Submitted by Mrs. Debra Iﬁll, Independent Voter
The idea of a third, fourth, and ﬁfth party in principle is one that should be welcomed. It augurs well for any democratic state, that the freedom exists where ordinary people can put themselves forward to contest political elections.
But political leadership is not child’s play it is a serious decision that comes with national responsibility. It is no surprise that we are seeing a rising number of parties coming forward to contest the upcoming election. The DLP has demonstrated that it possibly takes little to gain leadership of our nation. Unfortunately for the past eight years we have been subjected to, “the worst government since adult suffrage”, as stated by Dr. George Belle. The problematic is that the people must not allow mediocrity to become the standard of our democracy. What should also be clear in the minds of those who would contest the election, is that it also takes very little to destroy a nation; a point also well demonstrated by the DLP.
As the legitimate Opposition party of Barbados, we want the BLP to outline blatantly the way forward. Yes, their manifesto-esque document, The Covenant of Hope attempts to do so. The issue with this document is in its cumbersome nature, especially for the ordinary person. Appropriate conversations with the people remain necessary, and I see that today, Saturday, 11 February 2016, this was started with the mass canvass in the City, showing an attempt at unity of message. It is my hope that these will continue. The strategy cannot be, that after the election is called, the deeper conversations with the people will begin. The leadership of the BLP must outline for us, their plans; their economic plan, their leadership plan, and their plan for our social elevation. We have been after all suffering for the past eight years, and although we know the way up will not be easy, we need to know that there are actual plans in the works.
For many there appears to be a void in the political system. This idea was created by the combination of an inept and failed DLP government; and their morality campaign preying on the reactionary nature of some of our citizens. This campaign, hypocritical as it might be, since immorality in many forms has played out on the national stage for the past eight years, would have been more damaging, had the DLP actually been a government of some success. But it did create a void in some peoples’ minds. Of course those persons are unable to see behind the curtain of confusion that was created.
Nonetheless, opportunistic individuals are attempting to exploit this void, some seeking to look after their own interest groups as is seemingly the case with Solutions Barbados, and those seemingly with personal grouses and axes to grind, as is the case with the UPP. Of course they believe that they can do no worse than the current administration, and they may be correct in that assumption. What we as a people need however, is a government that knows that it is better than what currently exists, and that is equipped with the knowledge, and the tools to turn this country around.
Eastmond’s failing to earn a nomination from the people is not the reason that I would resist her as a possible leader of the state. What would cause me pause instead is the bitterness in the expressions about the leader of the opposition that she and her cohorts espouse on social media almost daily. I ﬁnd it distasteful, and irresponsible. It is as if her cohorts and her, believe that their political failures are the fault of the Opposition leader. I have yet to hear of any studies done by Ms. Eastmond and friends, seeking the answer as to why she has been unable to gain a simple nomination. In other words she has yet to take responsibility for her failures. It is the same with Dr Maria Agard, who played a risky political game and lost. Lost, and not only victories, must be seen to have been taken with dignity.
As the Opposition Leader stated today, parties come and parties go. What I am more concerned with at this juncture, is what the incoming leaders of this country, Ms Mottley and her team, plan to do to take the country forward.