Mara Thompson wins David’s seat: Will she keep his Integrity Legislation promise?

Slaughter in St. John:  DLP 4,613 to BLP 553

The Barbados Labour Party’s sacrificial lamb Hudson Griffith worked hard but only managed to gather 10.7% of the 5166 votes cast in yesterday’s by-election. Griffith’s share of the vote was down from the 16% or so the BLP took in the January 2008 vote that saw the late David Thompson declared Prime Minister.

Voter turn out was eerily about the same as 2008 when 5129 voters made it to the polls.

In a normal mid or late term by-election the ruling party usually takes a hit because voters tend to use the occasion to send warnings to the government. That’s in a “usual” by-election but St. John was anything but due to the sympathy factor evoked because the candidate is the widow of a recently departed and personally well-liked Prime Minister.

Duguid’s “Politicians Into Greed” Party (PIG) the real winner

We at Barbados Free Press weren’t the first to observe that, other than personnel and shirt colours, real differences between the DLP and BLP are non-existent. Barbados has long only had one political party – the party of the elites with two branches: DLP and BLP. That’s why former PM David Thompson slammed then Prime Minister Owen Arthur for corruptly depositing “campaign funds” into his personal bank account, but then when Thompson became Prime Minister not one BLP thief was arrested or charged. It reminds us of sharks leaving one another alone out of professional courtesy.

Nothing illustrated this “one party of the elites” better than when serving Member of Parliament Dr. Duguid was caught saying that neither the DLP nor the BLP politicians would pass the Integrity Legislation promised by the DLP during the 2007 campaign.

Dr. Duguid was telling the truth because that Integrity Legislation and Freedom of Information Act disappeared faster than the fat BLP envelopes handed out in St. John yesterday.

Mara’s Choice

As the elected representative for St. John, Mara Thompson now has the opportunity to keep her husband’s promises about Integrity Legislation, FOI and a Ministerial Code of Conduct. The sad reality is that she has about as much chance of doing that as when then newly elected Prime Minister David Thompson informed his first Cabinet meeting that Conflict of Interest rules and a Ministerial Code would be declared that first day as promised. Thompson’s Cabinet rebelled and that was the end of that.

So… great little sideshow in St. John.

Unfortunately it didn’t change a thing.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Freedom Of Information, Politics

17 responses to “Mara Thompson wins David’s seat: Will she keep his Integrity Legislation promise?

  1. BA88/98

    You nailed it BFP. Great sideshow, nothing changed. How long til Bajans wake up and discover that every party and candidate is building upon sinking sand without the foundation of rules for politicians? PIG Party is right!

  2. Pingback: Barbados: Thompson Wins Late Husband’s Seat · Global Voices

  3. Holla

    Duguid and BFP main reporter Ian Bourne look like twin brothers. Desmond Bourne is there any truth to the rumour?

  4. Sentinel

    @ Holla
    January 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Duguid and BFP main reporter Ian Bourne look like twin brothers. Desmond Bourne is there any truth to the rumour?
    I, too, thought it was Ian, before I read the comment. Will Ian please comment? He is the best one on this blog to speak.

  5. Liberal

    All of the problems facing this economy still remain.The out of control cost of living,high energy prices,rising unemployment,excessive government spending,falling revenues,falling foreign exchange reserves,unsustainable current account deficits.What played out in St John will not be replicated in wider Barbados.As one person said to a BLP canvasser if the DLP send an ANT they would vote for them.

  6. Congratulations

    Congratulations are in order even if the decision was per-ordained.

    Mara took some completely unnecessary personal hits without stooping down to throw mud.

    The handlers and rest of the pact will be expaining the facts of life to her, such as you are a woman, you have no say and stay in your place.

    May God give her thr strength to be heard and to fight.

  7. RLL

    Mara Thompson’s election was a sideshow and it doesn’t matter at this stage which party is elected because we’re broke and there’s a world economic collapse on the way and there’s nothing anyone on this island can do about that. If you think food is expensive now just wait.

  8. ac

    BLP a bunch of sore losers!. If wunna keep that igrunt man OSA as the leader of the Party . Wunna gonna lose again. The Bajan women don’t like he at all. and with all the mud he throw at Mara Thompson now wunna could add the the whole carribbean region of women.


    Bajan white people do not impress me but damn it this subject, presented by them deserves something of a response … at least this time around

  10. Something would have to be seriously wrong, when 2 ½ years after a general election and with the BLP being led by the very man who said that there is “a clamour for him” and he even alleging that the DLP is “incompetent” – yet in a By-election, the BLP under his leadership, is unable to get the support it did, a mere 2 ½ years ago? What could have so turned off even BLP supporters? Is St. John not part of Barbados? Clearly not, especially since it is obvious (given the By-election results) that the alleged “clamour” does not extend to that parish. But are there other factors at work here?

    What, pray tell – could have caused the DLP to get a 5% swing towards it and how could Owen Arthur lead the BLP into a By-election and get substantially fewer votes than in a general election held a mere 2 ½ years later, even despite the fact that on the very morning of the election, a report surfaced that some 200 persons who worked on sugar plantations in that same constituency, had lost their jobs?

    Women are the ones who primarily work on sugar plantation and yet – it would seem that even they voted against an Owen Arthur led BLP. Is the image of the Barbados Labour Party, now – that of a political institution that is anti-women? That would be a very bad thing and if women actually feel that way, unless the BLP urgently changes its image, it will lose badly in the up-coming general election, despite however bad the economy is. If Barbadian women now feel this way about the BLP in its current form, this could hardly be good news for people who won a seat at the last general election by fewer than 130 votes.

    The question remains, how could a BLP led by Owen Arthur, get fewer votes in a By-election (a mere 2 ½ years after a general election) and in circumstances where Arthur, himself, stated that since the DLP came to office, some 10,300 persons lost their jobs nationally? Am I to believe that people are suffering and living in fear but would prefer to turn to a DLP that is inflicting the pain on them? Houston: there is a problem!!!

    Despite alleging that the people of St. John are backward, it would seem that the By-election result was a referendum on the five men who ousted Mia Mottley, as Barbados’ first female Leader of the Opposition. No doubt, the female vote in their respective constituencies (the five) will follow the St. John precedent. That five have now been reminded, that it is actually the “PEOPLE” who have the power.

    As I understand it, a number of Branches of the BLP tabled a Resolution at it last Annual Conference, which sought to give the people the right to choose (one man one vote). In the spirit of democracy and good governance, now seems like a good time for the BLP to hold a Special Conference to discuss that matter.

    I am not calling on Owen Arthur to resign (that is entirely a BLP matter) but someone must be prepared to listen to the women! After all, how can you change the country without first changing the party?

  11. Sigh – I am better looking, more hair on my head… I am NOTHING to do with BFP save commenting – and my father is so cyberspace non-compliant he has a laptop literally gathering dust in his home! End of story, for ten billionth time?

  12. David G. Brooks

    As I said weeks ago the DLP could run Ossey Moore for St. John and he would win hands down, Mara Thompson only got the lion’s share because of the massive sympathy vote and how the DLP has been using the sickness and death of David Thompson for every political (PR) mileage it could get, and even without that Mara Thompson face is so well know now by even children that it obvious what the outcome would be, although I was hoping that the St. John people had woken up but that may not happen for another 50 years or so, I guess.

    As an example, the Primary School were my youngest son goes did a little vote exercise – which I have NO problem with al all, gives them a chance to practice their civic duty and is part of their social studies – but check the results … (as reported by my son) …

    Thompson 65 votes (90.2%)
    Griffith 7 votes (9.8%)

    Almost exactly in line with the real outcome in St. John. Now tell me should that make the DLP feel great? Some of the children didn’t even know the names, party, etc. just that the late PM’s wife was popular.

  13. Behind every successful man is a woman. Mara, will do an excellent job.

  14. Liberal

    Mr Brooks the blind leading the blind.That example of the voting exercise explains how generation after generation in St John simply vote for Barrow et al and the multiplier effect at work.There is not a whole lot of rational thinking in existance in the parish,which clearly is out of step with the rest of Barbados.Even St Joseph which is the strong hole of the BLP changed in 1986,notwithstanding Grantley Adams’s dominance there in the early days around the same time as Barrow’sThey are happy and content to remain in their state of neglect so no amount of enlightenment will move them.Rural parishes can be developed without losing their rustic nature,but these people prefer to live in a time past.They deserve Mara and she deserves them.Two dead men controlling the parish.Now THAT is legacy!!

  15. Democrat

    Oh no Liberal you are tres unkind to the people of St. John. You sound like Hudson Griffith who uttered the worst things about the good people of St. John then expected them to vote for him.. You either support democracy or you dont. The St.John folk rejected Hudson and Owen Arthur in a crushing and devastating manner handing BLP the worst defeat in history of Bim politics. It will be fascinating to see how the BLP recover from this massive beat down. The Mia Mottley factor sees the BLP between a rock and a hard place. Next general election if their house is not rebuilt quickly the BLP will collapse to another crushing defeat. What was Owen, George Pain, Gail Marshall, Muscle Mary and Lynette Arthur thinking with their childish, backward tactics in St. John?

  16. Watching from a distance

    Congratulations to Mrs Thompson,
    What your detractors don’t undesrtand is that they might just be giving you ammunition to surpass yourself.
    I am so truly disgusted at the venom spewing out of you people,I feel lke throwing up.
    I had already heard from Caricom countrymen and women that you folks are along the lines of ” pompous, arrogant uncle toms that will kiss white asses only to turn around and spit on their neighbors doing your best to demonstrate how unworthy we’re of them ”.
    Never thought about how true it, until this Mara Thompson debacle.
    But here you are crying that people hate you, because of your success.
    Negroes give me a break!
    The way I see it, the whole region is (developping world) in dire need of medical defibrillation.
    So go ahead, switch gears on the crab in the barrel tactics, while you still can.
    It also seems that the hate is also pervasive among yourselves…So lots to work on here, don’t don’t we all need to huh?

    Don’t ever forget that you’re not in charge of your future, none of us is.Unexpected disaster doesn’t only strike places like Haiti.
    In this day and age, those phenomenons are all the more sudden and unheard of.
    Tommorow you may be the ones begging for help. It’ll be interesting to observe you ,once off you high horses!

  17. Thin man

    Watching from a distance do us a favour and stay at a distance.