“Attorney General Adriel Dermont Brathwaite said it was distressing that some Barbadians were selling their votes.”
Two Political Parties have the money to buy votes
Newly-sworn-in Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite confirmed Friday to the news media that “some” Bajans sold their votes during the recent general election.
A different way of putting it would be that “some” political parties bribed voters with cash – for it is surely true that unless there were ready buyers, there wouldn’t be any sellers of votes.
So let’s cut the B.S. by our Attorney General and tell it like it is: members of the political class bought the votes of willing sellers during the February 21, 2013 election.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart also said he was concerned about reports (as in more than one) about people buying votes. The CBC said about PM Stuart: “…throughout the day he has heard stories of people exchanging money for votes. The Prime Minister said this is an ugly practice which digs at the roots of democratic structures.”
The first question of many is…
Who sold? Who bought? Who are the ‘Some’ mentioned by the Attorney General?
Missing in all the news and commentary about vote buying is the name of the person arrested Thursday for photographing their marked ballot in the voting booth. BFP covered the election day story as Cash for votes scandal in Barbados election: BLP, DLP… or both? but no details have appeared in the oldstream news media since then. Strange… or maybe not so strange.
What constituency did this arrest happen in? Did the arrested voter mark their ballot for a DLP or BLP candidate? How many other instances of vote buying/selling is Attorney General Brathwaite aware of? After all… he spoke in the plural.
DLP and BLP reject campaign financing laws, Integrity Legislation and FOI – No wonder!
The buying and selling of votes relies upon the political parties having large sums of cash available on election day. At $100 to $250 a vote it’s not cheap to buy an election, but neither is it impossible. BLP candidate Santia Bradshaw won the recent battle in St. Michael South East by only 10 votes, so only 11 bought votes would have changed everything.
Or maybe it was 11 bought votes that pushed Santia Bradshaw to the front? You see… that’s the problem when we allow this vote buying to go on. Now citizens suspect the entire process and become jaded about vote buying. Citizens also end up emulating their leaders’ actions. Don’t forget: this is Barbados where election to public office is supposed to dramatically improve one’s net worth over a number of years. Why do we say that? Simple: we’ve seen it happen with increasing regularity.
Will this story fade to nothing like most of the other stories that expose corruption? We will see…
Vote Shame! (from The Nation)
MINUTES after being sworn in for a second stint in Cabinet, Attorney General Adriel Dermont Brathwaite said it was distressing that some Barbadians were selling their votes.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Brathwaite were given their instruments of appointment by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave during the swearing-in ceremony at Government House yesterday afternoon, the day after the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was swept back into office, winning 16 of the 30 seats.
Stuart, who was sworn in at 4:37 p.m. before an audience that included Clerk of Parliament Pedro Eastmond and Deputy Clerk Nigel Jones, did not meet with the Press, but Brathwaite flashed a huge smile for the media and expressed his concerns about the buying of votes during the election campaign.
“There are a few things that happened during the course of the campaign that concerned me and we need to look and ensure that we don’t go in the wrong direction as a people.
Cash for Votes
by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Heavy polling was reported some constituencies this morning as Barbados went out to start voting.
From as early as five this morning many lined up outside of their respective polling stations in an effort to cast an early ballot.
This was the situation across all 541 polling stations as the presiding officers made the boxes ready and declared today’s poll open.
Some 247,211 voters are eligible to cast ballots. Just fewer than twelve thousand new voters are among the eligible list.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart is concerned about reports he is receiving of people buying votes. He expressed this concern after casting his vote at Bayley’s Primary School this morning.
Prime Stuart arrived to cast his ballot at the Bayley’s Primary School just after eleven this morning without much fanfare as voting at the polling station was reduced to a trickle. But he did say from what he had seen and heard people were voting with what he called robust determination adding that he expected a respectable turnout.
The prime minister told reporters however he was concerned about a bad practice that was reportedly creeping into general elections.
The Prime minister says the right to vote is a process many people have fought very hard for and the idea of people disrespecting it makes him very uncomfortable.
He says throughout the day he has heard stories of people exchanging money for votes. The Prime Minister said this is an ugly practice which digs at the roots of democratic structures.