A people’s team of candidates
BARBADOS NEEDS talented and committed sons and daughters of the nation to step forward, offer themselves for public service and form themselves into a “people’s team” of at least ten candidates to contest the upcoming general election against the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the Barbados Labour Party (BLP).
This is desperately needed because it has now become absolutely clear that neither the DLP nor the BLP, as currently constituted, is capable of providing our country with the leadership that it requires in this critical era that we are passing through! Thus, the only real hope for Barbados is if we can use the next general election to ensure that neither the DLP nor the BLP wins an outright majority of seats, thereby creating the basis for the establishment of a government of national unity!
Surely, it is now clear to all and sundry that the DLP and BLP have deteriorated tremendously as political organisations over the past 25 years or so and, as a result, simply do not now possess the human talent and organisational culture required to govern a nation in a period of crisis.
This is not to say that there are not committed and talented individuals in both parties. But the evidence of the last 15 years has demonstrated that a few worthy individuals do not a good and effective government make.
The good news, however, is that Barbados – as a whole – does possess the talent that can be brought together to constitute a good and effective government of national unity. But much of that talent resides outside of the narrow DLP/BLP nexus.
It is against this background therefore that the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) is sending out a call to communities, civil society organisations, trade unions, churches, professional organisations and to individual citizens to seriously consider identifying and putting forward alternative candidates to the DLP and BLP candidates in at least ten constituencies. The PEP will be in the general election fray as an institution in its own right, but we will also be more than willing to collaborate with and support or even to be part of a “people’s team” of candidates.
All Barbadians need to be aware that there is no legal or constitutional requirement for a general election candidate to be a member of the DLP or BLP! Section 43 of the Constitution of Barbados stipulates that “any person who is a citizen of Barbados of the age of 21 years or upwards and has such connection with Barbados by residence as may be prescribed by Parliament shall be qualified to be elected a member of the House of Assembly”.
Indeed, if you search the entire Constitution of Barbados and the entire text of the Representation of the People Act you will not find a single mention of DLP or BLP! The point is that there is no requirement for a Barbadian citizen to be a member of the BLP or DLP before they can offer themselves for the responsibilities of public service and leadership.
The Barbadian people are one of the most highly educated populations on the face of the earth and the Barbadian society contains thousands of persons who are better qualified for national leadership than 90 per cent of the current members of the House of Assembly.
If the Barbadian people do not bestir themselves and assume the responsibilities of an active and engaged citizenry, we can safely predict that the social achievements won for our country by the hard and unremitting work of previous generations will be squandered.
• The PEP column represents the views of the People’s Empowerment Party. Email [email protected]