Newcomer Peter Phillips Wins By One Vote Over Richard Arthur
By some accounts, the little brother of Prime Minister Owen Arthur was supposed to be a shoe-in for the Barbados Labour Party nomination in St. Lucy – but he lost by one vote to a political neophyte.
We can’t blame business owner and BLP candidate Richard Arthur or anyone for asking for a recount over one vote, especially considering that one of the ballots apparently had a voter’s name written on the back.
This Is A Healthy Sign For The BLP
No matter who now wins the St. Lucy BLP nomination after the recount, the fact that the PM’s brother didn’t walk right in can only be seen as healthy for the BLP.
Some may see this as a sign that the PM’s influence is on the wane, but we don’t. We simply see the democratic process in play, with half the electorate rejecting another Arthur family member – probably because he is the Prime Minister’s brother. Not even considering that Richard Arthur was thoroughly trounced (3 to 2) last election by the DLP incumbent Denis Kellman.
Even the most steady BLP supporters also recognize that the consolidation of power in one family base or other group is seldom healthy for a democracy.
But About Those Family Ties…
In a transparent and accountable democratic system, both Richard Arthur and his brother, Prime Minister Owen Arthur, would have to declare any conflicts of interest and account for their assets and income streams.
There would also be checks and balances associated with say, the awarding of government contracts without tender to family members.
The one question that is on our minds is this… Has Richard Arthur’s business ever been awarded a contract without tender by a government agency or a government-funded entity?
It is a valid question and an important one that the public should have the legal right to ask – and that elected officials and candidates should have a legal obligation to answer.
As for the two brothers, Richard and Arthur – they aren’t talking.
The Nation News – Protest As One Vote Gives Banker BLP Nod For St. Lucy
Election 2003 Candidate Profiles – Richard Arthur
photo: Richard Arthur from above website link.