File under “Disappearing news stories in Barbados”
by passin thru
Early afternoon on February 21, 2013 – Election Day – the news media in Barbados was full of stories of vote buying triggered by the arrest of a voter for using a cell phone to photograph their marked ballot. The Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation called their original story “Arrested for photographing ballot” but that’s the last we heard of the arrest from the news media.
We see all sorts of news stories and editorials criticising the concept of vote buying, but no specifics with names and details of the event. It looks like the powers that be are allowing general stories about the practice but no specific proof can be shown the public. That’s because it is bad for business if the party that bought the vote is revealed. What if it’s the guvment? Woaloss!
You can still see the original CBC news because Barbados Free Press copied it into their own story Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? Good move, BFP!
Voters take photos of their ballot so they can prove how they marked their “X” to the person who is paying them for voting a certain way. It’s a crime because it totally destroys democracy. Some of the election contests are so close that only a few votes purchased can make the difference. This time around one of our Members of Parliament was elected by a mere 10 votes over the rival. A few more close contests like that and a few more votes bought and the BLP would be forming the government now… or maybe the votes were bought and the DLP bought more?
You see how destructive it all is?
Vote buying is destructive not only because it corruptly changes the results of democratic elections, but because it undermines public confidence in the democratic system, in our government and ultimately in our country.
We know one thing: a voter was arrested – but we were never told their name!
Will this be another one of those disappearing news stories that Barbados is so famous for? Patriotic Bajans of all political colours cannot, must not, let this happen!
Who was charged for photographing their ballot? What is their name?
When do they appear in court?
When can Bajans hear the evidence against them?
This is much too important for Bajans to let the news and the political parties let this story fade away. We can’t depend upon the news media or the political class.
Bajans should demand to know the truth.