Why Did The DLP Win?
Why Did the BLP Go Down In Flames?
Everybody is entitled to their opinions, folks… at least now that an oppressive government has been removed from the reins of power.
But how quickly the news media and the DLP have worked to twist the issues and the outcome of the election to suit their respective agendas!
When the results started coming in last night, we saw lots of confusion on the faces of the pundits at the CBC. Last night wasn’t supposed to happen! Somehow the people of Barbados had acted with a unity never thought possible to toss the BLP government out on it’s collective butt.
Some media observers thought that a 15-15 tie was possible… maybe even a 16-14 or 18-12 split with the Owen Arthur government retaining power… but NEVER a two to one advantage by the DLP. 20 to 10 in favour of the DLP? Never!
And it wasn’t a matter of “first past the post” by a couple of votes that produced the changes – 67% of the popular vote went against the government. Most high-profile BLP Cabinet Ministers went down to defeat and of the remainder, only three won decisive victories in their own seats.
As the events of the evening began to sink in, the media pundits were the first to offer explanations…
It was “the high cost of living”. It was “a simple and natural desire for change” said a few pundits and even the outgoing Prime Minister himself took a position of “oh, well – I was just a victim of my success” and blamed the 3-term curse.
Cowards to the last, no reporter asked Owen Arthur about the impact of corruption allegations and integrity issues upon the election.
No definitive reason for the win was vocalized by the pundits… and that alone is fine because it was undoubtedly a combination of many factors that made last night happen.
But What The Television Pundits Didn’t Say – Says It All…
No TV pundit mentioned the “alleged corruption” of the outgoing BLP government. No news commentator mentioned the last-minute promise of integrity legislation by the DLP that many Bajans believe was the catalyst for the massive last-minute voter swing. The word “Hardwood” was whispered once on television and then forgotten.
And no news commentator mentioned the role of the Bajan blogs at all.
Even journalist Peter Wickham, who turned to the blogs to publish articles that the Nation News and other Barbados media wouldn’t dare print during the election didn’t mention the blogs or oppression of the the Bajan news media at all!
Here is what Peter Wickham wrote to the Barbados Free Press on December 31, 2007 when he turned to the blogs as his only hope of communicating with Barbados citizens…
Regrettably I have to confirm that for the first time since my Grandfather Clennell Wickham started writing People and Things in the 1940s, this article has been unilaterally suspended by the Newspaper that agreed to host it. Clearly, my perspective on this occasion is very different to that which I offered during the 1999 and 2003 elections. I am therefore grateful to BU and to BFP for carrying this review of the politics of inclusion which is yet to see the light of day”.
… Journalist Peter Wickham to the Barbados Free Press in BFP’s December 31, 2007 article Journalist Peter Wickham Banned From Nation News – So We’ll Print His Article Here
And After Turning To The Blogs For A Voice… Not One Word By Peter Wickham About The Roll Of New Media In Shaping Bajan Politics!
Yup, these media types just don’t get it. They think that things will return to business as usual now that the bogey-man Owen Arthur and his thugs have been replaced by a new government.
So when the DLP spokesperson Reudon Eversley told the country and the Associated Press that it was the “young voters” and real estate costs and not much else that turned the tide in favour of the DLP – Peter Wickham and the rest of the media joined in on the spin. (AP article link here)
Neither the DLP nor the Barbados news media want to mention the blogs and the voice that every citizen now has.
Neither the DLP nor the Barbados news media want to mention how much of the public’s vote was driven by the growing realization and disgust of the corrupt activities of the past government AND the growing public realization and disgust with the spineless Barbados news media.
Neither the DLP nor Peter Wickham want to mention that during the election they turned to the Bajan blogs because they realized that the new media is now playing a significant role in our society.
The issues of integrity legislation, freedom of information, conflicts of interest and the government’s 100 day promise just dropped off the radar screens of the DLP and the Barbados news media in their post-election analysis.
So we are here to fire a warning shot across the bows of both the new DLP Government and the Barbados media.
A New Generation Won’t Tolerate Corrupt Government Or Cowardly News Media
Welcome to the future. Most of us newly-active Bajan voters are young and idealistic… and we are online.
There are over 2 million WordPress blogs in existence today. While the stats change daily, at this moment CNN News Political Ticker is the #1 most popular WordPress blog in the world.
Fox News Presidential Campaign Blog is the #3 WordPress blog in the world.
And on Wednesday, January 16, 2008, the #4 WordPress blog in the world is Barbados Free Press.
That’s right… a nothing little blog run by a group of amateur writers on a tiny Caribbean island is, right now, the #4 most popular WordPress blog in the world. Almost 30,000 people came to BFP in the last 24 hours to read about the Barbados elections – from home and around the world.
There are hundreds of millions of articles published on those 2.1 million WordPress blogs, and right now the #4 most popular WordPress article in the world is the Barbados Free Press piece Barbados Election Results Flowing – A NEW DLP GOVERNMENT…
Right now as I write this, the #10 most popular WordPress article in the world is the Barbados Underground piece Barbados Election Watch 2008
The old Barbados news media can pretend that nothing changed during this election – but their credibility in the eyes of the public has reached an all time low. DLP spokesperson Reudon Eversley can pretend that he never emailed campaign materials and position papers to the blogs, but he did so because he knew the blogs mattered during the election.
The cowardly Bajan news media and many in the new DLP government can pretend whatever they want, but the world of Bajan politics has changed. The citizens of Barbados will not cease in their demands for integrity legislation and a responsible and courageous news media.
The DLP and the Prime Minister made their promises is writing, and we expect that those promises will be kept.
Click the above and below screen shots for larger versions, or go to www.botd.wordpress.com to search the archives for the most popular WordPress blogs and articles on a given date.
Above: Barbados Free Press listed as the #4 most popular blog out of over 2.1 million WordPress.com blogs. (January 16, 2008)
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