The George Brathwaite Column – Considering ‘Democratic’ Reforms

George C. Brathwaite (PhD)

“There must be the appropriate checks and balances between the Parliament and the Executive. We must reform our Parliament to better serve the needs of our people. … There is a cost to democracy and the State must accept this reality if we are to protect the will of the majority from the influence of the few and the powerful.” – (The Barbados Labour Party, 2016: ‘Our Covenant of Hope’).

The word democracy has its etymology in the Greek language with ‘demokratia’ meaning ‘the political power of the ordinary people’ within a given polity. It is not unusual to hear people express the idealistic view that under a democratic system, it is the people that possess the ultimate power. This obviously will depend on who are the people, and under what specific conditions can the power be utilised.

Barbados is operating under ‘majoritarian’ and ‘representative’ democracy born out of the touted Westminster model. An ideal democracy would mean that ordinary people get to participate in making the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy would trigger more participatory mechanisms, and less alienating institutional tools. Predictably, political parties in Barbados have fed the population a diet purporting that democracy in Barbados is well established with the Barbados Parliament in place since 1639.

However, the boast of democratic longevity in Barbados is a ‘fiction’. This concept of the Westminster model shifted from ‘adoption’ without appropriate ‘adaptation’ to Barbados’ peculiarities. In this majoritarian system, Barbadians are questioning the role of the representative vis-à-vis minorities and vice versa. The question is whether this majoritarian and representative democracy is meeting the overall expectations of Barbadians. Arend Lijphart argues that in a majoritarian, Westminster-style, democracy, power is concentrated in the hands of the majority. Majoritarian democracy has the following institutional characteristics:

  • one-party majority cabinets; meaning, the concentration of power in one-party executive arms of government
  • executive dominance over the legislature
  • majoritarian and disproportional electoral rules underpinning a two-party system, with an associated winner-takes-all approach to government formation and maintenance
  • pluralist interest group systems with free-for-all competition among groups with these factors all contributing to an adversarial political culture.

There are areas of deficiency relating to the role and tenure of elected representatives. Indeed, the electorate’s ability to have a direct and continuing relationship with representatives beyond the periodic ballot box is receiving greater credence given the state of affairs occurring within the last decade. Former Prime Minister, Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford has contended that: “Democracy in Barbados cannot and must not mean a mere moment in a polling station once every five years. Our citizens must, from day to day and from week to week, receive facts, opinions, comment and interpretation of public affairs and must also be encouraged to express their opinions. That is what participatory democracy is all about.” Clearly, a responsive legislature that consistently grounds decisions in the public good is necessary.

Currently, the legislature does not placate the electorate’s objection of positioning party over people. There is evidence of selfish inclination whenever unadulterated party loyalty persists. Patterns of partisan behaviour have led to public disagreement with the policy directions being pushed by a domineering executive branch. Hence, both majority and minority interests tend to suffer at the hands of the elected when voices are stifled and prejudices dictate the choices. Minority interests are subsumed below the tyranny of the majority, and mechanisms such as the Public Accounts Committee are neutered due to interpretations of procedure and intent.

It must be re-emphasised that elected representatives continue to grow unpopular with the dominance of the executive over the legislature. With the mangling of national issues, no confidence motions perceivably falter; not for lack of cogent arguments or weakness in the representatives but because of numerical strength. Majority representatives almost always prevails over minority representatives. Barbados does not have an engrained culture wherein the executive members are contented to resign themselves to the legislature if malady strikes in the executive.

To that end, matters of national interests have become problematic with the farcical circumventing of Westminster’s built-in checks and balances. Since 2008, there are louder calls for the buzzwords of transparency and accountability to obtain in practice at the sites of legislature and government. The contention is that parliamentary scrutiny urgently needs to be vastly improved, perhaps with an added dimension of freedom. There is the lack of backbench scolding or exposure, and this has allowed the executive to dominate over the elected legislature.

Pronounced failures by elected representatives must be exposed. Needed is an ‘independent’ Speaker of the House that does not owe his existence to a singular entity within the Assembly – discipline and fairness may return. Possible punishment should be obtainable through petitioning for recall of badly performing elected officials. With formal recall, this ought to be carefully instrumented through a pre-determined aggregation of the electorate followed by strict procedures for the invocation.

There are swelling demands for ample participation in the deliberative and decision-making processes by the electorate. Barbadians are critical of the status quo. Perhaps, one can commend the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) for asserting its position for the creation of a “space for direct democracy” and for “greater consultation and participation, in and out of Parliament.” The fact is, town-hall meetings and other public forums are being demanded whether it is to discuss education, health, transport, or housing. The decisions being made by elected representatives and non-elected officials will affect majority and minority groupings within communities and constituencies.

Deliberation augurs well for finding consensus out of the many different and sometimes conflicting interests on show. The notion of people power is showing signs of recovery after a passive insistence that Barbados’ political culture is characterised by civil docility. The political class traditionally has taken advantage of a system not suited to quick adjustment. Referenda are being put as possible solutions to the failures associated with inadequate direct participation. People are craving central positionality in terms of decision-making. Essentially, Barbadians want to be able to exercise vital control over elected representatives on the basis that distrust and dissatisfaction are increasingly inhabiting the arena of majoritarian democracy.

The vocal distrust against politicians has grown since a decade ago. Social and political commentators have voiced dissatisfaction with the politicians and political parties based on many crucial aspects, inclusive of many broken promises, that help to create despondency and voter apathy in the island. Numerous persons are concerned about declining qualities of representation inside the national assembly. There are allegations of malfeasance emerging from the citizenry and these have scaled the political divide within Parliament.

It is important that the electorate’s concerns attract meaningful responses both before (manifesto pledges) and after the elections (policy action and legislation). Jean-Jacques Rousseau in – On the Social Contract, Book II, Chapter I – contended that: “If, therefore, the populace promises simply to obey, it dissolves itself by this act, it loses its standing as a people. The very moment there is a master, there no longer is a sovereign, and thenceforward the body politic is destroyed.” The Barbados body politic is too important an instrument in the scheme of power and governance to accept the status quo without advocating and challenging for appropriate changes.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a political consultant. Email: brathwaitegc@gmail.com)
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57 Comments on “The George Brathwaite Column – Considering ‘Democratic’ Reforms”

  1. Pachamama March 28, 2017 at 7:55 AM #

    All of these ‘lofty’ ideas are to deceive a hapless population.

    Why is it that for these social/political crimes, as recidivists, such persons, en mass, should be able to avoid the guillotine.

    Like

  2. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. March 28, 2017 at 8:25 AM #

    You forget that the Westminster system has impartial oversight from the House of Lords. While mostly voluntarily impotent, the Upper House recently sent Brexit legislation back down to the Lower House for reconsideration.

    In Barbados the writers of our Constitution deliberately did the opposite: they politicised the Senate thereby guaranteeing no oversight and automatic rubber-stamping of Gov’t’s legislation sent up from the Lower House.

    We were set up for failure in 1966 by EWB and his cronies.

    It is plainly obvious, therefore, that what we have had since 1966 is an illusion of the Westminster system.

    Since our ‘Lords’ and Sugar Barons have long since abandoned Barbados when the money went out of sugar, we have a unique opportunity to do a better job of it than UK did by soliciting the help of our long-standing national institutions which hold their own internal elections.

    A quick glance through our Yellow Pages for Associations could easily come up with a list of 21 to send forward senators after internal elections.

    We are feeling the consequences of lack of OVERSIGHT and CONSEQUENCES for gov’t and civil service. Our only hope to correct this is a de-politicised senate with powers of investigation and resultant recommendations for prosecution.

    All we need do is remove section 36. (2) and (3) and delete the first word in section (4).

    (1) The Senate shall consist of twenty-one persons who,
    being qualified for appointment as Senators in accordance with
    the provisions of this Constitution, have been so appointed in
    accordance with the provisions of this section.
    (2) Twelve Senators shall be appointed by the GovernorGeneral,
    acting in accordance with the advice of the Prime
    Minister, by instrument under the Public Seal.
    (3) Two Senators shall be appointed by the GovernorGeneral,
    acting in accordance with the advice of the Leader of
    the Opposition, by instrument under the Public Seal.
    (4) Seven Senators shall be appointed by the GovernorGeneral,
    acting in his discretion, by instrument under the
    Public Seal, to represent religious, economic or social interests
    or such other interests as the Governor-General considers ought
    to be represented:
    Provided that before appointing any person under this
    subsection the Governor-General shall consult such persons as,
    in his discretion, he considers can speak for those interests and
    ought to be consulted.
    Subject to the provi

    Like

  3. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 8:56 AM #

    Democracy: a contrivance that is designed to make sure the will of the majority takes precedence over those who control other contrivances of power such as might, money , colour etc.
    George you quite rightly pointed out that what constitute the Demos changes over time and geographical space. When it was conceived in Greece neither slaves nor women were considered people(Demos).
    In the USA, the newest democracy then, slaves were also excluded. Although, to sit alongside a written constitution where all men were created equal ,slaves were defined as a fraction of a man.

    Who, in your opinion should be considered the Demos, in the 21St Century Barbados? And what structure would you put in place other than the bastardized Westminster Model?

    Is the latter ( Westminster Model) not working adequately for us? Where has it fallen
    down?
    Are we looking for some new meritocracy and a new elite to rule the people? Please ,clearly define these new/old concepts of entitlement to power.

    Like

  4. Well Well & Consequences Observing BloggerI March 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM #

    Frustrated….as ya can see, backward jackasses steeped amd marinated in their own self-inflicted mental slavery, do not want to change anything.

    Like

  5. David March 28, 2017 at 9:03 AM #

    @Frustrated

    The Senate in the Barbados design is all about rubber.

    @George

    To echo Bernard’s inquiry and to take it further -when you critique the system like you have done the question is asked for you to explain how by your actions you appear to be embedded with the BLP. While this is your democratic right would it not make sense to take positions to shake the tree so to speak? How can you unleash your higher learning to benefit the citizenry.

    Like

  6. Andrew Simpson March 28, 2017 at 9:20 AM #

    Now to get the other 287,988 Bajans to read and understand that it is costing much more to maintain the ‘system’ than the actual value of services being provided.

    Like

  7. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 9:27 AM #

    @ David @ 9:03 AM

    The Senate was intended to be a review committee where the legislation coming up from the lumpen proletariat or their representatives would be quality tested. The idea was to reduce the excesses of populism. It can work provided one does not people it with the same mentality as are in the Lower House. Some may think that the second chamber is superfluous. And they may de right.

    Like

  8. Hants March 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM #

    THE BARBADOS LABOUR PARTY (BLP) machinery moved to a war footing on Sunday night as it presented a unified face and officially announced its slate of candidates.

    http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/95065/blp-fired-ready#sthash.pHN8IKoP.dpuf

    Like

  9. David March 28, 2017 at 9:34 AM #

    @Bernard

    What cannot be refuted is the track record of the Senate post Independence. The financial cost of running the Senate is more about tradition and convention. We need to learn from the experience to date and make it more effective and jettison the pork!

    Why have the socalled Independents appointed by a politically appointed PM not ‘rebel’ against the establishment by stepping up with a more strident voice?

    Are they truly independent?

    Like

  10. Frustrated Businessman aka 'Nation of Laws' my ass. March 28, 2017 at 9:51 AM #

    Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 9:27 AM #
    @ David @ 9:03 AM

    The Senate was intended to be a review committee where the legislation coming up from the lumpen proletariat or their representatives would be quality tested. The idea was to reduce the excesses of populism. It can work provided one does not people it with the same mentality as are in the Lower House. Some may think that the second chamber is superfluous. And they may de right.

    Exactly what I said. But it could be so much more. It could be populated with people who would never stand for election due to our current gutter politics but who would be willing to oversee those who relish in gutter politics.

    It really is that simple.

    Like

  11. Hants March 28, 2017 at 9:52 AM #

    Doesn’t happen in Barbados. I just writing foolishness.

    Corruption, Vote Buying, awarding contracts without tenders, giving jobs to unqualified

    family members and friends, paying exorbitant fees to consultants, enabling lawlessness

    (squatters) for political gain.

    Like

  12. David March 28, 2017 at 9:57 AM #

    @Hants

    Politicians from both sides will agree -there is none of what you listed going on in Barbados.

    Utopia to the world!

    Like

  13. ndtewarie March 28, 2017 at 9:58 AM #

    POLITICAL PARTIES

    If you’re out of the two main party
    You don’t stand a chance
    It means that you’re in the minority
    You cannot join the dance

    Political parties in North America
    Are on similar platforms
    Down to little bustling Guyana
    Done in different norms

    In the USA they have the ruling Democrats
    In Canada we’ve the Conservative now in power
    They have the Republics and Lobbyist rats
    We have the Liberal Party waiting for their hour

    In Guyana the strong dominating PPP
    Left the once domineering PNC far way behind
    Backed by East Indians as the majority
    Whilst the blacks back the PNC now in a bind

    These parties superficially try to do good
    But the lobbyists really running all the show
    Always leaving the opposition holding wood
    As the other side stealthily curtailing the flow

    They’ll go to any length to oppose any benefit
    Meant mostly for betterment for poor folk
    Behaving as nincompoops unfit minus any wit
    And making good policies a bloody joke

    Senators filibuster to delay any good things
    Brought to the table to be implemented as laws
    Yet behaving like a bunch of ding-a-lings
    As their own peers combat with oral hee-haws

    Like what they did to the Democrat’s Medical Plan
    For 20 years opposing it for opposition’s sake
    Denying benefit to every baby, women and or man
    As Pharmacists and hospitals just like to take

    In Canada we don’t have lobbyists so far
    As the opposition behaving like kids in Parliament
    Opposing rights even about going to war
    Left the ruling party in an embarrassing predicament

    In Guyana the ruling People’s Progressive Party
    With an Opposition still can’t find a real quorum
    Floundering in drug trafficking and transparency
    Too dazed with the influence of 10 year Old XM

    However, I must confess
    In this life here the little man has no prayer
    And the west is in a mess
    The two party system has failed the taxpayer

    Sometimes I wonder if the answer is Democracy
    Maybe Karl Marx and Mao Tse Tung were right
    For no matter how hard we try we can never see
    At the end of our economic tunnel any real light

    Like

  14. William Skinner March 28, 2017 at 10:07 AM #

    Here we have a staunch supporter of the duoplopy condemning their collective governance for the past fifty years ! The writer failed to mention that the paralysis of the system is a direct result of the type of governance of both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party. This article is a stinging indictment of the said party(BLP) he is now asking the electorate to endorse. Sooner or later the intellectual opportunistic proclivities of these sophisticated party operatives will be exposed for what they are. The writer has now unwittingly betrayed all that he has written in the past. His reference to “2008” and the the last ten years is nothing more than a red herring , to project that the BLP is not to be equally blamed for the malfeasance.

    Like

  15. Well Well & Consequences Observing BloggerI March 28, 2017 at 10:15 AM #

    No politician or political party can be taken seriously or trusted in these times, keep ya eyes to the north voters, watch the evil that lives in politician’s minds unfold…, even demonic scum like Cheney is crawling out of the woodwork….to demonize a demon like himself. …he sees looming war, massive contracts for Halliburton, the war machine, to enrich his bad, dying, greedy heart.

    That is where small island politicians got their thirst and greed for bribery and corruption, mimicking US and UK politicians.

    Burying a pitchfork for no good reason using taxpayer’s money is beyond frightening.

    Like

  16. Tron March 28, 2017 at 10:28 AM #

    Frustrated,

    Barbados is so knee-deep in the shit, a senate with experts is not enough. We need a government consisting of experts, not clueless politicians to bring Barbados out of the debt and the continuing downgrades.

    George,

    The constitutional problem of Barbados: The MPs of the ruling party and the Government are nearly identical. There is no balance of power in Barbados. Executive and legislative branch are the same.

    Like

  17. Well Well & Consequences Observing BloggerI March 28, 2017 at 10:41 AM #

    https://www.barbadostoday.bb/2017/03/28/carrington-i-dont-steal/

    And talking about thiefing politicians and lawyers who steal from their clients.

    Like

  18. George C. Brathwaite March 28, 2017 at 10:52 AM #

    @ David and Bernard

    Clearly because we do embrace democratic prinicples notwithstanding the shortcomings means that governance is something that must always be evaluated against actual occurrences.
    Just as a reminder, it is highly unlikely that radical changes would occur overnight. Being a member or supporter of a political party does not preclude one from being objective and ‘honest’.
    @ Tron
    The balance of power as you mentioned, does not rely on the identity of persons or common/shared interests. It is more associated with the very few backbenchers and only two independent members. I do not think that there is only one right solution, but there could be ceiling for the number of MPs that can sit in Cabinet thus having a lerger backbench while at the same time, opening the senate to attract politicians/professionals more suited to specific posts. Under the Westminster model there is the fusion of the executive and legislature; we must ask ourselves to what extent to we need to keep in check the power associated with each. As I said in the article, there is a clear dominance of the executive in a relatively small legislature.

    Like

  19. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 10:53 AM #

    @ David@ 9 : 34 AM

    The truly independent senators are appointed by the Governor General who may consult trusted knowledgeable persons in the society. So the independence depend on the GG and the personal and professional integrity of the appointees.

    The PM’s appointees to the Senate are to make the Executive workable . The intention is to complement the paucity of real talent in the Lower House. No system of Government is perfect. People make it perfect or imperfect.
    Their function is not to rebel but to apply their common sense and professional expertise to the problem/issues before them.

    Anything above or below that may lead to anarchy.

    Like

  20. Vincent Haynes March 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM #

    The only answer for keeping the duoply on its toes is to have a vigilant electorate who can show their disapproval by peacefull actions which can be registered in a benign manner such as every one putting down their vehicle for a day and utilise the public transport system……this will have the effect of clogging up the system……note it is not a strike nor a withdrawal of labour……..presently in the USA&UK civil disobedience is being displayed over Trump&Brexit…….if we do nothing we deserve whatever the political class does to us.

    Like

  21. Wily Coyote March 28, 2017 at 11:09 AM #

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT from a sligh Coyote.

    Barbados has tried the Black Independence route for the last 50 Years, it’s resulted in three (3) financial bailouts, two plus the pending one, high corruption, crime etc etc. Maybe it’ s time to try Colonial Rule again for the xext 50 Years for comparison, or maybe a TRUE DICTATOR like say Kadafi.

    A little perspective is always a good thing.

    Like

  22. Pachamama March 28, 2017 at 11:24 AM #

    ”Clearly because we do embrace democratic prinicples notwithstanding the shortcomings means that governance is something that must always be evaluated against actual occurrences.” George Brathwaite

    What democracy?

    Your are a political scientist. Within your literature the system in Barbados is more accurately described as an ‘elected dictatorship’.

    With all its failings the shelter of ‘democracy’ is unfit to birth this nonsense. Do you really believe, still, that because elections are held every 5 years or so there is any democracy at all in Barbados?

    This is merely perfunctory! Window dressing for your people to serve the economic elites.

    The truth is that you care not about any democracy. All you care about is getting MAM in office. After that ‘any number could play’ until she needs a professional political pimp to talk intelligent sounding shiite again.

    Like

  23. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 11:24 AM #

    George Brathwaite all of us support political parties. Many of those who do not go out and vote elect the party that is elected to govern. There is no need to apologize to anybody for your party affiliation. It is your constitutional right.

    My concern is your occasional failure to elucidate and rigorously support your positions. If your heart is not in it, do not do it. You are a man not a mouse. And certainly not a yard fowl.

    Like

  24. Pachamama March 28, 2017 at 11:34 AM #

    We cannot understand why George ‘Georgie Porgie’ Brathwaite continues to mislead the people of Barbados.

    He should at least start from a point of departure which recognizes democracy as an economic system having very little to do with politics.

    And when he so starts, we would have to deal with issues of distribution, ownership etc.

    Not non-issues, light weight BS, as to whether MAM is an idiot or not. The personality, to avoid the dictatorial impulses of the party system.

    Like

  25. George C. Brathwaite March 28, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    @ Bernard

    A column is just what it is. I present my views but there are limitations as to what can and will be covered. If nothing else, I prefer when people grapple and discuss the issues.

    Like

  26. Pachamama March 28, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    Bernard Codrington

    What has your pilgrimages to the polls over the years gotten you?

    Had you not gone at all could this country be possibly in worse shape?

    Like

  27. Pachamama March 28, 2017 at 11:50 AM #

    Indeed, if Barbados was a ‘democracy’ every Bajan would get to vote every day like COW, Bizzy and the ‘economic’ elites do.

    Georgie Porgie Brathwaite, tell the people the truth.

    Like

  28. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 11:51 AM #

    @Pachamama at 11:37 AM

    Participation in the electoral process gave me the satisfaction of discharging my civic duty to self and fellow citizens. It has also helped to avert policies that could have put this country in worse shape than it is in. I was born and chose to remain and live in Barbados because this is where I want to be.
    I do not participate in the political process to get anything personal. I and my family have always worked for what we have.

    Like

  29. William Skinner March 28, 2017 at 12:02 PM #

    @ Dr. George Brathwaite
    “A column is just what it is. I present my views but there are limitations as to what can and will be covered. If nothing else, I prefer when people grapple and discuss the issues.”

    You deliberately placed those limitations on yourself by trying to be profusely pro BLP and Mia . You cannot claim to be short on space because your columns are only surpassed in length , by those of the late Gladstone Holder. You have used valuable space as a propagandist.
    For the record you are no different from Hartley Henry, who also used long columns to prop up the Dees. The difference with you and Henry is that Henry was transparent with his intentions. You simply pretend that your columns are about the better for Barbados but as Pacha says they are nothing but BLP PR exercises.

    Like

  30. David March 28, 2017 at 12:47 PM #

    @George

    Commenters evaluate your contributions outside of a column. There is your body of other interventions in the public space. Do not forget!

    Like

  31. George C. Brathwaite March 28, 2017 at 1:20 PM #

    @ David.
    I have no problems with a good fact check. I have been quite consistent in the presentation of my views within and outside of academia, and within and outside of the political arena. People see and hear what they want to on the basis of personality. I urge you to go beyond and critique and discuss the issues. Do not worry about me the person, I am that I am.

    Like

  32. Vincent Haynes March 28, 2017 at 1:26 PM #

    This what is what people do when they need to get a message over:-

    Like

  33. David March 28, 2017 at 2:11 PM #

    @George

    Some of us are able to walk and chew gum at the same time. Expect the BU family to hold contributors like yourself to a very high standard.

    Like

  34. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger March 28, 2017 at 2:57 PM #

    https://www.barbadostoday.bb/2017/03/28/electoral-department-puts-voters-on-notice-of-general-elections/

    Ready….Set….Vote them out.

    “Electoral Department puts voters on notice of general elections
    Added by Barbados Today on March 28, 2017.
    Saved under Local News
    0
    With elections due to be held within the next year, the local Electoral Department today sought to put eligible voters on notice for the much-anticipated poll.

    In a statement issued via the Barbados Government Information Service, the Department announced that it would be implementing a new system of registration, with effect from Wednesday.”

    Like

  35. fortyacresandamule March 28, 2017 at 3:04 PM #

    The author is too politically contaminated to be taken seriously.

    Like

  36. vincent haynes March 28, 2017 at 3:33 PM #

    We need lobby groups and community activists to get the message across to whoever controls the govt…….electing people and expecting change will not happen.

    Like

  37. Tron March 28, 2017 at 7:24 PM #

    @Wily Coyote

    Colonial rule? Britain will hardly take back Barbados with 27,000 civil servants and all the debts. The problem is the mentality of the South, which dominates societies and economies from Indonesia to Arabia, Africa, Greece, Italy, Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean, where corruption, low work ethic and lack of efficiency are part of the local cultures and the North is blamed for everything.

    No money, no machine will change this attitude. Only a very strong leader with a big hammer and outside of said mentality could change the fate of Barbados.

    Like

  38. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM #

    @Wlly Coyote 11:09 AM
    @Vincent Haynes 3 :33 PM

    Where have you both been over the past 8 years? Colonial rule? Demonstrating and lobbying? I think both of you should concentrate on employing legally effective measures to change whatever you think need changing. Both of you remind me of the 40 years of the Isrealites’ wandering in the wilderness and complaining to Moses that they had leaks and onions to eat when they were slaves in Egypt and would prefer to return there. Get real . It is not going to happen. The Isrealites wandered 40 years ,while you have 15 months to effecting the change you think you want.
    Gome on fellows . Do you really think that when you destabilize a country it is easy to return it to prosperity. Wunnuh ignorant or whuh?

    Like

  39. Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 8:28 PM #

    Right now this country is suffering from analysis paralysis. The same issues the same solutions provided by local and external experts. These discussions are causing social fatigue,which will eventually lead to mental and physical inertia. The signs are already there. Time to plan and strategise and time to act sensibly.Forget the wistful thinking. Get the voters registered and informed and get them to the voting booths.

    Like

  40. David March 29, 2017 at 12:19 PM #

    @Bushie and Pacha

    You heard the MoH confirmed this afternoon the ministerial building is slated to be refurbished hence the need to relocate the PM and other offices.

    Why are these matters not effectively communicated to citizens.

    Like

  41. Vincent Haynes March 29, 2017 at 12:37 PM #

    Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM #

    Do we agree that electing the political class irrespective of party will not change the system of governance that we all have previously agreed is faulty.

    Once we agree on the above,then means must be found by the electorate to ensure that the elected carry out our wishes.

    If we are on the same page….pray tell,whats wrong with peacefull civil disobedience?

    Could you offer an alternative then for the electorate to get their wishes carried out?

    I took the return to colonial rule as tongue in cheek and possibly a veiled suggestion of a dictatorship whichever I would abhor as I believe in….by the people for the people.

    Like

  42. Bush Tea March 29, 2017 at 3:04 PM #

    @ David
    the ministerial building is slated to be refurbished …
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    So we can afford to spend $20M to relocate government offices ….in order to ‘refurbish’ Bay Street Hq. at a time when they cannot pay tax refunds (excess moneys collected from citizens), VAT refunds, basic salaries (without writing bounce cheques /printing money)

    …and months before a new government (that we ALL know will NOT be them) taking up residence there…?

    Which other Government office have they EVER refurbished…?

    Boss, …Bushie may look young,
    …but he was not born in this century
    …and certainly not yesterday.

    Like

  43. Exclaimer March 29, 2017 at 3:24 PM #

    @Bernard Codrington March 28, 2017 at 8:00 PM #
    @Wlly Coyote 11:09 AM
    @Vincent Haynes 3 :33 PM

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/the-end-of-a-beautiful-friendship-1079015.html

    Like

  44. David March 29, 2017 at 3:30 PM #

    @Bush Tea

    Could it be the environmental people ordered the building to be evacuated?

    #:-)

    Like

  45. Bush Tea March 29, 2017 at 3:45 PM #

    @ David
    Could it be the environmental people ordered the building to be evacuated?
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    …more likely the party financial people ordered it…

    This may all be yours and BU’s fault….
    Wunna block CAHILL, Four Seasons, Almonds, Sam Lords, Pickerings, Hyatt and even the finger-printing scam….
    This obsession with not allowing bribery and the interjection of ‘steel’ into these projects seem to be putting our (reverse) ‘development’ in jeopardy yuh…

    If dem can’t get a new project to fleece, it is only obvious that they have to break new ground and look for a refurbished one….

    Only AC would buy the argument that they are looking to fix-up some new digs in Bay Street for Mia and company to enjoy @ $20M ….. 🙂

    Like

  46. Hants March 29, 2017 at 3:58 PM #

    @ Bushie who wrote ” $20M to relocate government offices”

    They must be relocating to Trinidad or Guyana.

    Like

  47. Gabriel March 29, 2017 at 4:28 PM #

    Does Chris Sinckler have a brother who is a building contractor.His last name is not Sinckler but he claims Sinckler is his brother.

    Like

  48. David March 29, 2017 at 4:40 PM #

    @Gabriel

    Roy Davis of St.Joseph Hospital fame.

    Like

  49. Own Area March 29, 2017 at 4:44 PM #

    Boys going out spending WILD.

    Like

  50. Gabriel March 29, 2017 at 4:50 PM #

    David
    You ask why these things are not communicated to citizens.Agreed that it’s a question that needs to be asked given the current lurching from one mis-step to the next,worst than Trump and his band of stooges.It’s what we have come to take for granted until these poor rakey low lifers got voted in and one can’t tell the other come back.Not one,Stuart and Sealy included because when it comes to subterfuge and innuendo those two deserve special mention.

    Like

  51. Gabriel March 29, 2017 at 5:08 PM #

    Ok yes that the name.

    Like

  52. Vincent Haynes March 29, 2017 at 5:28 PM #

    Exclaimer March 29, 2017 at 3:24 PM #

    Why is it that you want people to like us,look after us and ensure that we have a level playing field and give us money???

    The West African tribes that sold our ancestors did not like them,our ancestors owners did not like them,they looked after them as a valuable commodity/machine part for their capitalist endeavours,once they became excess to requirements they were discarded on a very un-level playing field with no money.

    What sustained them after 1836 were that the majority were on the un-level playing field and had to stick together even if not liking each other due to tribal and house slave vs field slave differences.

    We need to have another un-level playing field again where the majority of the Pelaus can pull together and peacefully and sensibly put the country to rights and create their own wealth whatever that maybe and take on the world.

    As Marx stated a vibrant capitalist society is required to motivate the anarchy that will create the communist state…….hopefully we will create something better but the circle will continue throughout the humans existence on earth with many different results.

    Like

  53. Hal Austin March 30, 2017 at 10:45 AM #

    Sorry Vincent, where did Marx make such a statement? By the way, have you seen the Chinese on the rampage in Paris? There is no para-military police on the streets, no shooting of demonstrators, nothing.

    Like

  54. Vincent Haynes March 30, 2017 at 11:09 AM #

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=17&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi6jubzv_7SAhVJl1QKHRo2CAYQFghuMBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.allaboutphilosophy.org%2Fwhat-is-marxism-faq.htm&usg=AFQjCNHBYNFDyd55QHJjRqbmrjRP7dST9A&sig2=HrbE6lQklU9E0E-8hcd0ew

    An increasing immiseration of the proletariat occurs as the result of economic recessions; these recessions result because the working class is unable to buy the full product of their labors and the ruling capitalists do not consume all of the surplus value. A proletariat or socialist revolution must occur, according to Marx, where the state (the means by which the ruling class forcibly maintains rule over the other classes) is a dictatorship of the proletariat. Communism evolves from socialism out of this progression: the socialist slogan is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work.” The communist slogan varies thusly: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

    Like

  55. Vincent Haynes March 30, 2017 at 11:13 AM #

    Hal

    Two quick references by googling……my statement was drawn from my knowledge of Marx&Engels going back 50 odd years….I have moved so many times since then that it would be in storage but if you insist I will try and find the reference book.

    Marxists believe that the transition from capitalism to socialism is an inevitable part of the development of human society; as Lenin stated, “it is evident that Marx deduces the inevitability of the transformation of capitalist society [into a socialist society] wholly and exclusively from the economic law of motion …
    Marxism – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marxism

    Like

  56. Vincent Haynes March 30, 2017 at 11:20 AM #

    Hal

    Will be interesting to see what happens in French Guiana where protests are also occuring.

    …..the strength of the parent of individuals will always determine the treatment meted out.

    ……If a school bully new that your big brother was bigger than him he will treat you with kid gloves.

    Like

  57. Tron March 30, 2017 at 11:37 AM #

    @Hants March 29, 2017 at 3:58 PM

    Maybe they found a joint office with Mozambique, Greece and Ukraine – welcome in the high yield club.

    Like

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