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Barbados Uncensored

Beyond the News, Inside the Issues

DLP Loses Dawn-Marie Armstrong: Does Nature Abhor a Political Vacuum?

Sep 26, 2022

Last Updated on September 28, 2022 4:12 pm by Editor

The announcement of her exit from elective politics by the 2022 DLP candidate Dr. Dawn-Marie Armstrong should come as no surprise and raise some serious questions about politics in Barbados.

There should be no surprise because the party she represented, the Democratic Labour Party, once again gained not a single seat in the 2022 election which is a repeat of the 30 – 0 whitewashing by the BLP in 2018.  In other words, her party is now in line for a hat trick of losses!

In a CBC interview, the 34 year old, who is a professional sports psychologist, explained her exit after her maiden venture into elective politics in the January 2022 snap election. While indicating that she wanted to pursue her career and further her academic interests overseas, she indicated that her departure was partly based on:

“…the political direction the country is heading in and the leadership we are left with in politics as it stands” [emphasis ours].

Into the Breach

We submit that Dr. Armstrong’s action, given her youthfulness and achievement to date, not only leaves an important vacuum in the Barbadian political ecosystem, but her explanation expresses a disaffection with political life in Barbados that has now become endemic. 

A popular meme that transmits this message of disaffection is the expression, “BDLP”. By this, people express their perception of the indecipherable difference between the two so-called major or established parties and their dissatisfaction with “the way things are”.

Take any major point of comparison, for example: political representation, economic programmes, government spending or corruption and we can discern no real difference in philosophical stance, strategy or policy between the two parties.

With seeming impunity, both parties have played musical chairs with controversial investment projects utilizing taxpayers’ funds. The ongoing Clearwater/ Four Seasons fiasco which we discussed in an article here is the DLP’s turn in the chair.

Bad Apples

In our view, an average, young “decent person” like Dr. Armstrong will find it hard to dwell in a dark auditorium with three or more black cats where only the “eyes have it”.

Let it be clear that use of the expression “decent person” is by no means an attempt to excuse her notorious speech vilifying PM Mia Motley as a childless woman on the 2022 political platform. To her credit she quickly acknowledged her error and offered the public an apology.

However, one can argue that her attack on that occasion was no less obnoxious than that perpetrated on the same individual and her family principally by Messrs Stuart and Blackett on the 2018 political platform.

It is quite evident that these two “black cats” were in a very dark place because they were blissfully unaware of the reverse psychology of victimizing an individual. All their rants did back then in 2018 was to invoke sympathy for the woman although much of that has now found its way into the nearest suck hole, thanks to the victim’s own highly questionable behaviour as Prime Minister.  

Against this backdrop one can understand Dr. Armstrong’s “the leadership we are left with” in her going away explanation. What she is perhaps suggesting is that she had no good role models in the party or wider political eco-system to draw on.  

The fact that she felt she had to engage in the ad hominem attacks against Ms. Mottley in the 2022 election, confirms that the party had no coherent, relevant election strategy, much less a strategic plan for Barbados on which to draw. But the electorate had already known the latter.

The truism, “if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail” could not be more appropriate. 

Old Guard

In both political parties or the BDLP – to use the meme identified earlier – there is an “old guard” that is drunk with the wine of political fornication and undeserved taxpayers’ money.

In the last month, two members of that old guard, one from each party, passed to the great beyond where presumably, they can enjoy the fruits of their earthly gain, in contrast to the pharaohs of old, whose fabulous wealth still remains on this side of eternity, thousands of years after their passing. I suspect more of the old guard will be taking that route.

It remains to be seen whether Barbadians, like the ancient Israelites, will need forty years to escape the abusive relationship with this old guard and emerge from wandering in their two-dimensional desert.  

Perhaps this may be asking too much because it seems that too many Barbadians are suckers for abuse and “political abuse” is no exception.  

Recall that even the Israelites wanted to return to the relative safety of slavery in Egypt when the going got rough, notwithstanding the fact that they were on their way to freedom and to a “land flowing with milk and honey”.

Into the Light

As we have argued consistently in this medium, politics is not inherently dirty or evil. It is the quality and behaviour of people that make it so.  

What we have also argued is that all authority, political or otherwise comes from the same source who said, “increase and multiply” and “dominate the earth and subdue it”.  The real issue is whether we are prepared to use that authority according to His principles of justice, fairness, equality love, etcetera or not.  

Ideally, what we really need is a party of people who have totally embraced the above concept of authority and who at the same time, possess both unassailable integrity as well as managerial competence. 

Perhaps in such a company of people, Dr. Armstrong will find a place to nurture her political interest while receiving the strong spiritual discipline currently lacking.

Statistically, the theoretical probability of the combination described above – unassailable integrity as well as managerial competence – is, at the very best, 25 percent. Therefore, it is going to take unprecedented insight, will power and effort on the part of Barbadians to raise those odds.

By Editor

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