Former Bahamas Attorney General probably believed the lies
Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears is holding up Barbados as an example in his campaign to outlaw secret political contributions.
“Mr. Sears, who was a guest on Love 97’s Sunday talk show, Jones & Company, said in many countries, like Barbados there is legislation against (secret political contributions).”
While we wish Mr. Sears all the success in the world in his quest to bring transparency, integrity and accountability to the political process in the Bahamas, we have to correct his mistaken notion that Barbados is a model to be followed.
- Barbados has no election financing rules
- No public disclosure requirements for political donations.
- No Freedom of Information Act
- No Integrity Legislation
- No Conflicts of Interest rules.
Election Financing in Barbados: Anything goes
Barbados politicians are allowed to accept secret donations from any person or company, whether Barbadian or not. There is no limit as to the amount of money they can accept, and no restriction on politicians or their family members from receiving personal gifts or employment from companies that do business with the government or want to do business with the government.
As an example, if some political supporter wants to give $75,000 to a politician as a “campaign donation”, there is no legal requirement for the politician to reveal the donation publicly or even to place the donation into a designated bank account. ‘Matter a fact, our former Prime Minister Owen $ Arthur was caught out depositing a $75,000 “campaign donation” into his very own personal bank account. (cheque photo above)
Goin’ wid Owen would have gotten away with it except that then Opposition Leader David Thompson got up in Parliament and showed a copy of the cheque. A shamefaced Owen Arthur had to say “oops!” but no laws were broken. And that’s the way Barbados politicians want it!
Opposition MP Dr. William Duguid came right out and said that Barbados politicians would never pass integrity legislation or a Freedom of Information act and he was telling the truth.
Barbados politicians brag about Integrity Legislation and FOI “coming soon” but it never comes.
Bahamas MP Alfred Sears probably went to some conference where some lying Barbados politician told him that we have FOI, Integrity Legislation and Election Financing Laws. It’s happened before to another Caribbean politician as we’ve previously reported. (Clive can you dig up the story please, I’m off to work. M.)
Both the BLP and DLP have promised Integrity Legislation and FOI for decades but they lied. A few bills were proposed but always die before they pass into law. Then the government calls an election and says “We tried but those rotters in the opposition spoiled our efforts! Elect us again and we’ll finish it this time!”
Although Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation are talked about, NOBODY TALKS ABOUT ELECTION FINANCING LAWS! Oh no… noooooooo way Barbados politicians will even talk about Election Financing limitations and disclosure rules. You mek sport!
So our best wishes to Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears, and he shouldn’t worry that the Barbados politicians fooled him. Those lying bastards have been fooling Bajans for four decades and we keep believing them – so you can hardly blame Mr. Sears for believing them too.
The Bahama Journal: Outlaw Secret Contributions says MP