Barbadians Asleep at the Wheel

It says a lot about some commenters on the blog that the blogmaster has to defend a position which says – Barbadians are too docile and in the process ceded key responsibilities in our democracy to the political elite.

In any political science 101 class the student learns that along with basic responsibilities of citizens to obey laws, pay taxes etc, there are other weighty responsibilities for the democracy to function successfully. There is relevance in the expressions a people get the government it deserves and the price of democracy is eternal vigilance.

Elected officials in our system of government are suppose to be servants of the people. Anyone living in Barbados knows that citizens have allowed politicians to do as they like for too long. Consequently, we have seen the duopoly become entrenched with citizens voting for B or D based on the prevailing level of frustration when elections become due.

The blogmaster is sufficiently aware that Barbadians have been promised enactment of transparency laws to include; integrity and freedom of information legislation by the duopoly. Believe it or not the promise goes back to the administration of the late Prime Minister Tom Adams, more than 40 plus years ago. The blogmaster is sure we have had more public debate about a 20% increase in the excise tax on sweet drinks than the refusal by the duopoly to enact transparency laws to enhance our system of governance.  

Barbadians have allowed malfeasance to go unpunished by public servants. We have allowed the NIS to come under the microscope. We have tolerated moribund working committees of parliament established in our democracy to provide checks and balances. What have we done to demonstrate our disgust besides going to the polling booth in dwindling numbers every 5 years or something 3?

The blogmaster’s unfavourable appraisal of citizen participation in our democracy includes the media and other NGOs in civil society that are mandated to ACTIVELY represent the interest of citizenry. Barbadians cannot be satisfied with electing a government and remain passive until the next general election is called. The people we elect as well as we the citizens have clear responsibilities to ensure the a healthy democracy.

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