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THE ELECTION BELL is yet to ring and we are already bombarded with accusations, finger-pointing and slanderous outbreaks. I get the sense that as a people we will need to “up de ting” in our calls for substance and not slander from those seeking our support and our vote.
To this end, I urge all Barbadians to become dutiful observers and at the appropriate time to demonstrate by our overwhelming franchise that we will no longer tolerate inappropriate conduct or articulations from any of our leaders.
Additionally, we would do well to recognise that in an era of technological accessibility, where rumours and fake news seem to be the new weapons of political strategy, it is not difficult for anyone to float a salacious rumour about the political party he supports, and then point the finger at his opponents in an attempt to influence public opinion.
I get the sense, given the events to date, that the underlying motives of these slanderous remarks are meant to further distract us from the substantive issues we face as a nation and, perhaps as a spin-off, to dissuade us from voting entirely.
To my mind, if we allow ourselves to be distracted by rumour and mudslinging, the issues that affect our future prosperity will not be ventilated and solutions will not be tabled.
The World Bank publication, Public Sector Governance And Accountability Series – Public Services Delivery (edited by Anwar Shah), is a particularly insightful read. It speaks quite a lot about how to assess and measure public sector performance, governance, and the extent of corruption and so on. In other texts, a citizen’s scorecard, which is essentially a measurement system, could also be used by Barbadians to measure the performance of public officials and agencies going forward.
I would like to propose that we start with the conduct and the articulations of our current leaders and those with prospects. Let us make additions or deductions to their respective scores based on their conduct and on the content of their articulations. From now and well after Election Day, let us keep their scores.
Suffice to say, the politician who chooses to sling some mud during the election campaign should receive the appropriate grade.
As a people, when we choose to be strict guardians of our heritage and firm craftsmen of our fate, together we will weed out the slanderers from those who are actually bringing substance.
– SEAN ST CLAIR FIELDS