Nationality, a platform issue
The issue of nationality has now developed as one of the hot topics in next Thursday’s by-election in St John.
Former Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition Owen Arthur, as well as some members of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) have raised the issue of Mara Thompson, the Democratic Labour Party candidate being St Lucian and contesting the St John seat.
Barbadians have been vocal on the issue and some posted their views on the Nation’s Facebook page.
Ashanti Howard said Barbados has had several ministers of government who were not Barbadian, and she cited Peter Morgan and Edwy Talma as examples. “The issue of nationality is a non-issue since both candidates are non-Barbadian and can legally run as citizens,” she said.
Matthew Clarke echoed this, noting that the BLP candidate was born in St Vincent. “This is a non-issue especially since …the chant of the very same opposition when they were in power was regional integration”.
Keisha said she believed the Opposition leader started wrong by even debating this issue. “How could you be pushing CSME … and want to target Mrs Thompson’s nationality. She is not illegal. As she said last night, she is a ‘proud St Lucian, a proud Barbadian and a proud Caribbean woman”. Angela Quintyne simply wrote: “I’m so disappointed with the source of this discussion that this should even be an issue.
Let’s please pray for the leader of the Opposition Party”. Wayne Taylor said there were other issues to discuss in this campaign and chided Arthur for even raising the matter.
“A man who had a legacy as a regionalist now finds himself destroying that said legacy, when he took it on himself to attack Mara Thompson because of her nationality. It’s disgraceful. This xenophobic mindset has no place in modern Barbados,” he said.
Dev Bruce says Mara Thompson should not be judged on where she is from but on her commitment to St John and the people of Barbados and the people of St John. “Leave the petty politics behind”.
Melvin Skeete says he too is very disappointed that the issue was raised.