Prime Minister Stuart and President Obama about to face the electorate
Bajans can’t wait to wade into the election euphoria now in its Christmas season in the United States and elsewhere. Not all Bajans though, for there are some of us who, in fact about 50% of us, have consistently NOT voted for either one of the two dominate parties in what are generally called western democracies. But this factoid has never alarmed the protectors of these pernicious political duopolies. We are told that the un-voted don’t count. Moreover, with the possible exception of Australia and a few other countries, where there are civil fines for choosing not to exercise a so-called democratic right, most people everywhere have acted with their feet and the determination that elections are merely window dressing to obscure the operational requirements of fascism as the dominate and underlying system of governance.
The American election system from at least the Reconstruction period has been synonymous with high-tech fraud. It is American which gave us the lexicon for election fraud whether to illegally overthrow a government or to maintain a compliant regime – at home or abroad. They gave us words such as ‘gerrymandering’, ‘redistricting’ and ‘robocalling’. A documentarian has remarked that when the American fossil is dug up our descendants will be left to wonder why so many people were running around talking about democracy when in fact few people benefited from the actions of party political actors operating across epochs. Strictly speaking the United States of America is not even a democracy. But you can’t tell that to the masses of the people who are enthralled by the religiously emotional diatribes of leading Democrats and Republicans. The political science literature tends to consider the American political system as a poliocracy. But very few would be aware of this. And even if they were, would it make a difference? Yet, for over a century the marketing of ‘democracy’ (as a political system) has intentionally misled several generations to view the Anglo-American political constructions as worthy of emulation.
The two main purposes of this week’s PDC article are:
(1), to examine, to some degree, the extent to which Cadres’ and other polling organizations’ so-called national political opinion polling has been having, or has not been having, psycho-political voter effects on the minds of a selected number of adult persons in Barbados; and
(2), to therefore establish an intellectual political basis for arguing that this said type of polling has – to a great extent – been for years creating/been bringing about unambiguously clear, definite, flagrant violations of the principle of the holding of free and fair elections in this country, every time national or by elections have actually been held in this country, and whenever such polling has been carried out intermittently in the lead up to those said elections.
To support these arguments we have again gone and made use of the results of a non-random, non-scientific, person to person interview sample survey exercise which was carried out by the PDC over the course of two days of this week – Tuesday and Wednesday – in Bridgetown.
This survey involved the polling of 38 people – of which 12 females and 26 males took part – ranging from age 22 to 66 years old.
Sorry, but once again I shall defer dealing with the now contentious issue of immigration and more importantly migration, as it relates to the enunciated policies of this Democratic Labour Party administration.
I suspect that when the dust has settled and all the facts have come to light, the person who will be credited for having broached the critical point worthy of focus in this entire debate, will be businessman, Ralph “Bizzy” Williams. He apparently saw through the shenanigans and alluded to the real issue about which Barbadians should be fearful.
I seem to believe that sooner, rather than later, the real sinister plot of those who contrived and facilitated mass, unchecked migration in Barbados will be uncovered. Timing is critical to everything and I somehow believe that there will be ample evidence, when the time comes, to prove the absence of naivety and the existence of a plot to “teach Bajan voters a lesson”.
I will say no more at this stage. What I will do, however, is share two recent experiences, in sister Caribbean states, upon which Barbadian voters should ponder.
Recently in the Cayman Islands, there was a change of government. An administration elected four years ago, with more than 65 per cent of the popular vote, went under to the party it defeated back then; losing critical support in its key voting district. Political scientists will attribute that loss to the impact of the current economic decline, disconnect of elected Members from their constituents, misplaced policy and project priorities and such like.
Barack Obama before 80,000 people in a Denver stadium tonight delivered a high impact speech which traveled across time zones to audiences around the world. It is no secret that this election is one which has awakened interest in politics deep in America as well as provoked interest around the world. There is no doubt his oratory skills, his message of change, his connection to the Kennedy presidency and legacy and other factors which have reflected Barack Obama’s presidency has catapulted this junior Senator to the world stage.
The BU household wishes Barack Obama best wishes and God speed in his quest for President of the United States – WIN, LOSE OR DRAW.
On New Years Day 2008, The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) introduced its 30 candidates in Oistins at what they dubbed a Cultural Extravaganza. All those present observed a massive crowd in attendance. In the aftermath of the meeting, it has generated considerable debate as to whether the sizable crowd was a result of the popular entertainment acts on show or the anticipated offerings from the politicians. Whatever the reason, the DLP was successful in attracting people who are eligible to vote to hear their message and that is the important thing to note.
NO, we are not repeating our story of yesterday!
Leader of the Opposition David Thompson in his presentation to the large audience addressed the issue of his readiness for leadership. He obviously feels that this is a key issue which will be key to the outcome of the upcoming general election on the 15 January 2008. David Thompson has been compared by his detractors to former West Indies cricketer Carl Hooper – has looked the part but has stopped short of realizing his full potential. From a school boy it was felt by many that Thompson was a future Prime Minister and the fact that he has not yet satisfy that expectation is a source of perennial discussion across the length and breath of Barbados. He has all the ingredients which successful politicians appear to need to be successful; yet he has never been able to clear the hump. He possesses charisma, good oratory and debating skills, a long track record of working in the community, a personal and family background which is devoid of questionable morals and values and the list goes on.
Yet another General Election is upon us in the Caribbean and if the result runs true to form the People National Movement (PNM) might be found wanting when the the final result is posted. In Barbados, Prime Minister Owen Arthur will have an eye on this election result if for no other reason that a PNM defeat will help to feed a public perception that incumbent governments need to be swept from office come hell or high water.
The happenings in T&T must also interest Barbadians because of the geographical proximity and the growing economic interdependence of the two countries. The current debate in Barbados regarding the acquisition of the Barbados conglomerate BS&T by Neal & Massy and Ansa MaCal, the offer by CLICO for Barbados Farms which is a company that owns over 4000 acres of land, the controversial purchase of the Barbados National Bank (BNB) and we can go on makes our point. Whether we agree on what some consider to be the hegemonic behaviour of T&T or whether current events mirror the need to integrate under the ideals of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), events in T&T will create conversation in Barbados.
Basdeo Panday, Patrick Manning and Winston Dookeran:
Caribbean political analyst Peter Wickham noted, however, that in a situation where the PNP is leading by a statistically insignificant five percentage points, a long campaign could come back to haunt Miller. “By calling an early election, by setting the date seven weeks away, she has effectively surrendered one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of the Westminster PM,” he continued, referring to the fact that the British system, which many Caribbean countries have adopted, allows the prime minister alone to name the date for a general election.
Many people agree that the next general election in Barbados will be hotly contested for a number of reasons. We have a fourth term government which has been embroiled in one controversy after the next. There is Prime Minister Owen Arthur whose popularity has been on the decline in recent years; this drop in Arthur’s popularity is not good news for the Barbados Labour Party (BLP). Many of the BLP candidates owe a deep debt of gratitude to Arthur for their elevation to the Lower House and on becoming vested after 10 years to qualify for a government pension.
Many political pundits agree that there is always a tiredness which will visit fourth term governments.
Recently, Peter Wickham, political scientist and the brains behind CADRES, has been under severe public scrutiny because of his controversial comments. Let BU add that we commend Peter for not being timid, like some of his colleagues, about making his views known. However, we do agree with those who have formed the impression that Peter’s perspectives often appear to have a DLP bias. Having said that, we have to congratulate Peter on the accuracy of his polls to date. We were particularly proud of the comment which we have quoted above which turned out to be true about the outcome of the recent Jamaican election. As far as we can recollect, his polls have always been on the bulls-eye with the exception of the St. Lucia poll which we are prepared to accept was done at a time which would have made it difficult to accurately predict the outcome. Even if BU accept CADRES got it wrong, one out of several is not a bad record.