Crisis of Governance – No Damn Labour Party (NDLP)

Mia Mottley

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) was founded in 1938 and the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in 1955. For many the BLP and DLP dubbed the Duopoly are the only political parties we know. In recent years both political parties have been criticized for not being sufficiently progressive to sustain a quality life for the majority of Barbadians, present and future generations. Noticeable has been the inability of alternative parties to establish themselves as credible alternatives in a ready environment.

In 2018 and 2022 the BLP won both general elections with an unprecedented consecutive 30 to zero result. While political supporters of the duopoly have understandably contrasting feelings about the results, the more independent minded continue to be very concerned. 

A strong democracy depends on quality political parties. Strong political parties depend on quality members. In recent years both DLP and BLP have been unable to attract quality individuals to stem rising voter apathy and cynicism. No need to listen to the taking heads who try to justify declining voter turnout with statistical speak. Unbiased political pundits agree that today’s voter across the globe “appear to be turning away from traditional political organizations”. It forces the question – can the democracy practiced in Barbados survive without fit for purpose political parties?

The Barbados system of government which is a parody of the Westminster system is predicated on the “public’s trust in the integrity of government”, one that embodies “a framework of ethics, professionalism and transparency”. It has become obvious EXCEPT for rabid partisan supporters our political system has been hijacked- whether it is because of a less than meritorious selection of candidates or anonymous sources of funding for political parties that flavour how decisions are made when politicians ascend to government. There is a growing bloc of disenchanted citizens- here and elsewhere- who represent a view the time has come to usher in a more direct participation by citizens to how we govern. Find ways to diminish the role of political parties and the professional political class. The days of the ‘grassroot’ politician whose sole objective was to selflessly serve the public is a faded ideal.

Barbados presents a good case study to prove the notion of a system of government failing because of a declining political party system. There is the BLP with its charismatic maximum leader- remove Mottley from the BLP leadership and there is a good chance the party will flounder to mimic the death throes being exhibited by the DLP. In the meantime and in between time the people are left with no option than to vote for twiddledee or twiddledum.

The majority of Barbadians despite our boast of being an educated people hesitate to discuss governance issues in a meaningful way. That is unless cloaked in a salacious, adversarial and contentious theme. There is the saying, a people always get the government it deserves. Across the globe this is being witnessed.

116 comments

  • @Artax

    There was a front page story on Sunday where Holder denied she resigned from the BLP?

    @Artax

    Regarding the PAC the blogmaster judge performance.

    Like

  • African Online Publishing Copyright ⓒ 2022. All Rights Reserved

    “According to Dr. Belle, it could not be the role of the independent senators to oppose the Government’s will.”

    “especially the ones coming from professionals whose credibility is in large measure dependent on their being perceived as independent, or at least not obviously aligned to any political party. They should know a thing or two about independent thinking and the value of independent thought, and should have been staunch defenders of the right of the independent senators to take an independent view, even if they were not in agreement with those views.”

    political pimps are dishonorable, untrustworthy and nothing they say is credible.

    …i have been asking for years, what is a political scientist, even the description sounds sketchy….now we know they are nothing but political pimps for one party or another, whichever one pays them the most for pretending to predict…they carry a distinct stench..

    Like

  • @ David

    I meant LYNDA Holder of the Transport Board and NOT former Senator Lynette Holder.

    Recall the Financial Controller Felicia Sue was also either suspended or her services terminated.

    Like

  • @Artax

    Yes, blogmaster’s error.

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    So on clicking on the link to the CCJ article I saw the Nation has a blurb on Melnyk’s passing.
    “Born in Ukraine in 1959, Melnyk migrated to Canada”….false. He was born in Canada of Ukrainian parents
    “He was married to Sharilyne and the father of Anna and Olivia.”…unless this occurred in his final weeks, they were not married. His ex-wife Laura, is the mother of his two daughters.
    Makes me wonder…..

    Like

  • @ David March 30, 2022 9:34 AM

    I agree it’s “good” that St. Lucia has decided to join the CCJ.

    Caribbean ‘heads of governments’ often talk about regional integration and unity, yet, they remain divided on many issues affecting the region.

    One problem is, you may have an incumbent administration of a particular Caribbean island, for example, agreeing on specific issues. Unfortunately, if that administration loses the general elections, the incoming ‘government’ may find all types of reasons not to continue previous supportive.
    In other words, they shout ‘unity’ on some issues and on others, especially when they believe their own self interests are of paramount importance, the situation suddenly becomes, ‘every man brek fuh he self.’

    Remember when in March 2019, then U.S President, Donald Trump, met with leaders from Bahamas, St. Lucia, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Jamaica because they supported the United States in backing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as head of state?
    Those five leaders had the perfect opportunity to remind Trump that, despite there may be a difference of opinion, the Caribbean is working towards becoming a united region, and what he did was essentially a method of ‘sowing seeds of division.’ That he either meet with all, or none.
    Instead, they ‘took the bait’ of Trump’s promise that a high-level delegation from the U.S development lender, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, would visit their islands within 90 days after the meeting to look at investments.

    Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness told reporters after the meeting that, “It’s absolutely important that it’s not just talk – that there will be real investment.”

    It would interesting to know if the so called investments actually occurred…… and, if they did, what is the status of those investments in each island?

    Liked by 1 person

  • **** previous SUPPORT.

    Like

  • de pedantic Dribbler

    @Northern, there is so much to your ending re “Makes me wonder”

    The Nation, according to your input, was terribly inaccurate and indeed it makes one wonder why the journalist was so careless and it does paint a bad picture of such carelessness stretching across their entire publication!

    Thankfully based on Melnyk’s pass health issues one does not have to wonder too much that his death (considering his Ukrainian heritage) was in any way related to Russian shenanigans!

    Another local journalist (who I believe was a more careful exponent of his trade) also passed away a few days ago.

    May he and Melnyk and others who left this mortal coil rest peacefully in their faith!

    Like

  • @NO

    Though not intended, your contribution brought a mile to my face.

    I suspect that it was a mere cut and paste job. This is in line with what I was saying earlier instead of an article based on an article in a next source, our journalists need to do more leg work.
    A week financial column can touch on several topics e.g.
    Cryptocurrency
    Bitcoin ( I know it is a cryptocurrency; don’t rush to pat yourself on the back as you point this out to me)
    Finance
    Bitt
    Types of insurance
    Pensions
    .
    .
    Doesn’t have to new, just relevant and informative

    Like

  • @NO
    This was not meant for you
    “( I know it is a cryptocurrency; don’t rush to pat yourself on the back as you point this out to me)”

    Like

  • NorthernObserver

    @dpd
    I do not subscribe to, nor follow the Nation closely. If a link is posted of interest, I’ll click on it.
    But this article was listed as an Editors Pick. Not sure if every article becomes so labelled.
    Subsequently, I have ‘googled’ the matter. I knew the man back in the early 80’s, and while never close, we in Bajan terms “knew each other”. I have no idea where the journalist got he was born in Ukraine, everything I googled said born in Canada.
    I know his ex, Laura, has always kept a very low profile. Yet every other article I sifted through called the current lady in his life ‘companion or partner’.
    So minimal research?
    As the article noted correctly, he named (or his wife did) most of his many equines after locations in Bim. The one I always teased him about, was one of his more successful steeds, Flower Alley. It is Flower POT Alley, as you will know.

    Like

  • Reform election funding
    THE RELEASE OF information on the funds spent by politicians in the last General Election campaign in January should renew calls for the state to monitor campaign financing.
    The $2 million figure released may well be conservative, so that it continues to boggle the minds of Barbadians regarding exactly who funds these campaigns, which could well cost a lot more.
    The multimedia blitz of advertisements, photography, public relations and, indeed, the money spent on the ground can paint a picture of lavish expenditure which, at the end of the day, amounts to a massive investment.
    Demands
    However, investing will ensure some form of return, and any individual who shells out a million dollars or more to fund an election campaign will not be donating to a charity but will make demands and can “call shots” long after the election is over.
    It is perhaps time for this new republic to finance the political parties when an election is called and thereby limit donations from private individuals and enterprises. However, if private donations are allowed to continue, how about including full transparency – identification of donors, auditing of funds and the like – in the revamped Integrity In Public Life Bill?
    In fact, an entire reworking of the current archaic campaign financing rules in Barbados is overdue and can perhaps be drafted and debated within this parliamentary term as a piece of legislation standing on its own.
    At present, the figures released by the Electoral
    & Boundaries Commission are from individual candidates, but what about the amounts spent by the parties? What is needed is a campaign financing board if the state is serious about transparency, anti-corruption and integrity in public life.
    Even beyond the ambit of donations is the uneasy feeling on the ground, among ordinary people, about this level of expenditure. While there is always speculation about the wads of cash some people are alleged to receive on Election Day, there must also be consideration about how taxpayers’ dollars are spent after the election.
    Salary
    Meanwhile, mere hours after the release of the campaign figures, legislation was passed to give senior ministers the same salary as the Deputy Prime Minister: over $180 000 per annum. As a result, the much-vaunted reduction of the last Cabinet, whose size was a source of public lament, may not mean that much in terms of dollars and cents to the ordinary voter.
    In fact, the jobless and working poor may well look on bewildered and wonder whether the sacrifices and belt-tightening under the International Monetary Fund restructuring programme are hurting only them. Amid ever-rising food prices, those in the lowest socio-economic bracket are balancing food, education and transportation costs, while trying to stay the course until the economy recovers from COVID-19.
    In the meantime, some members of a “reduced” Cabinet are given an increase.
    It is perhaps time for this new republic to finance the political parties when an election is called

    Source: Nation

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  • Of Budgets . . . and Deputies

    By Ezra Alleyne

    So much is happening these days by way of governance. Suddenly, while everyone, or so it seems, was throwing instant-coffee “expert” opinion into the frying pan of loud and unclear commentary, the Appropriations Bill, which carries the Estimates and the Budget in its pouch (kangaroo fashion) was passed. Big news!
    This is a key event. When the judge said that the senate challenge case was time-sensitive, that comment was as true as John 3:16 since the Estimates (Budget) had to be passed into law by March 31, 2022.
    Had it not been passed as the Constitution demands, then from April 1, All Fools Day (last Friday) our technocrats and policymakers might have been scratching their heads about how to run the island without money. More on that later.
    Also, we seem to have established beyond doubt that the office of Deputy Prime Minister has joined the list of offices recognised by our constitution. (small “c’) Our Constitution speaks of the Cabinet, which shall consist of the Prime Minister and not less than and five other Ministers…but there is not the slightest mention of the office of Deputy Prime Minister. Yet ever since our Independence we have had a Deputy Prime Minister. How come? Have we by convention created that office?
    The Westminster system does not recognise the office of Deputy Prime Minister. There is weighty, top-level academic and political comment supporting the view that “there is no such animal in the Westminster system”.
    Yet this past week specific reference was made of the office of Deputy Prime Minister when changes were made to some parliamentary salaries. So we can cite this specific statutory reference to the office as justifying my view that we have “created” the office of Deputy Prime Minister and deviated from the Westminster tradition.
    In his seminal book, The Constitutional Law Of Jamaica,
    Dr Lloyd Barnett of Jamaica writes that although the Constitution (of Jamaica) has “no provision for the appointment of a deputy prime minister, it is a convenient device by which the prime minister is able to indicate the order of precedence in his cabinet” What Barnett calls the order of precedence is what Westminster writers call “the pecking order”.
    Former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, having published in one of his books that there is “no such animal as a deputy prime minister”,
    declares that “my own procedure was to rely on the order of precedence within the cabinet, the so-called pecking order making it clear that the second in the list chairs cabinet if I were absent and also stands in for me in answering questions in Parliament”.
    But Wilson also went further and declared that “even where a prime minister has formally designated a colleague as deputy prime minister, this has not created any presumption that the person nominated a deputy should be sent for (i.e and appointed prime minister), on the decease or resignation of the prime minister”.
    At this juncture I ask myself some questions: Why on the deaths in office of Tom Adams, Errol Barrow and David Thompson, were their Deputy Prime Ministers catapulted into the office of Prime Minister.
    Why? Did we give a moment’s thought to the wisdom of the Westminster practice as outlined by Prime Minister Wilson and Dr Barnett? Surely their wisdom was relevant.
    Here is Barnett again on choosing a prime minister: “The experience of a prospective appointee in ministerial office his previous designation as deputy prime minister and the fact that he previously acted for the prime minister or presided at cabinet meetings are important considerations but are not conclusive.”
    The final four words are important beyond measure. The succession problems of the post-Barrow and post-Thompson regimes are welldocumented and, as we all know, Adams’ successor lost the 1986 election.
    In those situations the voters had “skin in the game” of choosing political leaders. Were they armed with relevant knowledge to influence the choice? Or were they influenced by the existence of a Deputy Prime Minister?
    The DLP will choose a new leader soon. That party needs to think deeply about choosing that next leader. The issue is clear. Leadership matters.
    They should try to work out and discover the reason why even on his deathbed David Thompson shuffled his Cabinet and appointed Chris Sinckler to the Ministry of Finance? What message was he sending then? Is it still relevant now? I gone!

    Ezra Alleyne is an attorney and former Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly.

    Source: Nation

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  • Not going to try to provide a summary of what EA wrote.
    My in depth analysis consisted of copying his document and putting it in MS Word. At 751 words, EA actually met his word limit.

    Like him, I gone,

    Like

  • Read ePaper
    Home / Local News / Barbados falls in competitiveness rankings

    Barbados falls in competitiveness rankings – by Marlon Madden April 2, 2022
    A year after jumping into second place among Latin American and Caribbean financial centres in global competitiveness, Barbados has slumped to the second to last spot for the region and seventh from the bottom globally, according to the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

    Of the 13 financial centres named in Latin America and the Caribbean for the GFCI 31st edition, which was released at the end of last month, Barbados was ranked 12th, only ahead of Panama in the region.

    Bridgetown was ranked 113th overall, out of the 119 financial centres included in this year’s rankings. This represents a fall in ranking of 23 spaces from 90th in the GFCI 30 rankings which was released in September last year. The country was ranked 64th overall and 2nd among the region in the GFCI 29 ranking, released a year ago.

    The GCFI, which is published in March and September by City of London and its most respected think-tank Z/Yen, serves as one of the valuable references for policy and investment decision-makers.

    It is compiled using some 150 quantitative measures, which are provided by third parties including the World Bank, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations.

    In Latin America and the Caribbean, Barbados is ranked behind Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Cayman Islands, Santiago, Bogota, the BVI, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago and Buenos Aires.

    According to the report, GFCI 31 used 74,982 assessments from 11,934 respondents and the instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GFCI online questionnaire.

    The data on which GFCI 31 is based relate to the period up to the end of 2021. The overarching areas of competitiveness assessed include business environment, human capital, infrastructure, financial sector development and reputation.

    “While we might have expected more volatility in the ratings as the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the broadly level ratings in the index suggests that in the last half of 2021, confidence was returning to the world economy,” the report said.

    The top ten financial centres in the GFCI 31 in descending order are New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Los Angeles, Singapore, San Francisco, Beijing, Tokyo and Shenzhen.

    The least ten competitive in terms of ranking in descending order are Buenos Aires, Vilnius, Riga, Barbados, Baku, Panama, Kuwait City, Xi’an, Tehran and Wuhan.

    When respondents were asked to give a view on where in the world they would like to work if they needed to live and work in a different city New York heads the list. (MM

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