Many heard Owen Arthur on the news today pleading with Barbadians to vote Barbados Labour Party (BLP) and save the country from the ‘financial madness’ which it is presently gripped. He was predictably generous in allocating blame to the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). Arthur’s position should cause the so-called swing voters to reflect. Despite doing nothing the BLP find itself in a position that it may possibly be re-elected – on a landslide.
It seems like yesterday the BLP presided over Public Sector Reform, an abysmal failure. Under the BLP administration statutory corporations were aggressively rolled out which in hindsight seems to have added to a moribund public service. Also who can forget that despite a burgeoning public service Arthur still found the opportunity to saddle the public service with ‘contractors’, many who possessed questionable job descriptions.
Here is an opposition party which for 14 years in government was unable to rationalize public private transportation. In fact many will affirm that the dreaded Zr and Minibus culture took deep root between 1994 and 2007. Yet there is the real possibility that the BLP maybe returned to office to find the situation as it left it. What does it say about an educated people that we have allowed this problem to take a cancerous form? The biggest irony is that the DLP government introduced free bus fare and one of the reasons given was that we needed to induce school children from taking private transport. We prefer to feed the monster instead of wrestling it to the ground, we are happy to apply bandaids.
The BLP is on the cusp of winning the next general election with the memory of Greenland, GEMS and several projects which history has indelibly recorded as defining squandermania in the minds . What does it say about the hybrid Westminster system of government which is the roadmap for our touted democracy?
Even in the face of unprecedented economic challenges Barbadians have been subjected to one week of campaigning where we continue to wait for the issues to be HONESTLY and dispassionately discussed. It must be clear that the current fiscal strategy of government is not sustainable in the face of a protracted global slowdown. It is a big reason BU has espoused that Stuart should have taken the country to the polls one year ago. Instead the DLP government has had to play politics with managing the economy because Stuart in his infinite wisdom decided he should ring the bell in the sixth year..