Illegal Campaign Material

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

Caswell Franklyn, Head of Unity Workers Union

On January 31, 2013, the Barbados Labour Party candidates went en masse to the Treasury to pay their deposits for the upcoming elections. The following day, the Democratic Labour Party candidates attempted to parrot the exercise and failed to leave the desired impression. However, one aspect of the copycat show caught my attention. The candidate for St. Philip West, Dr. David Estwick, declared that he was a lawmaker and not a lawbreaker, and that he would not be putting up any posters before Nomination Day, February 6th.

Believe it or not, I was proud of him for stating his intentions to stay within the four corners of the law, even though I have some doubts that putting up posters, before Nomination Day, constituted a breach of the law.

Imagine my surprise, on Sunday February 3rd, while driving through St. Philip West, I saw a number of posters bearing Dr. Estwick’s image stuck to light poles. After careful examination of one of the posters, and being aware of his public statement of intention to follow the law; I would like to point out to him that his posters do not conform to the legal requirements. Section 18 of the Election Offences and Controversies Act states, in part:

(1) A person shall not –

(a) print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any bill, placard, or poster having reference to an election or any printed document distributed for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate; or

(b) post or cause to be posted any such bill, placard or posters aforesaid; or

(c) distribute or cause to be distributed any printed document for the said purpose,

unless the bill, placard, poster or document bears upon he face thereof the name and address of the printer and publisher.

(3) A candidate or election agent acting in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an illegal practice, and any other person so acting is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five hundred dollars.

Further, section 32 states:

Where any corrupt practice or any illegal payment or hiring or any offence under section 18 is committed by any association or body of persons, corporate or unincorporated, the members of the association or body who have taken part in the commission of that offence are liable to any fine or punishment imposed for that offence by this or any other Act.

Having served as a campaign manager and election agent, in my party-political days, I know how easy it is to inadvertently transgress the myriad election rules. I am therefore not asking the Electoral and Boundaries Commission to institute legal proceedings against Dr. Estwick or any other candidates that finds themselves in similar circumstances. But the commission cannot or rather should not allow the breach to continue, and should order the removal of the offending posters.

I have often said that our political and governmental organizations are mere parodies of what exist elsewhere. It seems as though that the people of this country are satisfied with form not substance. Let’s just hope that the Electoral and Boundaries Commission would prove to be the exception, but I am not holding my breath.


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24 Comments on “Illegal Campaign Material”

  1. David February 5, 2013 at 10:07 PM #

    There is also something not right with Ronald Jones people stapling posters on the palm trees which line the ABC Highway.


  2. islandgal246 February 5, 2013 at 10:12 PM #

    Heard Ronald Jones on the radio today accusing the BLP of lying about his party supporters sabotaging the BLP’s posters. As he was speaking I couldn’t believe the green verbs he was using “they comes”. It is very hard to believe that this was a Minister of education and a former teacher speaking.


  3. islandgal246 February 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM #

    Caswell do you really think the DLP will prosecute themselves for breaking the law?


  4. Fedd Up February 5, 2013 at 10:45 PM #

    Is there a bigger attention seeker and drama queen in BIM than Ralph Thorne? For heaven’s sake Thorny we know you are a self accalimed big lawyer we also know you are not one of the raft of lawyers convicted for stealing clients monies. Lets leave it there, nuh.


  5. Caswell Franklyn February 5, 2013 at 11:22 PM #

    Islandgirl 246

    I expect that the Prime Minister would set an example and obey the Laws of Barbados. I expect that a person who was apointed Attorney General, the chief legal advisor to the Government of this country, would advise his party to follow.


  6. Undertaker February 6, 2013 at 7:37 AM #

    Maybe the Prime Minister may know the law, but most of his cabinet members do not. Does it only appear to me that the guidelines for the DLP as well as to lead Barbados vanished when D. Thompson died, and the only things left is what he left for Mr. Stuart. The politicians (on both sides) are mostly only interested in GETTING RICH, and like Dennis Lowe, QUICK!

    Two terms and they get 1/2 their salary as pension, three terms or more and they get 2/3 what could be better, fool the people, ignore the laws and then live big when the people have had enough of you.



  7. Well Well February 6, 2013 at 9:11 AM #

    Don’t believe people are still listening to that crowd and believing anything they say.


  8. Adrian Hinds February 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM #

    Island gal how do you know which -their , they, there – is being used when uttered in the Bajan dialect? chupse!


  9. Wily Coyote February 6, 2013 at 10:31 AM #

    Like I’ve previously stated —-



  10. Kevin February 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM #

    Estwick gine win back he seat. Nuff said.


  11. JRB February 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM #

    @ Adrian Hinds

    Look at the “comes” portion maybe? Notice that she mentioned verbs.


  12. maggie February 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM #

    I love this. I’m sure Ronald meant “there comes” and taken in context, dialect and all, it was perfect standard English. Ha! Ha!


  13. Drinking D February 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM #

    quibbling about english language ?

    realy weird bajan people


  14. millertheanunnaki February 6, 2013 at 5:51 PM #

    @ maggie | February 6, 2013 at 4:34 PM |

    What’s all the pedantic schoolmarmish strict grammar is about?
    There is a man called Leroy Parris- aka “Greenverbs” who is the Master meat grinder at mincing the English language. A man with the Midas touch of con-artistry who never went past 4th Standard education at a St. John Primary school but has become a master of influence and advisor to the political elite and the academically and professionally well-heeled.
    He has proven himself to be an untouchable financial pied piper to both the Bajan innocent naïve children of finance and investment and the widespread infectious greedy rats of high society.

    So be careful, sweet maggie, how you speak indirectly about a man who has pals in the highest of places including the Law in a man called Hal. A man long initiated in the lodge of the black arts by his dead friend David and can easily move from the DLP sanctum sanctorum to that party’s political limelight knowing full well that his past and ongoing massive financial contributions and dark secrets holding at the end or rear orifice of the DLP corrupt alimentary system at which the lying foul foolish Fumbler and the shitty Stinkliar are the dual hard blockage of crap to the CLICO exposure and resolution.


  15. BAFBFP February 6, 2013 at 11:02 PM #

    Caswell did say that it is not possible to sue a political party but one could sue a sitting officer in the party (like the secretary …). Cas where this stroke ah genius come from all of a sudden? Man yah coulda mek da point last year when I did asking the question and big time lawyer ppl bout hay couldn’t even unpick de teet’ sensibly …!


  16. Well Well February 7, 2013 at 5:34 AM #

    Know what they say, Law is an ass.


  17. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM #

    Initially, if the politicians did not comply with the law out of ignorance: I am tempted to forgive them. However, I have had too many calls about this post to suggest that they are now aware of the legal requirements. Nonetheless, they have continued to erect billboards and other advertising material as though the law does not apply to them. I find that lawless behaviour from people who are seeking to continue to govern this country to be particularly.

    All they had to do would have been to print the required information on a number of computer labels and stick them on the posters. The law does not say what size the font should be, so it does not have to obliterate their message. They are flouting the law with impunity because they have appointed the persons who are supposed to enforce the law.


    Sent from my iPad


  18. Well Well February 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM #

    You are missing the point – They have to show the electorate that certain laws do not apply to then and their minions.


  19. Well Well February 7, 2013 at 9:15 AM #

    As a matter of fact none of the laws in Bim apply to any of them, since none have ever served time in prison for breaking the island’s laws, that they are being paid to uphold.


  20. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2013 at 9:39 AM #

    Well Well

    Well said.

    Sent from my iPad


  21. balance February 7, 2013 at 10:10 AM #

    I expect that a person who was apointed Attorney General, the chief legal advisor to the Government of this country, would advise his party to follow.’


  22. David February 7, 2013 at 1:51 PM #


    The horse (lawmaker) has already bolted.

    What is the saying making the rounds: how does one force the Genie back into the bottle.


  23. Caswell Franklyn February 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM #


    To get the genie back into the bottle, we need a system where there is independent review of Government’s action. The reviewer must have teeth. Bushie has been advocating this system for as long as I have been on BU.

    Sent from my iPad


  24. Smooth Chocolate February 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM #

    @Adrian Hinds | February 6, 2013 at 10:00 AM |
    “Island gal how do you know which -their , they, there – is being used when uttered in the Bajan dialect? chupse!”

    he was on radio broadcast, he is a minister of education. he was aware that he was speaking to a local audience with a regional and international audience somewhere out there, ‘bajan dialect’ has it place but not there. he is mature enough to know that…u should be too


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