Last Updated on December 30, 2021 7:23 pm by Editor
Not entirely unexpectedly, Mia Mottley has called a snap election slated for January 19, 2022 with nomination day set as January 03. Since we can walk, chew gum and THINK at the same time, we can easily figure out why Ms. Mottley has perpetrated what is essentially an act of desperation.
First, there is deep division in her party as the men finally find their balls. Having found their balls, they have attempted to remove Ms. Mottley as the Prime Minister.
The first attempt at an overthrow occurred several weeks before independence/ republic day when a delegation of parliamentary dissidents prepared to inform the then Governor General, Dame Sandra Mason, that Ms. Mottley no longer had their confidence to be Prime Minister.
They were acting under a provision in section 65 of the Barbados constitution that states inter alia:
Whenever the Governor-General has occasion to appoint a Prime Minister he shall, acting in his discretion, appoint the member of the House of Assembly who, in his judgment, is best able to command the confidence of a majority of the members of that House.
Given that the BLP had 29 seats, it meant that 15 persons would have been needed to remove Ms. Mottely as Prime Minister. It is alleged that one member was not able to attend this meeting and therefore this action failed. Rumour has it that a similar action was going to be taken shortly.
Another action which party members might have taken is to remove Ms. Mottely as party leader. This would have required a conference of the party which conference has been “postponed” for reasons not quite clear.
Readers will recall that the DLP held its party conference in August this year (2021) at which Verla DePeiza was elected president.
The Strategic Logic
We can deduce that Ms. Mottley’s strategy seems to be that it is better to fight and possibly lose an election, rather than risk the embarrassment of being deposed as PM especially so soon after leading the country to republic status what with all the international publicity that has attracted.
The double whammy and obvious revenge is that those who sought to remove her have themselves been removed and now have to fight for re-election.
Additionally, Mottley’s pre-emptive action has the effect of making it difficult for the “George Payne faction” to reform the BLP and come up with 30 candidates for an election.
We understand that Ms. Mottley does not yet have a full slate of candidates in her faction either so this action of calling a snap election is an interesting gamble.
Another factor that might be figuring into her calculations is that with just about three years and seven months in office, people may not have forgotten about the DLP’s shenanigans and the incarceration of one of their previous ministers, Donville Inniss, in the USA.
Third Party Prospects
This raises the question of preparation of third parties for this election. BLP propaganda has it that such parties are unprepared.
PDP: Joseph Atherley’s PDP was the official opposition in the last administration and by virtue of that has had significant exposure from the work done in both the Lower House and the Senate.
Caswell Franklyn, one of the PDP senators in the last administration, has not indicated whether he has changed his mind about running for office. Little is known about the rest of the party.
UPP: We know that the UPP held a general conference earlier this year and elected a new general secretary. We do not know what work was being done “on the ground” given the covid-19 restrictions.
SB: Solutions Barbados is also a bit of an unknown. The party president, Grenville Phillips, has indicated that he is not running for office again. However, he has called for candidates in a social media post.
Given the status of preparation even of the ruling party this is not as daunting a problem as it might appear.
Any idea that the country is not able to find worthy and competent people outside the two main parties is not only nonsensical and self-depreciating but serves to maintain the “elite” and “commoner”, “massa” and “slave” mentality.
Third Party Agenda
It has been quite clear for some time now that there is no fundamental philosophical difference between the BLP-DLP duopoly.
What third parties must do, therefore, is set out a fundamentally different PHILOSOPHICAL approach to the business of this country, either as single entities or as a coalition.
If they have been seriously listening to and thinking about the issues in the country, especially over the last 18 months, they should not find it beyond them to articulate and document a manifesto that seeks to achieve fundamental long-term changes in the country.
Perhaps the snap election is a blessing in disguise for third parties which are able to walk, chew gum and THINK at the same time!
The question, therefore, is whether there is a substantial number of citizens brave enough to take on the two “main” parties and takeover the mess left by both the DLP and BLP.
The much bigger question is whether the electorate wants to risk repeating the horror of 2018 or have a broader mix of parties and members in parliament this time around, as indeed befits a republic.
Please see our latest article and CALL TO ACTION here
Dr. Aldon Tull, the author, is a retired educator who holds a Master of Science in International Marketing and the Doctor of Education.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org at 246-228-3720 or on Whatsapp at 246-846-3191
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