Barbados’ Political custom, and culture, has not changed too much, even though the nature of the political game there has been subtly altered by the impact of economic and immigrational occurrence during the era slightly preceding the Recession until present.
On May 24, she will be calling on her people to choose wisely as they go to the polls to select a Government by General Election.
Once, there were a few “Political Activists” who, either by printed word or verbal commentary (and some taunting), kept her citizens alive to nuances of the real political and more social issues they were facing.
Debate was distinctive in most cases from discussion, and ad hoc political meetings held by such Activists as a certain Eric “Fly”, were a place for a mix of party supporters and the non-affiliated to gather and thrash out issues and opinion.
While I was home I sensed a tighter rein on the Barbadian natural ability and liking to “speak ya mind”.
I missed this open openness when it came to the political sphere. It seemed to me that “lambasting” any political person/policy, which I grew up believing was an unalienable right, was now a privilege not to be entertained lightly, if at all.
Perhaps it was only a perception worked upon by my having been away for so long.
In any case the Barbadian spirit is not broken. In-Party meetings are still a rouse for supporters and an occasion for unorchestrated jollity.
The Leader of the Party who wins on May 24, will be sworn in as Prime Minister.
This is in keeping with the Westminster model of parliamentary representation inherited at Independence, though a change to republicanism had been spouted by the current Prime Minister, namely Freundel Stuart.
Seems he wished to have this done before Barbados’ 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2016. Probably to bring it more in line with the twin-island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (along with Suriname) from whom he was apparently obtaining ‘help’ in his troubled times.
So we no longer had a Barbados National Bank but a “Republic Bank” for example, with some key retailing, etc. now owned by certain Trinidad &Tobago interests, a serious import.
Whatever, (as some young people say), he served out this last term to the end. So much so that had it not been for the Island’s CONSTITUTION, which saw to it that Parliament was dissolved automatically on March 5, (a first?), despite Mr. Stuart’s failure to do the traditional thing and dissolve it himself,……..
He then, on April 26, set the Election date for May 24, and nomination day May 7.
A smart Party man? Perhaps I should advise him of an old Bajan saying: “One smart dead (died) at too smart door.” And another popular saying: “Give a man enough rope, and he’ll hang himself.”.
Though there are a few potential political parties, the Elections will in all likelihood be again a matter for the two major parties, the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
In this video of the current Democratic Labour Party administration’s in-house meeting one speaker reminds their supporters that we vote for Candidates. Yes we do, but most times with a party in mind. Thing is, if the current Party Leader loses his seat he loses his Prime-Ministerialship.
The current PM, leader of this same Democratic Labour Party, is not my choice of helmsman to steer us and our Rock to safety.
A few good men in the political party can become enmeshed in the struggle to enlighten a wilful wayward leader, becoming less effectual. An enlightened leader with a few wayward men with whom to contend in his political camp, can accomplish much.
This month’s Barbados General Election could be historically significant.
The Barbadian people may have to prove not merely constitutionally strong, but also valiant.
- Pray for my Barbados as she and her people hurdle this milestone.