Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

Do Barbadians Care About Political Campaign Reform?

electionIn a document titled ‘Getting there on time:notes on the regulation of campaign finance in Latin America the author in great detail outlines issues of campaign finance our region continues to be challenged. The BU household hardly expects the BU family to read the 122 page document although we highly recommend it.

The unexpected annoucement recently by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite that the government has de-prioritized the implementation of anti corruption legislation should be of concern to civic minded Barbadians. By sharing a few excerpts from the document  we hope to explain why the problem just got even bigger.

The opening paragraph of the document:

The relation between money and politics has come to be one of the great problems of democratic government’. It is with this sentence that James Kerr Pollock began his pioneer volume on practices of political financing in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, published in 1932. This assertion, as well as his appeal to public opinion to understand that ‘[h]ealthy political life is not possible as long as the use of money is unrestrained’, are truer today than in Pollock’s own time (1932: 328). The spread of democracy, the growing complexity of electoral processes, and the awareness of the risks posed by corruption to the viability of democracies have placed the financing of political activity at the center of the public debate worldwide. The issue has become global and urgent.
Take note that the issue of money and politics is an age old problem and one any responsible government AND citizenry must be interested in managing. To use the author’s words, “while democracy has no price, it does have an operating cost (Griner and Zovatto, 2004: 298)“.
Private financing is a legitimate and necessary tool for political parties and their candidates, with both its virtues and its dangers. Among the former, it allows political parties to engage more with society. Nonetheless, the possibility of raising private funds to finance political activities opens up an array of considerable risks to democracy. The first and most serious of these is the possibility of using money from criminal or illegal activities for political ends.
In Barbados citizens speculate about the source of funds used to finance political campaigns. What we know is that those who pay the piper gets to play the tune. The role that Leroy Parris and CLICO Barbados played to bankroll the Democratic Labour Party by the  Bjerkham connection for example is evidence of how government can be influenced. In the 2013 general election many questions were asked about the source of funding of the Barbados Labour Party to fund a glossy advertising campaign. The author reflects on page 20 – that private contributions can undermine the public interest and, in extreme cases, ‘privatize’ decison-making by public officials. The foregoing easily explains why the Bjerkham Maloney interest has featured prominently in the decison-making of the Fruendel Stuart government.
The effects of faulty campaign finance regulation can be as negative as the absence of regulation, because any effort to regulate tends to raise expectations that new rules will at least be capable of moderating the worst abuses. Failed reforms leave behind a sense of disillusion and cynicism and become a barrier to new regulatory efforts.
It has become increasingly evident in the last decade that a significant number of Barbadians have become disillusioned by the existing system of elective politics. There have been growing calls for a third party, the need to implement transparency legislation, the power of the people to recall elected candidates and others. It should be very clear given the rise of the political class that this group will defend its territory to the last man standing. The fact that it is a group comprised of lawyers in the main describes a very challenging situation the region finds itself.
This category includes those instruments that regulate the flow of economic resources to political activities, both by controlling and prohibiting the use of certain sources of financing (‘negative’ or ‘passive’ regulations) and by stimulating the use of other sources (‘positive’ or ‘active’ regulations). The more widespread controls apply, as one would expect, to private political donations. Almost all democracies restrict the use of at least some types of private donations, albeit with very uneven levels of intensity. While some countries (Greece, for example) simply impose a cap on contributions, most modern democracies place an absolute prohibition on the use of certain sources of financing. The limits on individual contributions range from very low amounts in some countries to approximately USD 200,000 per year in Japan. The prohibitions, for their part, generally pertain to foreign donations—prohibited in dozens of countries—and certain types of corporate donations, typically those from state enterprises or firms that benefit from contracts or licenses granted by the state.
If we listen to those who should know there is existing legislation in Barbados that needs to be enforced. The fact that laws on the books are not enforced raises another worrying issue of weak governance. The demise of the pan Caribbean company CLICO is ample evidence the challenge of poor governance is a regional one.
Unfortunately the government of Barbados has slammed the door on addressing the issue of campaign financing. Of greater concern is whether Barbadians care.
The full text of the document can be read at the following link.

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44 Comments on “Do Barbadians Care About Political Campaign Reform?”

  1. caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 7:38 AM #

    @David, thank you for sharing this. I will have a read. Peter Wickham had also written a very interesting paper on political party/election campaign financing a while back as well: http://biblio.juridicas.unam.mx/libros/4/1593/43.pdf

    Like

  2. Well Well & Consequences March 13, 2016 at 7:42 AM #

    Dont know if BU is watching the throw down between the politicians, DPP, lawyers different individuals, etc, and Naked Departure, but given that the lady is no shrinking violet….I would stay clear….rightly or wrongly, maybe this is the eye opener they all need for all the lies they told the Bajan public who trusted them.

    Like

  3. caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 7:43 AM #

    @David, as to your general question “do Barbadians care?”, I would say no. Having wasted my time attending election rallies for both parties where the only thing that was said by the speakers was bashing the other side while party faithfuls cheered, I am convinced that the majority of voting in Barbados is personality-based and not issues-based. If we were issues-based voters, we would be demanding that election debates occur. We would be demanding that candidates articulate their policy proposals in their speeches and not just in the manifestos, which as we know are just a bunch of pretty words on pretty paper.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 7:47 AM #

    *party-based and personality based

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  5. David March 13, 2016 at 7:52 AM #

    @Alcia

    Your view accords with BU.

    Like

  6. de Pedantic Dribbler March 13, 2016 at 8:19 AM #

    @caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 7:43 AM, Debates can be very interesting contests and surely a earnest back and forth on issues would be worthwhile at Election time.

    I too would like to see each candidate debate his/her adversary within the constituency a minimum of three times during a campaign and on top of that then a nationally televised debate or two between the party leaders.

    It is interesting to hear the expert historical review from the long ago debate between Kennedy and Nixon where it is noted that those who listened only on radio thought Nixon beat Kennedy hands-down. Those who watched on that then new device called a TV thought Kennedy won.

    That reminds me of the power Tom Adams wielded with both those mediums as orator and visually very confident speaker…he was ‘trained’ and adept in media.

    So yes in this modern era of streaming on Facebook and other social media it is well past time for all politicians to embrace the upsides of the technology and debate issues to their electorate.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. David March 13, 2016 at 8:23 AM #

    @Dee Word

    You have ventured into the optics of the issue. While debates are useful how does it address campaign financing?

    Like

  8. de Pedantic Dribbler March 13, 2016 at 8:33 AM #

    Incidentally, @caribbeanlaw…based on your experience in law and travel as noted here before you must expand on the comment ” I am convinced that the majority of voting in Barbados is personality-based “.

    Of course I agree with you but is there a country you have visited or studied where that is not essentially true? And let’s not even consider the CURRENT US election.

    But Obama won based on significant part of strong personal appeal; so too folks like the same Kennedy and Reagan. And of course the other ‘first black president’ the female magnet Clinton.

    There are the Trudeaus in Canada and our friends in Jamaica like the Manleys …the list is endless.

    Politics is undoubtedly about that strong personalty: physical, verbal and intellectual. When joined together perfectly like a Clinton or a Barrow it is beyond formidable…

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  9. caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 8:34 AM #

    @David, debates, if moderated properly, can help give voters a sense of each candidate’s stated opinions on important issues, including on campaign financing. I agree with de Pedantic Dribbler. I would go further to say, that televised townhall debates would be useful as well where candidates would be forced to answer questions from the constituents themselves. We copy everything else from the US…

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  10. David March 13, 2016 at 8:37 AM #

    @Alicia

    And when they renege on their positions what then and how does it stream to effectively managing campaign financing?

    Like

  11. de Pedantic Dribbler March 13, 2016 at 8:51 AM #

    Mr Blogmaster as you noted re the scholarly article, campaign finance is a very complex matter, Debates are rather more simple. To delve into campaign finance is too practical drop off a cliff: there are seemingly no handholds to avoid a free fall. In other words, how can one really manage or end the money going into these campaigns.

    The debate is purposeful and important but this is barn door brek-down and horses already miles running free…

    Consider the great US paragons of free speech. They have legislated that there is no limit for funds to groups who want to voice their opinions on the issues… as there can be no limits on free speech per the constitution. So any horses that had been re-captured had to be released to run free in a wide open corral …thus the advent of a Coke brothers group with almost $1 Billion in cash for advertising and input towards their preferred candidates in this election.

    That has become a very minor point in the current debate because Donald Trump did the very same thing that Obama did …he appealed to the proverbial man in the street (dishonourably so surely)… what has been lost in his dishonourable rise is that this is the only viable way to overcome big-money, big business…appeal to the grass roots.

    So sir how do we streamline all that to manage the unmanageable campaign finance or manage the unmanageable fickle nature of us humans?

    Not a fellow knows! That’s why we get so scared when the Trumps of this world step forward.

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  12. caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 8:52 AM #

    @de Pedantic Dribbler, I agree with your point that personality of the candidates inevitably plays some part in voting decision-making. However, the level of debate one gets in the US, the UK, in France, one does not get here. How many Barbadians can tell you what is their MP’s position or record on issues like campaign finance reform, governance reform etc? I certainly can’t. Last election I went to the political rallies of both the BLP and DLP and was left sorely disappointed at the lack of any policy proposals. It was all attacks on the other side. No substance or vision.

    I agree that the current US presidential primaries on the Republican side is a farce. But take a look at the very issue-based debates on the Democratic side between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on things like education financing, gun reform, and other issues the American people are concerned about. I still believe that more Americans than Barbadians are inclined to vote for candidates based on issues, than simply on personality or party. But this is just my gut feeling and not scientifically based🙂

    @David, that’s where having a vibrant press that holds the government to account comes in. It’s also where having a strong civil society comes in which will lobby for these issues to be addressed by legislation and enforcement of said legislation.

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  13. David March 13, 2016 at 8:57 AM #

    To both of you, we appear to have the tail wagging the dog.

    Like

  14. Vincent Haynes March 13, 2016 at 9:03 AM #

    caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 8:52 AM #

    It’s also where having a strong civil society comes in which will lobby for these issues to be addressed by legislation and enforcement of said legislation.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    You have encapsulated the answer to all the issues be-devilling democratic societies in that one sentence.

    We can debate/pontificate/holler hard/jump up and down…..nothing will/can happen untill the populi awake and demand their rights/expectations from the political class.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences March 13, 2016 at 9:18 AM #

    Debates are necessary, it gives the potential voter an insight of the intelligence or lack thereof of the potential candidate….a good example of displayed idiocy is the Trump campaign….this morning he was spouting how “bigly” he is winning, true or not I wont vote for someone who cant articulate under pressure, among other things…..you get to see if their intelligence extends to being under pressure.

    Currently and for the last decades, all that has ever been articulated at these political meetings is….which politician been bulling the other, or other people who is a thief, who is ugly, who have ten outside women and just as many men, who has outside children and wh7ch ones are disowned….where is the intelligence, all they do is gossip, as politicians and leaders… and then have the nerve to call it a political meeting, at least they do not call it a debate……are they even capable of debating……these island “leaders”.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. de Pedantic Dribbler. March 13, 2016 at 9:26 AM #

    @caribbeantradelaw March 13, 2016 at 8:52 AM # I would completely agree with you that “… more Americans than Barbadians are inclined to vote for candidates based on issues”. In fact you highlighted one of the two unwavering issues that underpin the voting patterns…gun reform. The other base issue of course is abortion rights.

    My nuanced difference to your accurate assessment is that the average American starts with those two base issues (and a few more, campaign finance becoming higher and higher on the list) and then they start their evaluation process.

    Your disaffection with Bajan political rallies is part of a Bajan’s evolutionary process. I have been there and so too many others here surely. After awhile you go for a particular reason…so many like you who do not like the stupid insults may single out the sweet oratory, for example.

    So in my evolution of attending nothing could top Don Blackman on the stump. He was just too sweet.

    But to your point, the night that the intelligent, demure and erudite Billie Mlller (definitely was not a Dame then) reportedly hiked up her dress to show and tell her opponents how, where and what to do under her dress that was the night that a serious thinking person like yourself would have possibly sworn off the rallies as a source of serious stuff.

    Wid all the Bajan beaches who needs to go to rally to see underwear…I have no idea what Billie was wearing dat night but lots more on de beach regardless. De rally ain’t for dat!

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  17. TheGazer March 13, 2016 at 9:34 AM #

    “But this is my gut feeling”. I did not want to begin my change in daylight saving time by hearing about someone’s gut😉 (how silly of me🙂.

    But seriously ,whilst I think David has a very strong point about campaign financing, he is about to close a gate where it does not matter if the pig is kept in or allowed to escape. He has identified this as a deficiency in our system, but others are aware of it and have exploited it from years ago. In the 60s and 70s, it was amusing how one-half of the merchant class would support one of the political parties and the other half would support the other party. With this “artificial division” no matter which party won, the merchant class was well represented. Campaign financing will not solve this problem.

    Let me take this a little further and lump, the dribbler, the one with the sensitive stomach🙂 and Mr. David together because as I see it they want to look at the US and borrow a US solution.

    With so many candidates, how many debates would Barbadians have to watch? Do we just restrict it to a debate between the leaders of the two main parties? What about third parties? Must they satisfy some criteria before they get their face on stage? Who determine the criteria? Does the local media have the same level of independence as the media in the US?

    And again to the blog master (who as host of BU may not make the debate panel). I have a very pessimistic outlook when it comes to how things are done in the Caribbean. I think we can have all the campaign finance reform, governances, changes in the legal system that we want and nothing will change ( plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose). One of your contributor likes the image of a pig in lipstick. I love that image also, but sadly, I believe the pig is dead. When the time comes for the pig to perform; its lifeless carcass will remain motionless. All that pretty artwork was for nothing

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Well Well & Consequences March 13, 2016 at 9:49 AM #

    Gazer….Billie Miller is uncouth, black guardish and totally classless, these are the types given pimp titles and false status in Barbados, her type of lowlife behavior is seen as entertainment at these politica meetingsl, the politicians know they are playing to an audience that does not see past the stupid sport or appreciate the seriousness of their votes, they give them what they want re crassness, lack of class and and no intelligent recourse.

    Like

  19. TheGazer March 13, 2016 at 9:49 AM #

    Before I am accused of running around with a bucket of cold water and extinguishing ideas rather than allowing them to flourish, let me pick up the issues of debates.

    Let me state the premise of my argument and I have already made such an assertion before. The US and Barbados are nations, but not all nations are equal.

    We in the Caribbean should borrow freely from what was successful in other countries, but we should never forget the sizes of our land mass and the sizes of our populations. Models that worked perfectly elsewhere will have to be scaled (usually downwards) so as to be applicable to us. We also have the advantage in that we know what the problems are , as we have debated them here (ad nauseam).

    I am willing to concede that perhaps there is some merit in having debates. Debates can be an effective tool in educating the public, but we need to customize them to fit our situation. We cannot just take the US model and use it.

    But if we believe that voting is more base on personality and parties than on issues. then the usefulness of debates must be further examined.

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  20. de Pedantic Dribbler. March 13, 2016 at 9:51 AM #

    @TheGazer March 13, 2016 at 9:34 AM #….the US is as powerful as they are for many GOOD reasons. One of those is embracing innovation and milking those udders as long and profitably as possible.Thus there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the US debate format that can’t be exported to BIM or anywhere else.

    We all get caught up with the Presidential debates but as you know there are in-state gubernatorial/senatorial debates and those for Congress nationally and locally. Of course they are not all televised beyond maybe a local station or even at a townhall.

    So BIM would be the same….” each candidate debate his/her adversary WITHIN [at a school or wherever] the constituency a minimum of three times during a campaign and on top of that then a NATIONALLY televised debate or two between the PARTY LEADERS.” This is basic very simple stuff and social media gives it even more viability and oomph.

    If candidates want this to happen it would happen, just so. BANG. Not one damn thing stopping debates.

    The issue of third party candidates is taken care of by the election rules: you simply need to be registered as a legal candidate for the election.

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  21. David March 13, 2016 at 9:57 AM #

    @Dee Word

    We have some on BU who like to comment and not read supporting documents. From page 88 the authors list conclusions based on their research.

    We don’t want to have Dribbler change (again) his moniker to Commenter who does not like to read supporting docs!

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  22. David March 13, 2016 at 10:09 AM #

    In terms of the sources of private financing, there is a clear separation
    between Canada and the United States, on the one hand, and Latin
    America, on the other. The Canadian and US democracies have been
    capable of mobilizing a considerable number of small donors, who have
    significant financial weight in the campaigns. In Latin America private
    financing comes almost entirely from the business sectors.

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  23. David March 13, 2016 at 10:10 AM #

    This list of findings, relatively short, makes it possible to highlight one
    final point, which is a recurrent theme in these pages: there is very little
    information on the reality, as distinct from the law, when it comes to political
    financing in the vast majority of the countries in the hemisphere, with the
    possible exception of the United States. That precariousness is the result of
    three problems. First, it results from the imperfect design and weak actual
    enforcement of many legal controls on political financing that the countries
    of the hemisphere have introduced in recent decades. Adopting regulations
    and controls is no doubt a major advance in the democratic development of
    the entire hemisphere, but in most cases the rules in force continue to allow
    large areas of penumbra or total obscurity, which makes the legal image of
    political financing dramatically different from the actual image, when it is
    discerned.

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  24. David March 13, 2016 at 10:11 AM #

    Second, it is the consequence of the adaptation and propagation,
    by the media, of a series of conventional truths on political financing that
    are rarely supported by evidence. In many cases that conventional wisdom
    becomes an intellectual shortcut and a barrier of prejudice that blocks a
    rigorous inquiry.

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  25. David March 13, 2016 at 10:12 AM #

    Third, it is the result of the methodological indiscipline
    and failure to communicate of those of us who have undertaken empirical
    research on this topic. In the rare cases in which the task undertaken is to
    reconstruct the practices of political financing in a given context, it is done
    without paying all that much attention to the international or inter-temporal
    comparability of the information obtained. The gains in our knowledge on
    this subject may be much more fragmentary and tentative that what would be
    the case if one were to observe a minimum of methodological rigor.

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  26. David March 13, 2016 at 10:12 AM #

    This last conclusion is perhaps the most important one that emerges from
    this study: it is urgent to encourage empirical research on political financing
    in Latin America. Yet, it is important to do so on the basis of a solid
    methodological dialogue. Only then will the field yield truly comparable
    findings and rigorously supported public policy recommendations.

    Like

  27. David March 13, 2016 at 10:22 AM #

    What should be evident is that desired change will only occur if it is the will of the people. It will not occur by expecting politicians to be righteous.

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  28. TheGazer March 13, 2016 at 10:49 AM #

    @De
    I want to stop you in the very first paragraph.
    “the US is as powerful as they are for many GOOD reasons.” Ye; the statement the US is powerful for many BAD reasons things reasons is just as true, but that is besides the point.

    “One of those is embracing innovation and milking those udders as long and profitably as possible.” Yes, and we should do the same, but that is beside the point.

    “Thus there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the US debate format that can’t be exported to BIM or anywhere else.”
    Stop it right there.
    Barbados already has a model. There may be no need to import the US model. We just cannot up and say because it is done like this in the US, it should be done the same way in Barbados. There may be no moderator, but when a politician gets on a big truck, with a big microphone and park it on a big playground, couldn’t that be considered a town hall meeting; and what is even better, besides one candidate you get to hear the heavy hitters. But, I get it, those Bajan politicians might hike their skirts and may even talk about the size of their hands or their shoes. We have too many shrinking violets in that nation.There may be room for improvement but so too in the US.

    What we need to figure out is how to get the issues on the table and have them discussed. And as you agreed to earlier, party and personality may still trump issues (even in a debate).

    BTW: The US examples that you gave about issues (gun and abortion) has evolved so that the split is almost along party lines.

    Like

  29. de Pedantic Dribbler. March 13, 2016 at 10:53 AM #

    Mr Blogmaster, your 9:57 AM is absolutely hilarious…no chance I will change my moniker to that…Moreso though, I very specifically said that this is a complex topic and certainly never attempted to read the article prior to posting….for two simple reasons.

    1) I have read and reviewed this issue in some depth BEFORE and although I anticipated that the article would likely be very deep and provide good new data, 2) I also fully expected it would cover areas with which I has more than passing familiarity.

    But I still kept my comments brief and very concentrated on FACTUAL details. So not reading the underlying doc did not affect my dribblings I can assure you. As I said David this is a very complex subject and, I can also add, long ventilated with reams of copious analysis. I will read the article but not now surely.

    BTW just to take you up on your 10:12 post re “This last conclusion is perhaps the most important …it is urgent to encourage empirical research on…Yet, it is important to do so on the basis of a solid methodological dialogue…”

    Why would you conclude that as perhaps the most important? That sounds to me (subject matter disregarded) like a summary conclusion taken from ANY scholarly article.

    And in the 10:22 post by the people you surely man an organization or persons willing to take the matter to court to force the politicians to enact some type of legislation. As the author surely pointed out, are the judicial, legal and NGO systems in the LAC region up to that challenge as they were in the US. There it is now firmly codified legally.

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  30. TheGazer March 13, 2016 at 10:58 AM #

    *edited
    @De
    I want to stop you in the very first paragraph.
    “the US is as powerful as they are for many GOOD reasons.” Yes; the statement “the US is powerful for many BAD reasons” is just as true, but that is besides the point.

    “One of those is embracing innovation and milking those udders as long and profitably as possible.” Yes, and we should do the same, but that is beside the point.

    “Thus there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the US debate format that can’t be exported to BIM or anywhere else.”
    Stop it right there.
    Barbados already has a model. There may be no need to import the US model.
    We just cannot up and say because it is done like this in the US, it should be done the same way in Barbados.

    There may be no moderator, but when a politician gets on a big truck, with a big microphone and park it on a big playground, couldn’t that be considered a town hall meeting; and what is even better, besides one candidate you get to hear the heavy hitters. But, I get it, those Bajan politicians might hike their skirts and may even talk about the size of their hands or their shoes. We have too many shrinking violets in that nation.

    There may be room for improvement but so too in the US.

    What we need to figure out is how to get the issues on the table and have them discussed. And as you agreed to earlier, party and personality may still trump issues (even in a debate).

    BTW: The US examples that you gave about issues (gun and abortion) has evolved so that the split is almost along party lines.

    Like

  31. de Pedantic Dribbler. March 13, 2016 at 11:27 AM #

    @Gazer, I would offer that the basic construct of Good and Bad was long ago settled. There is a God of good…a Devil of bad was long ago his counterpoint. The Yin and Yan of life are clear, so when I said the US are powerful for many good reasons there should have been no confusion that there are also powerful for many BAD reasons. Yin and Yang.

    Of course the two party dynamic is very strong but if you are also not appreciating the clear divide with gun rights and abortion rights to name two then that is to your peril.

    There are ‘abortion rights’ issues being legislated across the South to this day…most recent Supreme Court case adjudicated about two weeks ago. So too Voting Rights issues being re-legislated (In US, can you believe).

    Politics is always local, they say. Exporting something from the US is simply a function of what comes naturally to us and using their successes and failures to inform our practices. Very, very simple. What should also be clear is that frankly we are simply taking about ‘importing’ what is a jazzed-up version of what was or is done currently.

    Isn’t a town-hall a fancy TV, radio and social media version of a constituency meeting at Queens Park or at Princess Margaret School hall or some such. Or as you said the very old-fashioned man on a truck with a loudspeaker.My remarks on these specifics are already wide-spread and were so basic, mundane and dribbly that I am surprised you debated them.

    The US does not use any fundamental debate format that we don’t use…they simply have a few more and do the basics more broadly, better and with much greater fanfare.

    Oh and their politicians hold up skirts or wear skimpy skirts and show off underwear and other things too..don’t let’s get carried away here now.

    So of course the US and their peeps are BAD…but they are so damn GOOD at being bad than the rest of us though, LOL.

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  32. de Pedantic Dribbler March 13, 2016 at 1:49 PM #

    @Gazer, just to go back to your point that “The US examples that you gave about issues (gun and abortion) has evolved so that the split is almost along party lines..”

    Digest the quote below and as you read it remember that…the most avowed racists in the US deep south were bible thumping, deeply ‘Christian’ evangelicals…remember these same Christians are avowed gun rights advocates and thus gun owners…and remember most of these same folks believe strongly in the Right to Life.

    So they will KILL you with THEIR guns to protect the rights of the unborn child…

    “The big puzzle in this most puzzling of election seasons is why so many white evangelicals are flocking to Donald Trump, shouting Hosannas as he flies overhead … Trump …carried the born-again vote in Massachusetts, … careening yet again down a white evangelical “lane” … In Mississippi, where evangelicals turned out in record numbers—and white evangelicals accounted for a whopping 75 percent of Republican voters—Trump won by double digits.

    “… Donald Trump curses like a bond trader. He mocks the disabled. He expresses no need for God’s forgiveness. He seems about as familiar with the Bible (“Two Corinthians”) as ordinary Americans are with the loopholes of the IRS tax code … his campaign biography by default, is a human billboard for pride and lust. “I’m a greedy person,” he told an Iowa audience, “I’ve always been greedy.” He’s wrong for evangelicals on the issues, on theology, on piety, and most of all on “values,” the buzzword of the culture wars over the past half-century. ..” —Politico Online.

    Bajans are absolutely no different. They go to Church and are born-again in spirit and outward voice yet they embrace our corrupt politicians with similar zeal as if they are messiahs from the Lord.

    As I said before all politics is local…politically we don’t import anything from the big countries that is not basically already right here in a less visible guise.

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  33. Sargeant March 13, 2016 at 1:56 PM #

    @David

    Did Jeff C’s and Caswell’s columns miss a deadline?

    Like

  34. David March 13, 2016 at 1:59 PM #

    @Sargeant

    Caswell’s column is bi-weekly and Jeff’s has not appeared in the inbox as of a minute ago.

    Like

  35. David March 13, 2016 at 5:47 PM #

    We have not started to discuss the role of the media in a strong democracy thus far. Central to the role is accurate i.e. in an unbiased and unfiltered way informing and educating the citizenry.

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  36. Hamilton Hill March 13, 2016 at 6:48 PM #

    Jesus! Do you mean to tell me that the BLP didn’t do a dry run to ensure that the intended message made it to its destination? Or they couldn’t find the funds to pay for a proper feed? Its been a good while since Owen claimed that funds went missing. Perhaps they too chose FLOW as the carrier. Lol Ah really wanted to hear the message but all ah getting is every other sentence. Similar to the type of opposition they are providing.

    Like

  37. David March 13, 2016 at 6:58 PM #

    @Hamilton

    The streaming is fine.

    Like

  38. Hamilton Hill March 13, 2016 at 7:07 PM #

    It has gotten better. Thanks for the link however.

    Like

  39. pieceuhderockyeahright March 13, 2016 at 7:18 PM #

    @ David [BU]

    That is a perennial problem which while one accepts the hypothesis of the role of the media we have not as yet addressed the stasis that holds that media, and its members, immobile.

    Carl Moore, when he ventured here to pimp, captured the problem best when he highlighted the “anonymice” symptom which is central to that role of accurate reporting.

    When Tom Adams purportedly beat ***, when Mark Williams purportedly beat *** when Mia purportedly bit *** when *** purportedly killed Pele and the list continues ad infinitum, across varied timelines, the common denominator that defines all these is retaliation by “powerful people” which the anonymity that you afford, and Sherri Veronica flaunts does not extend to David Ellis or Stetson Babb and the others who, while they cow tow to the powers that be seem to be the very antipodes of us the faceless detractors in cyberspace.

    How many men and women wished that they knew enough cyber gibber to host a blog online like you do and not be fearful of Adriel Nitwit or Dale Marshall sending the current Commissioner of Police and their respective goons to your house/place of business like Michael Lashes did with that fellow last year?

    How many of them delight, internally when you post the topics that they CANNOT TOUCH, because they want to keep their jobs? pay for their utilities? educate their children? while accepting empty meaningless journalistic awards?

    Like the adulation afforded to Hollywood stars, they live by proxy in your successes?

    Not many people believe that it is better to die free screaming on the battlefield of life against innumerable odds than live enslaved!

    “High wind know where old house live” so the anarchists like the BDLP respective crooks and dirtbags know who to terrorize and who they must fear because there are still some fellows who know bout Amatol and Beratol and the Composites.

    Fear is the key. When you are an insensitive fellow you dont give a shyte when the fellows in Crab Hill or Marl Hole or Haynesville killing one another cause you live up in the heights but when you wake up a night and see them fellows coming in your windows, or them stopping you on highway 2A or like the EU now sees hundreds of thousands of them in Turkey then there is an urgency to the interventions of the UN and the US because we, de (white) peeple cyan sleep nuh more.

    The solution lies in one statement which if instilled in every man, woman from the time we are children will change this creeping monster

    “I am my brother’s keeper” and “when a promonotorie is washed off an islande into the sea, it diminisheth me… so that the rape of women in South Somalia in lieu of wages and the displacement of native Americans by big corporations, the similar activities in South America by oil companies, the internment camps in France for gypsies and niggers, all of it should incense each one of us to want and move to rectify this injustice.

    But dat is jes de ole man acting up heah pun a Sundey evening while I waiting fuh de BLP liars tuh start streaming dem lies pun de TorBrowser de grandson install.

    I gine and check dis IP ting tun mek sure um wukking

    Like

  40. David March 13, 2016 at 7:24 PM #

    Did the local media report on the 55 million dollar loan that minister Chris Sinckler instructed the NIS to lend the BTII?

    Like

  41. NorthernObserver March 13, 2016 at 7:38 PM #

    It is my experience that whatever rules are instituted, ways are found around them. And the political class always have a willing or unwilling fall person(s). Believe with confidence, like with athletes, they will cheat. Carry On smartly.

    Like

  42. Georgie Porgie March 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM #

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SAYING “Two Corinthians”
    MANY THEOLOGIANS SAY DAT

    Like

  43. Jeff Cumberbatch March 13, 2016 at 9:42 PM #

    Sorry, BU, for the non-appearance of my column today. My flight from Antigua yesterday was slightly delayed, but it put paid to any hope of submitting my column to the Advocate before 7pm last night.

    Next week’s is now already prepared.

    Like

  44. Tudor March 16, 2016 at 8:11 PM #

    Generally i would have to say no – as the majority of voters in Barbados while able to read & write are incapable of reasoning.

    Like

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