DLP COLUMN: Dems leadership
October 23, 2012, marks two years since our former leader and Prime Minister David Thompson passed away.
The job of a leader is not defined by their personal achievements but measured by contributions.
Thompson was an individual whose contribution was felt and seen. Barbadians in every nook and cranny speak of a caring person who would give the shirt off his back. He did not enter politics asking for more pay and threatening to leave the halls of Parliament because the pay was not enough.
He came and left as he was – a selfless person.
Today, as in 2008, Barbados is being asked once again to examine its leaders. Our current leader Freundel Stuart has demonstrated calmness at a time when leaders across the world are beckoning for relief. He has never being described as arrogant or abusive. He has the distinction, like his predecessor, of not abusing civil servants while in office.
Stuart’s leadership has not been defined by politics of spite.
A country takes on the face of the leader and for some time our country had been coloured by the politics of confrontation. This style of Barbados Labour Party (BLP) governance has hurt the image of our country over the 14 years of its rule.
The return to office of the Democratic Labour Party in January 2008 allowed for a facelift of our image, and this image was reflected across the region as the late David Thompson stood shoulder to shoulder with his regional counterparts.
Locally, stakeholders in Barbados continue to be treated with the utmost respect and honour by the Dems leadership. Civil servants do not fear being awakened by the robust cussing of an elected official who may have been offended during daylight hours.
Since the DLP retook office, Barbadians have seen a “poor-rakey” Parliament absent of the cuss-fest and abuse of defenceless people. These acts of political immaturity have become things of the past.
The verbal abuse and political fear that constitute BLP leadership eroded trust in elected officials. This in turn created doubt in the minds of voters.
This is why the Dems leaders are now so hard-pressed to redress the issue of voter apathy and trust in public officials. The leadership of the Barbados Labour Party can take credit for the reduced participation in the electoral process. The BLP has scarred the democratic participation of people by driving fear, through victimization, into their opponents.
The DLP has managed to restore an agenda of increased political participation and restored trust in public officials.
There can be no better way of demonstrating this act than by sharing the political heart of the late leader David Thompson. On Tuesday night, October 23, we will gather on the lawns of the Democratic Labour Party to hear from all the female candidates and party leader and Prime Minister.
The evening David . . . I Remembered will feature the unveiling of a plaque honouring our founder members . . . in the memory of our late leader.
• Douglas Leopold Phillips is a pseudonym for the Democratic Labour Party.