Bajans Offered A Choice Between The Current Boss Hog And A Piggy In Waiting
The Barbados Government of Prime Minister Owen Arthur is tired, corrupt and barely keeping the lid on a series of public policy and performance disasters that haven’t stopped since the Cricket World Cup fiasco. All this combined with a general mood for change in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean should mean an easy walk to victory for even a semi-organized and half-way effective opposition party.
But the recent CADRES poll says something else.
As published in the Nation News on Sunday, the poll is more a damning of both the government BLP and the opposition DLP than anything else. Folks are turning away from the government, but in nowhere near the numbers that they should or would be IF ONLY they thought that the Opposition DLP party and its leader were any different than the current bunch of piggies now occupying the government benches.
Why Are Voters Not Embracing The DLP? The Answer Is In The Above Photo!
David Thompson and the DLP have had almost two years to, well, DO SOMETHING to distinguish themselves from the government Barbados Labour Party.
Now think about that, folks. What has the Opposition party done in two years to show Bajans that they are not more of the same? Let’s consider a few areas and see how they score…
How about policies? Any new or innovative policies put forward by the DLP? Can you think of any issue where the DLP policies are significantly different than the BLP’s?
Nope. Me neither.
How effective has the DLP been as the Opposition Party?
How would you rate the DLP? Have Thompson and his party been an effective opposition to the government? Have they stood their ground on any important issue, garnered public attention or caused the government to modify or back down on any policies or legislation?
Nope, I can’t think of any incidents of effective opposition that stand out either.
Quite the reverse, in fact. When the government changed our Constitution with three days’ notice and zero public debate we never heard a peep out of the Opposition.
What About Specific Issues?
The environment, national parks, waste handling, land usage, banking, tourism, need for flyovers, cost-overruns on the flyovers, health care, Cricket World Cup, water park in Graeme Hall watershed, the new jail…
Can you think of any issue where Thompson and the DLP have effectively communicated a position that is significantly different from the government’s?
We can’t come up with anything. Nothing that is really different from the government’s position on specific issues.
What About Leadership?
Have Thompson AND his party distinguished themselves in any way to indicate that they would be effective leaders of our nation? Now, we’re not just talking about mouthing off in opposition… if that’s all it took to be effective leaders, frankly, the staff at Barbados Free Press would have more of a claim on leadership than Thompson and the DLP.
Come on, you DLP folks… tell us what exactly the DLP and Thompson have DONE to show leadership for the nation? Is there some issue that they have led the way on? Some massive national organizing or initiative that significantly bettered the lives of citizens?
Pray, tell us what have Thompson and the DLP done on a national basis to show leadership? What have they done FOR or to INSPIRE the nation? The comments are open, but we can’t imagine what DLP supporters could seriously write.
Integrity Issues – A Huge DLP Failure
If we had to choose a few qualities that truly define the character of the Owen Arthur government, those qualities would include corruption, arrogance, a sense of entitlement to public funds and a total refusal to be held accountable to the citizens.
In shear scale of corruption, and the willingness to pervert the laws of Barbados to maintain power, the current Barbados government has had no equal in our country’s history.
Owen Arthur and the BLP are vulnerable on corruption and integrity issues, and have been for years.
Yet, nothing but silence from Thompson and the DLP. The Hardwood Homes issue taken up by Thompson of late is nothing more than one minor squeak in two years.
In short, for the last two years Thompson and the DLP have not considered integrity issues to be important enough to do anything about – or to distinguish the DLP as being different from the government.
Again, not only has the DLP not embraced integrity as an issue, Thompson himself indicated that he and his party faithful are looking forward to their turn at the piggy trough of public assets and tax dollars. In November of 2006, Thompson told his party faithful that upon victory they would share the “fatted calf” – an obvious reference to corruptly feeding at the public trough should the DLP form the government.
During the last two years, Thompson and the DLP could have, and should have, embraced integrity issues. They could have developed and implemented conflict of interest rules, disclosure requirements and integrity standards for their own party that would have shown national leadership and served to differentiate the party in the minds of the electorate.
The DLP could have worked up draft integrity legislation and promised to implement it within 60 days of being elected. They could have done so much with integrity issues, but they did not.
The recent CARDRES poll shows that in the minds of the electorate, Thompson and the DLP are perceived as no different than the government and especially in the area of integrity.
Thompson and the DLP may well share the “fatted calf” but as with the current government, it will be the poor citizens who pay for the DLP’s feast.
The Nation News: Close Call
Barbados Underground: Who Will Win The Next General Election In Barbados?
Barbados Free Press: BLP Blog Publishes DLP Leader’s “Fatted Calf” Speech