Remembering the DLP Victory on January 16, 2008
Do you remember the pride we felt? For the first time Bajans had hope that we could free ourselves from the corrupt cartels that anonymously purchase our elected representatives’ loyalty with massive amounts of “election support”.
With the election of the DLP Democratic Labour Party, Barbados would now have the integrity legislation, freedom of information access and conflicts of interest rules so citizens could effectively monitor where our tax dollars were spent and hold our elected and appointed officials accountable.
The corruption of the previous BLP government caused a citizen rebellion at the polls in January of 2008. With no restrictions, no rules, no reporting and no transparency the “election support” money flows freely in Barbados politics and the favours are returned by the successful politicians in the form of government contracts… which ensures more “election support”. It is a viciously corrupt circle that politicians have the power to break – but none will.
David Thompson, Freundal Stuart and all the DLP candidates promised they would implement laws and policies to change all that. True, it takes more than laws and rules to change a legacy and culture of corruption, but without the laws there is no beginning and no hope. Thompson and the DLP knew that new laws and rules were the foundation of any change and they promised to establish those laws.
Remember the joy?
Here’s what one DLP supporter had to say at the time…
January 16, 2008 at 9:36 am
This election was won because the people of Barbados had an opportunity, – denied in the recent past – to really see what goes on in Barbadian politics.
The Blogs played a decisive part, and you BFP was as the vanguard, no praise is too high. What BFP did was expose the underbelly of Barbadian politics. There was then a reason, for Integrity Legislation and your “constant position” on the subject meant it had to be addressed. The DLP responded to the wishes of the people, as they had to, and as a result we awake this morning, 16th January 2008 to the change we had all hoped for – at least on this blog.
Sadly, “Yardbroom” and most of the DLP diehards haven’t been seen too much around Barbados Free Press since a few months after the election when they realized that Bajans had been fooled again. Too bad the DLP supporters’ fervor for Integrity Legislation and Accountability disappeared with the DLP’s election victory. And disappear it did!
Here we are four years later with no Integrity Legislation, no Freedom of Information, no accountability, no rules about Conflicts of Interest or election funding transparency.
David Thompson and the DLP lied to us to get elected. They promised to “within 100 days” introduce Integrity Legislation, Freedom of Information, amendments to the Defamation laws, checks and balances on the Prime Minister’s power and to “immediately upon election” introduce a Code of Conduct for Ministers.
Instead, the DLP borrowed the CLICO business jet, protected Leroy Parris from prosecution and put him in charge of the CBC to influence what news Bajans would hear. The DLP did that in exchange for “election donations” from CLICO – paid for with policy holders’ money. That’s as corrupt a scenario as anything the BLP did.
Thompson and the DLP lied. Four years later there can be no dispute.
Waiting in the wings for the triumphant return are Owen Arthur and the corrupt Barbados Labour Party – who sucked the treasury dry during their 14 years in power. What they didn’t sell, they stole.
Corrupt DLP or Corrupt BLP: Who will you vote for?
Some say that the choice between DLP and BLP is the only choice voters really have. I say we have another choice: the “Anybody but” candidates. Please let me explain my thinking…
Between the DLP and BLP, it really doesn’t matter who you vote for. There is no real difference in policies or performance. As a result, for decades politics in Barbados has largely been about tribal politics: it’s about which gang holds the best shows, and distributes the most corned beef and beer. That is a pretty sad picture of Bajan politics but I don’t think that anyone will challenge it.
The only way we can change things is to depower the DLP and the BLP – so here’s the plan…
Take their money. Say nice things to whatever party you normally support. Don’t do a thing differently until election day…
Then, walk in and vote for Anybody but DLP and BLP.
No, we’re probably not going to send many independents to Parliament (but if we could, that would be wonderful!) – but what we can do is to disrupt the circle of corruption, upset the “predicted” results and take comfort that you’ve spoken far louder than if you simply hold your nose and vote DLP or BLP.
Time to punish the DLP and the BLP: take their money, dance and party – then vote for “Anybody BUT”