville Phillips II, president of Solutions Barbados
Dear Barbadian Voters:
First, let me state the obvious. The chances of a third-party candidate getting elected in Barbados at this time, is somewhere between extremely unlikely and non-existent. We are fully aware of this. Yet, we persist.
After each election, we receive the same three types of responses. They are: (i) encouragement from those who support our message, (ii) disappointment from supporters of the established parties, and (iii) ridicule from the media and political consultants, and those whom they influence.
WHY KEEP GOING?
Have you ever asked yourselves why? What would cause persons with over 20 years of professional experience, and who are at the peak of their careers, to risk it all with an impossible mission? Why do we expose our personal and professional reputations to the scrutiny of a General Election campaign? What can we possibly hope to gain through this stubborn persistence?
Do you really want to know the answers to those questions? I have yet to hear any person ask them during the seven years of Solutions Barbados’ existence. I have given the answer several times, but unless people are curious enough to ask the ‘why’ question, they are less inclined to be receptive to our answer.
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW?
Each time we throw ourselves against this impenetrable wall during an Election campaign, we leave a bit of ourselves there. Is it worth it? No. It is not worth the disappointment in the eyes of our families, friends, clients, or employers. It is not worth the public ridicule, the baseless accusations of political operatives, or the derision of the media and social commentators.
So, if it is not worth it, then why continue to do it? If you genuinely want to know, then with all of the sincerity in my heart, l write, ‘thank you’. I cannot speak for the other so-called third parties. I can only speak for Solutions Barbados. We do it because we must. Perhaps a parable may help me explain that response better.
THE PARABLE OF THE TERMITES AND PAINTER.
There was once a termite infested house that sheltered several families. Every five years, the families elected a painter to maintain the house. But the painter only did what he knew, which was to paint over the rotten timbers.
One day, a Structural Engineer visited the house, and warned the families that the timbers were severely and extensively rotten. He then provided a solution of replacing rotten timbers, and strengthening the building to prevent its collapse, and offered to do so free of cost.
On hearing this warning, the painter quickly painted the rotten timbers with another coat of paint, and then declared the structure to be sound. The occupants unquestioningly trusted the painter, and never believed the Engineer’s warnings – until the building collapsed shortly thereafter.
THE PARABLE EXPLAINED.
The timber structure is the economy of Barbados – which shelters us all. The termites are inflated no-bid contracts that are given to political donors. The damage is the high debt created by borrowing to pay for these inflated contracts. We are taxed much more than we should, to repay debts we should never have been in, to pay for inflated costs we should never have been charged.
The building’s occupants are Barbadian voters. The painters are successive BLP and the DLP administrations, who allowed their donors to corrupt our national economy, so that it is no longer sustainable. The Structural Engineer is Solutions Barbados, who keeps warning Barbadians about the foreseen collapse of the economy.
THE FORESEEN COLLAPSE.
Based on the amount of damage political donors have done to our national economy, it can no longer take a major financial shock. However, major shocks are expected this year. The IMF are insisting that the rot in the economy must cease, but with the just concluded General Election, the political donors will insist on their right to feed.
A worse shock is that by removing God’s providential care in the new Charter of Barbados, we are, for the first time since our Independence, unprotected from major hurricanes. We are all terribly exposed.
AN OBLIGATION TO WARN.
Tragically, it is also foreseen that you will only believe us once you experience the unbearable austerity – that could have been avoided by addressing the corruption. The Government’s many public relations departments, that persuaded you that the economy was sound, will likely claim that the collapse was an Act of God. The foreseen collapse is due to corruption by political donors.
You have a right to be warned, and we have a moral obligation to warn you. Solutions Barbados mainly runs highly qualified and experienced persons for two reasons. The first is they are credible voices whom you know that you will ignore at your peril. The second is that they are capable of properly managing the economy if elected.