Governance For The People: Facing The Nation

Submitted by Austin

On the Barbados political stage there is a truly remarkable confluence of factors, which indicate an absence of the public’s voice on a wide range of issues facing our nation. The public has yet to hold government official accountable for delivering true reforms needed in response to these troubling time.  We have been distracted by petty squabbles in parliament posted on a daily basis in the national news, which shift significant focus from the real issues facing our nation.  All the while our economic and social issues get worst and worst as the days go by.

The current government was put in power largely to end years of fiscal misuse and a lack of focus on addressing the needs of the average Bajan family, vs. what was the status quo servicing of elites and big business.

The DLP to date has not been successful at staying the course detailed in pre-election campaign promises, and have been held hostage by the opposition wherever possible every step of the way. The DLP party needs to find a way to control the misguided opposition leadership and get down to the peoples business, as failure to do so will only impact their ability to face the public in the next election and make the same unfilled promises.

The opposition’s trickle down economic approach of the Arthur years has not worked, with the trickling stopping just short of average Bajan families. It did not worked in the US, nor will it work in Barbados, as time has showed.

The DLP has demonstrated that it can grab the line against the opposition, but lack strong leadership in many ministries to pull the line in their direction. The PM as the anchorman has not been effective at digging in and creating leverage for ministers on
the line to lead. On one side of the line the public is clear on what it needs, jobs and improved civil/social services. On the other side of the line the opposition party continues to throw sand in the faces of the DLP which has slowed the rate of national progress in these hard times.

As Obama did in the historic US election, the PM needs to develop a grassroots public campaign with active public involvement to hold opposition leaders accountable at the ballot box, since that seems to be so much of their focus. He needs to put them in clear position to face the public and explain their misguided old school form of thinking to many good ideas he has placed on our national agenda.


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24 Comments on “Governance For The People: Facing The Nation”

  1. ''''''FIRE'''''' April 24, 2010 at 3:42 AM #


    FORGET 2012 and OCTOBER 2011
    She is homosexual

    women have taken over the world—it dun !!!!!!


  2. David April 24, 2010 at 6:00 AM #

    We have accepted the suggestion from Austin and created a new page at the top of this page titled ‘Government Contacts’. Feel free to add relevant contacts in the comments section.


  3. Anonymous April 24, 2010 at 8:08 AM #

    I refer to the following comment from the 2008 DLP manifesto “My Government will examine the feasibility of removing the VAT initially on electricity bills for households and businesses alike;.” However during the campagin Prime Minister Thompson stated in his final political broadcast on television that the DLP WILL remove VAT on electricity bills. Whta has happened to this proposal??????????????? Is this one of many unfulfilled promises


  4. anthony April 24, 2010 at 8:14 AM #

    I am bit lost when you say control the misguided opposition. Far as I know we live in democracy so it wouldn’t be controlled it would be outmanoeuvre, ignore , bypass them them. If you say it indeed control then are we in dictatorship? The DLP was never on course to deliver some of its election promises because they where not really deliverable in the first place. they just looked nice on paper. As for lacking leadership the Pm has done 2 cabinet shifts already. It is quite the case that some of DLP mps may not be the right people to put in Charge of ministries and that the PM needs to look else where for proper leadership in those ministries. as for throwing sand isn’t it the opposition job to try to discourage government plans which they think are wrong and can done better. what your saying goes against the whole reason for parliament.


  5. Albert April 24, 2010 at 8:51 AM #

    David, I am normally with your posts even if I disagree with them.

    This one is really pretty with words and totally devoid of substance. What is the point here?

    “Grassroots” campaign? The constituency conferences I see on TV and the DLP web-site look as if they attract over 1200 every week.

    Proportionally, the Dems are doing better than Obama!


  6. David April 24, 2010 at 9:04 AM #

    Don’t expect you to agree Albert we all know the side of the fence you sit most comfortably.

    To quote Mathew Farley, Barbadians love to maintain the status quo despite the fact the environment around them has changed and continues to do so.


  7. Donald Duck Esq April 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM #


    You said that the constituency council meetings look as thoguh they attract over 1200 every week. Your vision is a bit impaired. When you eliminiate the government ministers who attend and the party followers who go to all, let me know if you end up with more than 50.


  8. Donald Duck Esq April 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

    The following are comments made by Prime Minister Thompson in the Sunday Advocate of February 3, 2007 on the subject of his party’s 100 day programme.

    He said some of the initiatives merely “require initiation, not completion” He went on to add “ I think people ,misunderstand these things, so they think that if you say that you are going to, for example lay integrity legislation that it means you will pass it in a 100 days. It doesn’t mean that because it is not only the Members of Parliament who have a relevant role to play in that, it is the public, it’s the media, and I can’t circumscribe your 100 days, I can only circumscribe mine”

    He further added “And in relation to other areas of implementation, what we are aiming at, subject to the availability of resources, is the initiation of those items that fall under the 100 day programme so that we can therefore keep the faith from there”

    May I remind readers of the various DLP promises taken from their manifesto with relevant reference page numbers categorized between those the DLP promised immediate action and those which they promised to deal with within 100 days ( they did not say from when the 100 days commenced)


    Labour rights legislation ( page 36)

    A new DLP government will move to immediately enact a comprehensive national Labour Rights legislative compendium which will include the following:

     A Full Employment Rights Act
     An Alternative Disputes Settlement and Arbitration Committee
     A Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act
     National minimum wages legislation
     Legislation fully recognizing Trade Unions.

    Approval of capital account transactions (page 25)

    Immediately review the current Central Bank procedures for approving capital account transactions with a view to simplifying and speeding up the approval (or denial) process for restricted transactions.

    Port charges (page 33)

    The DLP pledges to immediately re-examine the Port charges with a view to significantly reducing these to manufacturers as they consider them to be a burdensome cost. They say that tonnage dues are charged twice; – on raw materials when imported and again on finished products when being exported.

    Integrity legislation (page 48)

    Immediately introduce integrity legislation requiring

     a declaration of assets by public officials,
     a Code of Conduct for Ministers,
     a new Freedom of Information law,
     amendments to the Defamation laws and
     new constitutional provisions to rationalize the powers of the Prime Minister.

    Health issues (page 11)

    A new DLP Government will immediately embark on a health promotion campaign to sensitize the public to the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles


    Don’t forget the DLP promises to do the following in the first 100 days

     Introduce the Agriculture Protection Act that will require a 2/3 majority of both houses of parliament for a change of use of land from agriculture.

     Remove VAT from building materials on houses valued up to $400,000.
     convene a National Consultation on Education


  9. ''''''FIRE'''''' April 24, 2010 at 8:58 PM #

    Thompson has made a lot of noisy promises in his ‘long’ career –

    I can list some of them including the BIG IMF revelation , but I wiil not

    I am tired of Thompson’s folly

    Now that should be an election slogan

    yuh listening Mia . You listening PDC ?


  10. The People's Democratic Congress April 25, 2010 at 8:56 AM #

    Have many of us – many people in Barbados – ever stopped to think that many of our national sub national social political material and financial problems can be partially resolved in many ways, only if we could at whatever times adopt greatermore the “right” decision making and problem solving approaches, the “right” policies and persons behind them and the appropriate political and other dispensations platforms upon which to base such?

    For, the countless elitist top down fraternalistic decision making and problem solving approaches adopted in a context whereby there is a slew of people, mainly so-called authority figures, who are too westernized euro-centric in their thinking and policy conceptualization, formulation and implementation, or who are dependent on such, and whereby there is little democracy, little consensus, little commonality involved in resolving these problems, have indeed helped to bring greater problems of their own for many people in Barbados, rather than these helping to resolve many of the national sub national social political material and financial problems that the broad masses and middle classes face in this country.

    But only if more and more people in Barbados would come to the realization that democratic decision making problem solving approaches with persons who are democratic in their ideals, ideologies, perspectives and policy stances and in a democratic accountability transparency setting, will clearly produce greater decisions and policies in furtherance of the interests of the broad masses and middle classes more than any other model of decision making problem solving would in this country, would this lead many more citizens and their own entities to envisage seeing betterment and efficience – wholistically – on their own behalf and others in this country.

    Have many of us – people in Barbados – ever significantly paused our thought awareness processes away from what is so much happening around us, and recognizing that we have the capacities capabilities to bring a serious halt to a lot of these problems Barbadians – assuming that we could in fact solve them – proceed to realize some how how important it is to constructively replace these problems with the most suitable viable structures and functions in the interests of the further development of the country?

    Some massive perennial problems like having big unwieldy inefficient government in Barbados, DLP/BLP governmental squandermania and wastage, fundamental disparities in the income and wealth among the main social categories, etc. can easily be significantly solved by as many people as are possible, and stridently regimentally so, getting and telling the state that they will NO LONGER ACCEPT IT STEALING FROM THEM ( TAXING THEM ) and therefore that they will have no choice but to get alongside the PDC or any other NON- DLP/BLP political organization that espouses such a NO taxation philosophy and that would each have a program to replace this evil wicked TAXATION system – to ensure its ABOLITION and the coming about of its replacement.

    Have many of us recognized too that while any written history is good great to know practice it can also be a tremendous burden on forward progress and motion within various observable structures and functions within our Barbadian society?

    While it has been good great for multitides of Afro-descended people and many others here in Barbados to read about OUR colonial enslavement and to, et al, make sure it NEVER happens again to our people, many of us are doomed into thinking about such an evil epoch as if we were actually there altogether or reliving those times too, rather than our doing more thinking and acting to bring greater power and access and change ( for the better ) to those structures and functions ( elitist corporatist ones ) that primarily seek to or that still do unnecessarily brutishly covertly control and marginalize oppress and hold back the vast majority of the poor, powerless, dispossessed in this country and by extension the country.

    Have many of us also recognized that structure and function are sometimes far more important to our own types of survival and development than written history ( as opposed to lived history ) and social culture are to them? even though the latter are very important too in themselves?

    Many recurring Western political economic structures and functions have been long helping to shape all of our lives ( far more negatively than positively) more than our static knowledge of various social political histories and our “automatic” practicing of multifarious societal behaviours and values and attitudes have been able to. Take a serious look at every day Western politics, economics and western finance and see what we are here writing about; then take a look too at, say, esp. religions, entertainments and many of their values; and then ask where are our national and subnational priorities

    So, there you have it.

    Yes, “”””””””””FIRE””””””””,

    We are here still on the margins of these blogs looking on in at what is being written and expressed by many commenters. Pity NOT much to write about or to respond to!!

    Take care though.

    We wonder what has become of the person behind the pseudonym – lip gloss??



  11. Anonymous April 25, 2010 at 9:28 AM #

    Some ideas from Australia about an issue Barbadians have expressed great concerns. Australia is 2 941 299 square miles in area. Barbados is 166 square miles. Australia has a GDP of $ 851 billion or a per capita income of $38 910. Barbados has a GDP of $3.7 billion or a per capita income of $13 000.


    Australia, Saturday clamped down on foreigners buying property after complaints that a rapid influx of Asian money had helped make its housing among the most expensive in the world.

    The government reimposed tough rules relaxed in 2008 that say temporary residents need permission to buy homes and must sell when they leave, while foreigners investing from abroad can only buy new properties.

    The rules are backed by stiff new penalties including compulsory sell orders, as well as expanded monitoring and a crackdown on real estate agents who help foreigners flout the rules.

    They follow growing disquiet that ordinary Australians are being priced out of the market after a decade-long property boom that has accelerated over the past year.

    “We want to make sure that Australian working families are not being priced out of their own family homes. That is why we have acted in the way in which we have done,” said Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

    “We want to make sure that foreign speculators are not going to force up prices for Australians seeking to buy their own home, buy their first home and we think this is the right course of action.”

    House prices have been red-hot in Australia’s major cities, especially Sydney and Melbourne and also Perth, centre of the country’s booming minerals exports to Asia.

    Victoria state, whose capital is Melbourne, smashed the billion-dollar (925 million US) weekly sales barrier in March, while Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan landed a record 23 million dollar property at a Sydney auction in November.

    An international survey released in January found Australia’s housing was the least affordable among six advanced nations including the United States, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland.

    Australia’s opposition has said foreign investors are outbidding locals at house auctions, while media reports refer to cashed-up Asian buyers snapping up homes for their children studying in the country.

    However experts also blame a lack of housing supply and say government hand-outs, including grants for first-time buyers, have inflated prices.


  12. David April 25, 2010 at 10:06 AM #

    A very interesting article but doesn’t it all point back to leadership?

    It is something Bush Tea has been preaching like Paul on BU. We have to dictate the type of country we want to become and not be happy to meander to any destination. If our leaders continue to show a reluctance to demonstrate leadership then the people will have to up participation in the process. Yes this is what should be happening anyway but as a people we have become lazy and complacent.


  13. Donald Duck Esq April 25, 2010 at 11:47 AM #

    check out the clico issue in the nation today. did clico know the meaning of corporate governance


  14. Bush Tea April 25, 2010 at 12:00 PM #

    @ David
    Australia is one country that can be described as a ‘can do’ country. Unlike us, they have the knack of putting their money, time and actions where their mouths are.

    We know of their results in sports and cricket in particular, but in almost EVERY area of operation, Australia exemplifies ‘applied common sense’.

    Anyone who have lived, or even visited there, could attest to the fact that this is a practical, common sense country. Unfortunately for us, we are on the opposite end of the ‘can do’ scale. Little of the nonsense that we accept on an ongoing basis would see the light of day in Australia…… as I said, cricket tells the tale….

    I am saying that Anonymous is exactly correct, but is a bit harsh in comparing us with Australia. ….. it is comparing chalk and cheese.


  15. Anonymous April 25, 2010 at 1:13 PM #

    Bush Tea

    I am in agreement with your comments about Australia. The reference to the GDP and per capita income statistics was to highlight the fact that a country many, many times larger and richer than Barbados could see the value in policies that ensure that its citizens particularly working class citizens can afford housing.


  16. Anonymous April 26, 2010 at 8:34 AM #


    OFF MESSAGE>>>>>>>>

    It looks like the 20/20 CRICKET is in a chaotic tailspin with Lalit on corruption charges…

    Is this another Alan Stanford fiasco in the making or what?


  17. kimesha August 4, 2012 at 8:59 PM #

    Mr Stuart, yu need to remove the CPO and the members of the PSC (who rubber stamp everthing that the CPO (Economist) sends to them). They are destroying your supporters, including this writer and laughing at us. Put you supporters in place in these very important positions not the BLP supporters who were given those posts to further destroy the DLP supporters. If DLP supporters were in those positions during the 14 year reign of the BLP, they would have been removed and shifted into obscurity.


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