In a recent article, I opined that Election Day would be April 30, and given the feedback received from some quarters, it appears that a breakdown of my thesis may be useful.
I have no formal training in political science and my assumptions are based on information that is publicly available. As posited in the article, it would be inappropriate, at least from an optics perspective, to call an election at a time when sewage is flowing in the streets.
Additionally, when consideration is given to Holy Week which I am told runs from March 26 to April 2, an astute politician would avoid scheduling a 21-day election period that includes this most significant of events on the Christian calendar. If my assumptions hold merit, Holy Week has essentially applied some restrictions on an Election Day being held in March, given the current date and the normative 21-day election period.
This essentially means that at the earliest, Election Day in Barbados would more likely be April 23 and Nomination Day April 3 following the conclusion of the Holy Week celebrations, unless of course a decision is made to ignore the Holy Week traditions.
I chose April 30 because April 25 is the scheduled payday for public sector workers and I figure it would be strategic to ensure there is merriment across Barbados during the weekend before Election Day. I further expect that the coping subsidy will be made available as an additional booster to this assumed merriment.
Now given recent announcements by the authorities, I expect that by April 30, the presence of effluent flowing from manholes will have abated, with residents and businesses breathing some form of relief, if only temporarily.
I did not choose a date in May simply because I believe it would be political suicide to schedule a 21-day election period at a time when our children will be preparing for both the Common Entrance Exam and CXCs. So if we count backwards 21 days from June 4, which is the constitutional deadline that elections must be held, that puts us at May 15 as the constitutional deadline for Nomination Day; which places the election period smack within a significant amount of critical examinations according to the CXC timetable.
I am sticking with April 30; plus there is the added bonus that the day after is a public holiday.
– SEAN ST CLAIR FIELDS