General Election 2013, a Campaign of Nothing So far

DLP 2008 Manifesto under heavy criticism by the Opposition.

DLP 2008 Manifesto under heavy criticism by the Opposition.

BU joins many who are concerned about the lack of ideas and fertile discussion coming from the political platforms by both political parties.  One should easily have thought that the economic and social challenges which confront global economies  – and which ours is very dependent – would have guided the platform speak of all candidates in the coming general election.

The other concern is the reluctance by the two major political parties to release their Manifestos at the earliest time in what is a short campaign period. Up to now a Manifesto was taken for granted by the political parties and the public. BU is hopeful that in the age of social media the time has come where ordinary citizens will be able to demand accountability of our governments. What we have is the ridiculous situation of politicians barking about the past instead offering proposals of how to chart a path forward for Barbados.

We wait!

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118 Comments on “General Election 2013, a Campaign of Nothing So far”

  1. Fractured BLP February 6, 2013 at 2:52 PM #

    Owen Arthur is the best.

    In 2008 when he was in charge of CBC he ran from the leadership debate !

    In 2013 now that he is not in charge of CBC he running from the leadership debate !

    Does he want to debate on Fox news or CNN ?

    The problem Owen is you….not the CBC TV station .

    You are petrified of being exposed on the silver screen .

    Like

  2. ac February 6, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    When did David ellis become the governor of the Central bank or Minister of finance and then again he maybe if the BLP continue to listen and espoused hisadvice on things economy.

    Like

  3. David February 6, 2013 at 3:12 PM #

    Interesting to hear John Boyce call the show today to reveal he just received a report about transforming the Transport Board. No mention of energy efficient buses. Maybe he forgot to mention.

    Like

  4. Enuff February 6, 2013 at 3:38 PM #

    Did Donville Inniss also support privatisation when he called in too and admitted it is the way of the future?

    Like

  5. Clone February 6, 2013 at 4:02 PM #

    David
    Did not get to hear all of brass tacks but could you tell me if Ryan Straughn addressed the proposals put forward by Owen Arthur and Clyde Mascoll.
    Did he speak about giving the civil servants a salary increase.
    Did he speak about removing the 2.5% from the VAT?
    Did he speak about the BLP subsidizing electricity bill and what effect it will have on the deficit
    Where are the new policies of the BLP?

    Like

  6. David February 6, 2013 at 4:50 PM #

    @Clone

    Ryan’s focus was on the need for government curb expenditure. We are spending more which is not sustainable. Our interest on debt is rising. Something has to give it does not matter who wins the next election. Both parties are not telling the people the truth.

    Like

  7. islandgal246 February 6, 2013 at 5:38 PM #

    Excellent program today on VOB Brass tacks. We need more like this for all to hear exactly the state this country is in. We want politicians to be honest for once but I am asking for too much.

    Like

  8. millertheanunnaki February 6, 2013 at 6:21 PM #

    @ David | February 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM |
    “miller: But divestment and privatisation must be managed strategically. At the moment we are dumping assets because government is broke. Note we have not gotten here in the last 5 years.”

    And you are quite right! Even Donville’s contribution to the VOB prgramme was most refreshing and in sync with Ryan’s recommendations where Health is concerned.

    What is most disappointing is that the party which started the “Privatization” programme way back in 1991/92 turned its back on its baby that was partly adopted but its godfather BLP but will once again be forced to support it.

    We are noticing how unfortunately disappointing the DLP hacks have now turned on poor Ryan Straughn and branding him a BLP supporter and propagandists.
    We are not surprised at you, ac. The truth always hurts and blinds liars like you and your fellow political fools. Next move is to associate Ryan with Peter Wickham and question his status in other aspects with your vitriol and vilification.

    Like

  9. Fractured BLP February 6, 2013 at 6:57 PM #

    Approaching 7:00 O’clock and thousands of DEMS massive have already begun to descend on Passage Road.

    Just had a look to the West in the direction of St. Peter and saw SQUANDERMAN down there buzzing around. His guarding angels….Miller and Islandgal were by his side !

    Stay tuned .

    Like

  10. OG February 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM #

    Jesus H Christ read Barbados Today over past few nights it is simply a full fledged mouth piece for the BLP masquerading as internet news. Whats become of Roy Morris’ rape case with a minor.

    Like

  11. millertheanunnaki February 6, 2013 at 10:24 PM #

    @ David:

    Do you know if the letter of apology -to be given by LIME to the affected workers, BWU leaders and the Minister of Labour- has been, should we say, ‘signed off’ by the Prime Minister?
    Or is it still on his desk waiting to go “missing” like the CLICO forensic report?

    Like

  12. Caswell Franklyn February 6, 2013 at 10:31 PM #

    David

    You would not believe that a well known chief executive in this country attempted to discipline his workers because he claimed that he consulted with his obeah woman, who informed him that the workers had conspired together to cause problems at the workplace.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  13. ! February 8, 2013 at 5:38 AM #

    Ryan Straughn of the Barbados Economic Society has called for a quicker pace of reduction in expenditure. Straughn said that he was still trying to analyse the increase in government expenditure over the last few years.

    What Straughn should share with the public is the impact on government expenditure in 2008 which the new government was faced with:

    The 30 million dollar yearly repayment for Dodds
    The ballooning cost of the ABC highway left by the BLP without a contract.
    The bridging loan for the judicial centre.
    The 30 million dollars that had to be found to clear up the BDF pensions.
    The NHC overdraft left at the NHC by the BLP to be cleared.
    The 25 million dollars Tourism Relief Fund that saved our tourism industry from certain collapse.
    The 2008 / 2009 wage settlement for the public service.
    All these were necessary expenditures.
    Government is also a major player in the economy and too drastic a cut in government spending would have a ripple effect on all those small businesses who do business for government.

    what Straugh should go on a political platform and say is that for the government to have reduced its expenditure any futher at that time the place to cut was transfers and subsidies (75% of which is wages and salaries). Therefore what Ryan Straughn is really saying is that Government should have taken a mathematical approach strictly- send home people or charge more for services.
    I am sure the BLP would have publicly supported such an effort to cut expenditure in the same way that the BLP is now praising Donville Inniss every night of this campaign for the necessary reforms he made to save the Drug Service.

    Like

  14. David February 8, 2013 at 6:17 AM #

    @!

    Has the government reduced expenditure or simply transfer to the NIS or NOT pay bills?

    The point is even if we understand what the government is doing, how long can it sustain this approach?

    Our debt interest is rising which means it is crowing out government’s ability to focus on developmental/capacity building projects.

    Like

  15. ! February 8, 2013 at 8:45 AM #

    @David,
    Donville Inniss has made all the right moves in trying to address the expenditure and waste in our healthcare system and the BLP response was to try to capitalise politically by running false full page ads about old women not getting medicine.That is the real issue in addressing major issues- if you make the bold moves like Donville, your opponents will try to lash you politically for doing so.
    So over 20 years ago the public service was cut in a structural adjustment programme and the party in power paid the political price. While the successor came in and increased the ranks agian with their party supporters.

    I however do not think that now is the time to be cutting public sector jobs to reduce expenditure.If we send home public servants, it will have a negative effect as it will reduce aggregate demand, further depress growth and might allow cover for some in the private sector to follow suit.

    Productivity and Increased efficiency in The Public Service.
    I think the unions will have to sit with government and look at the issue of increased productivity across Barbados.It is interesting that some areas are understaffed while some are desperately in need of additional manpower.
    Put a freeze on hiring clerical staff in the public service at least for 8 months unless it is a highly technical and specialised area.
    There must be a reevaluation of the rules under which our public service operates so as to look at sanction for non performance.We cannot have public officers sitting doing little and getting a salary becasue they were sent by a politician. The management and supervision in the public service must be addressed. If you have a big wage bill but people are working assiduously and being productive Barbados will advance.

    Financing Education
    I also think that the focus of our education should have been shifted from such a heavy investment at the tertiary level and a greater focus on technical and vocational ,sciences and early childhood education. It is cheaper and more beneficial to train people at that level than to pay for persons sitting at UWI studying subjects for which there is no demand even sometimes in the teaching profession.

    Like

  16. ! ! February 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM #

    We have reached ” Fantastic Friday ” of the 2013 General Election campaign and looking back at the state of play, here are the points standing :

    1. creativity of posters – DEMS 8 points / BEES 6 points
    2. platform presentations – DEMS 7 points / BEES 5 points
    3. realistic proposals – DEMS 8 points / BEES 5 points
    4. crowd attendance – DEMS 8 points / BEES 5 points
    5. campaign jingles – DEMS 6 points / BEES 8 points
    6. campaign songs – DEMS 8 points / BEES 5 points
    7. threats of law suits – DEMS 0 points / BEES 10 points

    So it is clear from the data above, that the DEMS have amassed 45 points to the BEES 44 points.

    So right now it is a neck and neck……horse race !

    PM Stuart had indicated long ago that a BLP horse training at the Garrison by itself ” looks good “…..until the other horse (DLP) join the race.
    His prediction seems to be spot on.

    From the data above also, one will notice that OSA legal threat to Chris Sinckler has spiked the BEES numbers !

    So the question remains…..how come Owen cannot find a lawyer to threaten PM Stuart…over the Mia ” tek she offa muh ” note ?

    Owen….time is running out !

    Like

  17. millertheanunnaki February 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM #

    @ ! ! | February 8, 2013 at 4:40 PM |
    “So right now it is a neck and neck……horse race!”

    Man, “!!”, you like you seeing “doubles”. You were told not to wear blinkers while dressed up as a jackass running in a one horse race.
    How can you arrive at a neck and neck position by awarding an additional 10 points to flagging horse whose threats of law suits should be handicapped?

    We are not at all impressed with your uncontrollable predilection to break all rules and guidelines of political decorum.
    Don’t you know that in our system of justice and fair play the onus is on the prosecution to prove a man guilty and not the other way around?
    So get off your high horse and play by the rules. Let the Fumbler produce the hard evidence to convict OSA in the People’s Court of Justice. Don’t forget the Pegasus tapes, ya hear!

    Like

  18. Observing(...) February 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM #

    @!
    “Donville Inniss has made all the right moves in trying to address the expenditure and waste in our healthcare system”

    What about the other systems and other ministers??

    “I also think that the focus of our education should have been shifted”

    Does any party have the balls to shift it?

    @!!
    “So right now it is a neck and neck……horse race !”

    In a neck and neck horse race the government always loses. You posted all that data (which is highly debatable) and yet cannot come away with a DLP victory. Herein lies the problem for the Dees.

    Just Observing.

    Like

  19. Prodigal Son February 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM #

    @!. creativity of posters – DEMS 8 points / BEES 6 points………………………….

    Wunnah aint shame that the posters printed your names with surnames first. They look lame and you give yourself 8 points. You are so stupid!

    Like

  20. Fractured BLP February 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM #

    Prodigal Son on February 8, 2013 at 6:58 PM
    @!. creativity of posters – DEMS 8 points / BEES 6 points………………………….

    Wunnah aint shame that the posters printed your names with surnames first. They look lame and you give yourself 8 points. You are so stupid!
    ——————————–
    Well Prodigal what you deem as stupidity…..is actually a masterstroke by the DEMS.

    Because in the polling booth on 21st February 2013 the candidates on the ballot paper would appear SURNAMES first !

    It is better to reinforce that point….before that day !

    Like

  21. David February 8, 2013 at 7:28 PM #

    It has been drawn to BU’s attention that gangs of people contracted to debush government spaces have been sighted wearing DEMS tee shirts. A recent sighting was in Windsor, St. George this morning.

    Like

  22. Caswell Franklyn February 8, 2013 at 7:34 PM #

    The DEMs should be creative enough to print posters that comply with the law. Why aren’t the independent electoral authorities taking action against the DEMS? You must now really question what they call independent.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  23. Prodigal Son February 8, 2013 at 7:58 PM #

    @ Break Up
    “Well Prodigal what you deem as stupidity…..is actually a masterstroke by the DEMS.

    Because in the polling booth on 21st February 2013 the candidates on the ballot paper would appear SURNAMES first !………….

    You just shame that the Americans print the things wrong and you now come to take shame out of your face by saying you are preparing for polling date. You are incredible!

    Like

  24. millertheanunnaki February 8, 2013 at 8:03 PM #

    @ Fractured BLP | February 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM
    “It is better to reinforce that point….before that day!”

    And to think that the Dems like to boast about how literate and intelligently discerning Bajans are thanks to Dipper Barrow and the DLP. Ordinary Bajans have been voting since 1951.
    We know they are easily taken in by gimmicks, giveaways and freeness but you mean you still have to treat them like Pavlov dogs.

    Like

  25. Prodigal Son February 8, 2013 at 8:15 PM #

    Miller,
    Can you imagine the audacity of Mara Thompson that she of all people could get on a political platform and say that her husband may be dead but those on the other side are morally dead?

    Mara, tell me that you did not really mean to say so. You of all people really got the nerve to talk about somebody else’s morals?

    You who stood by your husband and watch him collect the 35,000 CLICO policyholders millions and left them penniless today!

    You who allowed your husband to use the same policyholders monies and buy a house in your name and Greenverbs’ wife name to cover their hides?

    You who as office manager of Thompson Associates oversaw Greenverbs laundering 3.3 million of CLICO policyholders monies. You who signed the cheque to pass on this laundered money to Greenverbs…………………….

    You got the audacity to talk about the BLP being morally dead. Woman, you got a nerve!

    Like

  26. Prodigal Son February 8, 2013 at 8:19 PM #

    Wait Caswell,
    You have not commented on the revelations that the Dems took back the keys from those poor people they paraded on TV last Friday night. The very next day, Courts came back for the furniture. The Dems are all show, no substance!

    Like

  27. Caswell Franklyn February 8, 2013 at 8:40 PM #

    Prodigal

    I did not comment on those revelations simply because I found it hard to believe that anyone could be that low, especially persons who put themselves to be champions of the poor. If it is true; I hope that those responsible suffer for that public humiliation of poor people. This action would be akin to pimping. I can’t believe that anyone would abuse poor people like this for their own personal gain. This is hateful!

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  28. ac February 9, 2013 at 7:23 AM #

    what audacity the RT hon. himself pimping the intellect of the bajan people with the overblown promises which cannot be delivered at a time when our national debt needs to be tackled., OSA 14 years of mismanagement and free giveaways is what got the nation in this problem now his promises which would raid to the treasury at the expense of debt management is cruel and unconscionable.

    Like

  29. Audine Howell February 10, 2013 at 8:02 PM #

    if the nis pension age gone up unemployment would go up too

    Like

  30. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 7:06 AM #

    I told you so and every day I am vindicated. I said repeatedly that the Nation newspaper has had a strategy of using so called independent columnists to cuss the DLP government and then promote the opposition.
    Pat Hoyos – this is the month of the election and up to yesterday, Hoyos is still keeping up his criticism of only the DLP of course.(Santia Bradshaw is Hoyos’ brother’s girlfriend). You would think that the management of the Nation would see a conflict of interest there.

    Then Peter Symmonds on Sunday lambastes the DLP in his column. (Symmonds is the brother of former BLP MP David Symmonds)

    Then Harry Russel makes this statement in today’s paper “I believe that a change of government is necessary”. Imagine that a man who spent the last 5 years writing only negative stories,the week before the election comes and openly shows a part preference.

    It gets better- The Nation Newspaper’s headlines over the last 5 years is used by the BLP to create attak ads. Obviously the Nation therefore has had numerous headlines and stories critical of the government so many that teh BLP could run an entire ad campaign.
    The BLP so called independent columnists are “coming out of the political closet” leaving no stone unturned in their quest to promote a party.
    The word on the street is now that the BLP is promising them a tv license as a reward for their hard work in support of the opposition. Journalism in Barbados is at its lowest ebb and we are seeing a corruption of a newspaper by a political party. The Nation is putting the BLP first and the country second.

    Like

  31. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 7:15 AM #

    Harry Russell has no shame- he pretended that he was some independent analyst looking out for Barbados when he was simply a BLP pimp . The Nation newspaper refused to allow anyone who supports the government to write a column and therefore the DLP has to pay handsomely to reach the thousands who read the Nation newspaper while Clyde Mascoll can campaign in the Nation on Thursday and on the political platform at nights. How can the Nation justufy this unfairness?

    Like

  32. David February 11, 2013 at 7:36 AM #

    Is it reasonable to expect that Senator Darcy Boyce given his intimate involvement in economic planning of the government that he should be more visible on the political platform?

    Like

  33. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 7:49 AM #

    We will wait to see when the BLP releases their manifesto – if any of the BLP operatives who masquerade as Nation newspaper columnists will ask the billion dollar question:
    “What will the BLP cut to pay for these proposals?”
    The Nation newspaper needs to show more maturity- remove these BLP campaigners from trying to sway public opinion – report the facts and let Bajans decide. Pat Hoyos, Harry Russell, Ezra Alleyne, Peter Symmonds, Sanka Price and Harry Russell are BLP journalistic prostitutes.

    Like

  34. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 7:59 AM #

    @David
    “Is it reasonable to expect that Senator Darcy Boyce given his intimate involvement in economic planning of the government that he should be more visible on the political platform?”
    Darcy Boyce unlike Clyde Mascoll has never tried to be a politician. Mascoll changes his economics to suit which side of the political fence he sits as he thinks like a politician. Some technocrats are not comfortable in that role.

    Like

  35. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 8:09 AM #

    What is apparent is that the BLP big money donors will sway the news in Barbados. The Nation newspaper has been strictly pro BLP for the last 5 years- no one can dispute that. Many times over the last 5 years, the opposition could sit back and let the Nation take the lead and push negative stories against the government. That was obvious.

    If you look at the coverage from the Advocate since the big election ads from the BLP, you will realise that the trade off for the Advocate was to give very positive coverage to the BLP.You will realise now that the BLP is on the front page of the Advocate almost every day. MONEY TALKS.

    With the BLP in control of the Nation, their campaign money influencing coverage from the Advocate (remember the Advocate was the biggest BLP media supporter from 1994 – 2007), the Advocate will take the money and fall in line.

    Therefore the only media mountain left for the BLP to conquer is CBC.Who controls the government controls CBC. After the next election, there is a possibility of Owen Arthur and the BLP totally controlling the media in Barbados. In such an environment, who will dare report anything critical about the BLP especially given Arthur’s tendency for spitefulness and revenge?
    Journalism in Barbados will be staring down the barrel of a loaded BLP gun.You decide if that is good for our democracy.

    Like

  36. Caswell Franklyn February 11, 2013 at 9:02 AM #

    NationBLPNewspaper

    You wrote:

    “Therefore the only media mountain left for the BLP to conquer is CBC.Who controls the government controls CBC. After the next election, there is a possibility of Owen Arthur and the BLP totally controlling the media in Barbados. In such an environment, who will dare report anything critical about the BLP especially given Arthur’s tendency for spitefulness and revenge?
    Journalism in Barbados will be staring down the barrel of a loaded BLP gun.You decide if that is good for our democracy”.

    If you read that carefully, you would realise that you have just conceded victory to the BLP. You guys give up too easily.

    Like

  37. Polical meeting fan February 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM #

    David Commisong calls on the leaders to debate each other on tv . Everyone wants that but hasnt Commisong read where Owen ARthur as he did in 2008 refuses to debate. Owen is frightened to debate Freundel Stuart without the gimmicks, the cake sales campaign monies and the goons of the BLP, mouta brown Owen is unmasked. Owen was frightened of David Thompson intellectually and otherwise. He was about to retire from politics when Thompson untimely death gave him a window of opportunity to to backstab MOTTLEY and return to the helm OF the blp. Fruendel Stuart would easily defeat Owen in any debate any time any where so Commisong tho your wish is noble the BLP will never debate the bright men and women in the DLP.

    Like

  38. NationBLPnewspaper February 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM #

    @Caswell
    You usually are more thorough than that . Read carefully what was said:
    “After the next election, there is a possibility “.
    Saying that there is a possibility does not mean that it will happen. For example, “there is a possibility” the BLP could tell people exactly where they will find one billion dollars in expenditure cuts to offset what was announced on Saturday night. However, it will not happen before the election because if the people of Barbados hear what the pain that would be coming from these BLP cuts and privatisation before Feb. 21, the BLP would kiss any thought of victory goodbye.
    So “there is a possibility” does not mean ” it will happen”. Understand?

    Like

  39. David February 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM #

    To clarify, Arthur has publicly stated he will debate if it is done under the direction of the media group in Barbados for example but not CBC.

    Like

  40. fromadistance February 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM #

    It seems that both parties are being given the opportunity to answer to the creatives of this island before the elections. The core of creatives may number just over a thousand but when one looks at the word and meaning thereof of ‘creative’ the numbers for election day could be far more. The Culture Development Bill formulated by this government appears to lack in essence and flawed, perhaps one could say even being used at this last hour as a straw to gain some political strength. Unfortunately that straw is not only used but is bent and will bring nothing at the end of the day to the table. That the youth (according to The Minister of Culture on Barbados Today – see http://www.barbadostoday.bb/2013/02/10/youth-plan/) of this country weighed heavily on the decisions made within this Bill is to say the least a stretch. Both sides know the importance of the creative vote but if both sides continue to treat the creatives with the disrespect shown in the past, there will be problems to face even after the elections. The creatives will not allow a Bill to be passed that does not augur well for the people of this country. This Press Release is rippling through the media, electronic or otherwise from the Concerned Creative Citizens Group.

    FROM CONCERNED CITIZENS GROUP – BARBADOS

    ” We of the Concerned Creative Citizens Group, of which there are
    one thousand two hundred and forty eight members, have noticed recently that is has been made public that the much touted Cultural Industries Bill, now renamed the Cultural Industries Development Bill, has been approved by Cabinet and is ready to be passed as soon as possible.

    We would at this point like to make it very clear that there are still many aspects of this bill with much that we are not in agreement with, and that we reject completely the inference that all creatives have been consulted on the contents on this Bill, resulting in an outcome which all parties involved have agreed upon.

    Creatives by nature are NOT politically driven, and as such, we care not which party wins the election as it pertains to the future of culture and the arts in Barbados.

    We stand for what must be a Bill which presents a win win scenario to all involved, and as such, whether the DLP retains the Government, or the BLP is voted back into power, we would like to let both parties know that this is the only way a Bill of this importance should be allowed to be approved of by Cabinet and passed by Parliament…when ALL Creatives have had the opportunity to go over all elements of such an important document, and be involved in meaningful, intelligent dialogue with those in power and with whom such great responsibility lies.

    This is not just for those of us for whom creativity is our profession and only source of income, but this is for the future of those in the creative arts who will follow in the years ahead.”

    This new CIDB bill (which we have been told has been approved by Cabinet recently) may be seen in the ‘Files’ section at the top of the CCCG group page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/Concernedcreativecitizens/

    Like

  41. Caswell Franklyn February 11, 2013 at 9:17 AM #

    I am very thorough and I read and understand fairly well, but I keep saying that it is not about what you mean to convey in what you have written: it is about what has been received by the reader. Your statement tend to suggest that you have resigned yourself to a BLP victory.

    Sent from my iPad

    Like

  42. Rosemary Parkinson February 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM #

    …food for thought on the way to perhaps convey something positive about creatives and what the Bill will do for them on the political platform…might bring in some deeper interest on a campaign that BU seems to believe is a campaign of nothing so far.

    Like

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