Barbadians were ready to change the government last general election for several reasons, an obvious third term lethargy at the top of the list. It did not stop the Opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) from promising the sky and the 7 seas. One platform promise which resonated and persuaded many Independents to vote DLP was Freedom of Information (FOI) and Integrity Legislation (IL). Barbadians like many around the world became intoxicated by the message of hope promised by Obama, we bought into the same message of the late David Thompson and his team.
On the 20 November 2007 a resolution was laid by the late Prime Minister David Thompson in the House of Assembly giving his support to IL and FOI legislation to be drafted as soon as possible. We are about to enter anther general election five years later and ….If the government were to rush this legislation to book before the bell is rung one wonders if it would not be a dishonest act.
Barbados Underground (BU) is on record admitting to having bought into the Thompson message of enacting transparency legislation to improve governance in Barbados. To say we are sorely disappointed by the lack of priority given by this government to enacting transparency legislation would be an accurate statement. Five years later there is not even the sense, if we listen to members of parliament from the government side, that transparency legislation is top of mind.
One of the most interesting observations has been the lack of advocacy by the Fourth Estate and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party. If only there was a little attention in the same way CLICO got the full press from Kaymar. We know that politicians from both sides are lukewarm to transparency legislation. We the people wait!
It will be up to frustrated independents to decide whether to punish what they may deem an incalcitrant government.