Opposition Leader Mia Mottley (right) with a party supporter. In the background is Mottley’s executive assistant Pat Parris. (FILE)
The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has declared itself red and ready for the battle of the next General Election.
It rang in the new year planting red background posters of all their candidates on utility poles in all 30 constituencies; according to them, for candidate name recognition.
The BLP should know that posters of and by themselves are not an indication of readiness. In 1994, Freundel Stuart contested the General Election as the candidate for the Democratic Labour Party, St Philip South constituency, and won the seat without a poster. He lost his seat in 1999 when poles in St Philip South were plastered with his posters.
Since about mid-2016, the BLP prematurely named a full list of candidates, but a full slate is not indicative of readiness. Not too long ago, on December 4, 1961, the Dems’ slate was 16 candidates, while the Bees listed their full slate for a 24-seat Parliament. The Dems won 15 seats and the Government. This nullifies any notion that the naming of candidates makes a political party ready for the reins of Government.
Leader of the BLP, Mia Mottley, has told Barbadians that her party has officially started the election campaign and that she wants Prime Minister Stuart to speak more because his speeches do more for the BLP than the party can do for itself. The truth is that the Opposition prefers the Prime Minister’s silence because the Opposition has never provided credible responses to his statements.
When Stuart served in the Senate (2003-2007), political scientist George Belle described him as a “handful” for all the other senators put together.
Mottley appears to be concerned with the Constitution as it relates to the life of a Government and the power that it gives to the Prime Minister to call an election at any time within that period. The Prime Minister is of the view, and so are many other Barbadians, that a Government should take the full five years to manage the affairs of the state that the Constitution allows and not throw some of that time back in the people’s faces.
Ever since the last election, when Mottley took the Leader of the Opposition’s mantle, she appears to have this craving for elections and by extension for prime ministerial office.
I am reminded of the parable of the ten virgins. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and when he arrived all ten virgins were asleep. Five foolish virgins ran out of oil, and found themselves on the streets at midnight looking for oil to keep their lamps burning. In the meantime, the wise virgins who were ready, went with the bridegroom to the banquet.
The BLP must check its gas gauge to determine whether there is enough gas in the tank to carry through until the end of the race. Further, they must make sure that the machinery is not overheated by its constant running.
The party that will lead Barbados after the next General Election is the party that will put God first and ensure that its plan is compatible with God’s plan because God’s plan cannot and will not be thwarted. It must demonstrate its true readiness by letting Barbadians know what are the short, medium and long-term plan is for Barbados’ future, and whether or not the International Monetary Fund is on its agenda.
Let us be cognisant of this fact. Everyone of us, including political parties and candidates, must submit to governing authorities, because there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God and It is God that establishes and deposes them.
– ALGERNON ATHERLEY