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Good news for Dems


rhondathompson, [email protected]

Good news for Dems

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The following is the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) response to a Nation- commissioned CADRES poll which appeared in the Sunday Sun. The poll – conducted between September 10 and 13 among 1 000 respondents in all 30 constituencies – dealt with a wide range of political issues, including a succession plan by Government and leadership issues on both sides of the fence.
Fourteen years of political arrogance and $750 million in cost overruns was the hand dealt to the Barbadian public. However, two years later the country is being serviced at acceptable levels despite the global challenges according to the recent Cadres poll.
The performance scores which are presented in the poll also give us comfort since the DLP has been given a 6.2 overall score while the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) received a 5.4 for its performance.
The political carnage that was left behind by the BLP is slowly being cleared up by a caring Government. The DLP welcomes the September 2010 NATION/CADRES poll because of the good news it brings to us politically, in addition to our hope that it signals a return to THE NATION’s convention of conducting a political poll in September of each year.
This “habit” was discontinued in our first year in office which is unfortunate since we had hoped to use this information as strategically as our predecessor did during their last term in office. 
Substantively, the poll brings us considerable comfort especially as CADRES stated in its report that “there is still a high level of support for the DLP and the current Prime Minister and it is clear that if an election were held at this point (last week) the DLP would have been returned to office”.
This statement is especially comforting to us as we attempt to come to grips with the illness of our Prime Minister and leader; however the poll data implies that the country remains solidly behind the DLP which continues to be competently led by the Honorable David JH Thompson. The editorial posture of the poll story sought to highlight the very sensitive topic of leadership which has become the rally cry of the Opposition. They however sought to avoid the brazen truth about the direction of the Opposition and its leadership.
Leadership
They appeared to have glossed over the preferred PM data; however we would wish to draw attention to the fact that Thompson is preferred by 42 per cent of people in Barbados, while his closest rival (Owen Arthur) is 20 points behind Thompson. This statistic along with the fact that the person closest to our PM in the leadership stakes is not the Leader of the Opposition, tells us (and him) that the people of Barbados have not deviated from or regretted their decision to elect the DLP under PM Thompson’s leadership.
     While on the issue of leadership, we feel that it is important to contrast the situations in the two parties regarding this most important political issue. The BLP is characterised in the poll as a party which is being led by a person who can only garner 18 per cent of total popular support which is substantially lower than the level of popularity that our leader had in 2005 when he was being ridiculed for not “matching up” to the BLP’s colossus.
     Ironically that same “colossus” is now No.2 to our leader with 22 per cent and while he is still half as popular as our leader he continues to out-perform the BLP’s leader, Mia Mottley, who will struggle to explain why she should continue to lead a party that clearly wants to be led by someone else. 
Owen vs Mia
The Opposition Leader has gotten good at doing things poorly and the poll reinforces this view. Presumably she will be asking herself in the wake of this poll if she should continue to lead the BLP when there is someone other than her in the party who people want to see as Prime Minister more than her.
It is evident that there is clear and present danger as the BLP heads into their annual conference. The data should indeed inform the members who care to admit the truth that Mottley is going nowhere fast. 
There might indeed be some truth in Arthur’s statement that she has fundamental problems in the way in which she “presents herself and is perceived by the public” and this might explain why she is still unable to match Arthur in the polls and is a considerable distance behind our leader PM Thompson.
In the case of the BLP, there is only one clear option to Mottley and this is the same “tired (Circa 2005)” Owen Arthur who was rejected by the people of Barbados in 2008. Thereafter the BLP is presented with a virtual tie between the one who is anointed as Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who finds himself in the dubious position where he is seen to be as desirable as the person who was rejected by the people of Barbados in 2003 and later rejected by the DLP itself in 2006. 
Naturally, we would wish therefore to take issue with the CADRES assertion that this poll indicates that the “BLP is beginning to settle down and has effectively plugged the haemorrhage of support that was evident in last year’s survey”.
The poll admits a margin of error of +/- 5 per cent and in this context the touted improvement of Mottley by four percentage points is certainly nothing to get excited about since she continues to be as unpopular this year as she was last year. As a matter of fact the polls give credibility to the fact that Mottley has consistently performed at less than an acceptable rate when compared to her former boss.
Improvements
We also note the improvements in the scores we received in housing and lands (6.3-6.7); education (6.6-7.2); transport (6.0-6.4) and tourism (6.0-6.4). In the current economic environment where the global situation continues to be dire, we are heartened by the fact that Barbadians recognise and give us credit for our efforts in these areas. 
Can you believe in the same year that the Opposition Leader sought to tarnish the image of Minister of Housing and Lands Michael Lashley, Barbadians believe that he has performed better.
The poll gave top marks to the work in education which continues to be a central plank of all DLP platforms. The passion with which Ronald Jones brings to the ministry has been positively felt by the public.
Minister Richard Sealy has been on the job and as a result we have witnessed an improved rating with which we are pleased since tourism is one of our major economic engines and one appreciates at this time the difficulty of securing additional visitors in an environment where people are less inclined to travel.
We take note of those areas Barbadians are asking for more delivery in, and we take guidance in the views of the public. This recent poll acts as a barometer to remind us to stay the course and keep people at the development process as we chart Pathways To Progress.

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