DLP in Drift Mode

Steve Blackett, Verla De Peiza

A week after the snap general election and no surprise, Prime Minister Mottley continues to suck the air out of the local, regional and to a lesser extent the international news space. As if a second 30-0 shellacking for opposition parties wasn’t enough and a new look Cabinet, her recommendation to appoint teenager Khaleel Kothdiwala to the Upper House has blown up news streams on traditional and social media.

An observation of the Barbados landscape in recent years has been the dominant personality of Mia Mottley as leader of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). In contrast the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) -the other major political party- competed with late Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and of recent Verla De Peiza who both possess seemingly introverted personalities. 

The blogmaster does not have to analyze numbers to understand the psyche of the Bajan voter. We prefer alpha personalities to lead the country. Stuart through happenstance was an outlier who benefited from a sympathy vote commingled with the cuhdere mentality of Barbadians that a government deserves a second term. We can only speculate if the late David Thompson would have been able to overcome the stink of CLICO to breathe fire into the party.

Of immediate concern to civic minded citizens has been the inability of a political opposition to favourably appeal to the electorate in two recent general elections -not to forget the by election in St. George North. Political parties although private entities decisions made have national significance. The resignation of Verla De Peiza with immediate effect has ensured the DLP’s voice will be less credible in the Barbados space for at minimum the next three months – a special conference is scheduled to filled the leadership role in the party. It does not help with the rebuild of DLP’s image that the interim President is Steve Blackett, a member of Stuart’s Cabinet and willing participant on the platform of that infamous Waterford Stadium political meeting. 

A surface scan of DLP actors serves up slim choices to lead the party at a critical juncture. The task to rebuild the party and at the same time be a strident opposition voice is a gargantuan one. On the weekend a suggestion was made by Hartley ‘Kingmaker’ Henry the DLP should look to the diaspora for candidates to lead. On the current political trajectory unless there is a catastrophic occurrence the DLP can anticipate another defeat in five years.

On the assumption the DLP will struggle to regain relevance in the eyes of the electorate in five years, what does it portend? A splinter of the party if old heads continue to make it difficult for the DLP to reimagine itself? A credible third party made up of disaffected members from the BLP and third parties?

Interesting times ahead.

There is the national debate about the new Constitution to come. It is evident based on the results of two recent general elections, there is a lacuna to be addressed.


  • @Dee Word

    Sorry for not updating on the weekend. The poll assumption should not be held as the gospel but it is the only form of quantitative analysis a available, we are left to consider it to inform our opinions.


  • A genius is a genius because he (or she) is different.

    A genius’ brain is “wired” differently and this is what makes him a genius.

    If you try to stuff a genius into a regular box you may end up stifling his genius.

    Regular team members who cannot pull any rabbits out of the hat must be made to put their egos aside for the sake of the team. They have no right to those egos until they too can pull rabbits out of hats.

    I spoke of genius being managed. That includes setting guard rails for the excesses of the genius.

    Indeed, Lara should never have been allowed to get rid of the Aussie who himself was an essential part of the set up. They should have hired a professional to make peace between the two.

    One should also remember that Lara was not too proud to seek out the advice of another genius when he ran into technical difficulties and was known to stay on at the nets putting that advice into practice long after the others had left the building.

    The Lara problem was a management problem that could have been handled much better.

    I do not blame Lara. Genius is notoriously difficult.


  • de pedantic Dribbler

    Very correct @David, re “The poll assumption should not be held as the gospel” but the numbers are startingly WOW nonetheless.

    As a snapshot of Bajan sentiment this “form of quantitative analysis” is off the charts in every sense.

    For very practical reasons it’s understandable why the owner of the data choose NOT to publish it prior to elections … it would have been a scandal and Wickham would have been loudly accused of undermining the DLP, subverting Bajan politics and worst.

    Politically the DLP BETTER get informed … a majority of their members believe the oppo leader is better (by over 40 points) than their leader. … Even if the poll is wrong well beyond the statistical +/- 5% norm that’s still a MASSIVE problem!

    Moreover the current leader is considered at a 79% national popularity. .. she moved from 15% in 2013…

    Whether we extrapolate at 153 votes per point or by percentage swing one can very simply see how her popularity (DLP disapproval) translated to whopping victories .

    The data is stunning however we parse it and reflects exactly what we say her daily and also actually saw and experienced…. It also belies and puts into greater perspective this trope of ‘low voter turnout’ and the recent election.

    How can ANY political group overcome a 6% vrs 79% leadership approval.

    And how does the BLP leadership team reign in an over zealous, alleged constitution bashing, whimsical national hero selecting boss-lady who has a 96% approval with her flock!

    Based on what we see in the US wid #45 and his hold on his party we Bajans gots’ a mighty big problem too, brother.

    I gone.


  • @Dee Word

    Making the matter interesting is that the DLP has remained in the same place as far as making progressions since 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Yep. I mis-estimated completely. The political pendulum didn’t move one iota in 3.5yrs.
    While unrelated, similar was experienced in Canada between ’19 and ’21.


  • @ DPD @ David
    Perhaps we are witnessing the decaying of the DLP from which it may never return. Could be the beginning of the end.


  • @William

    Like leaders new things often emerge from chaos.


  • @ David
    Agreed. It’s going to take a lot more than accepting two senate seats from its twin sibling to revive the DLP.



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