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IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Score one for Dems

ROY R. MORRIS, [email protected]

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Score one for Dems

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THE OPPOSITION Barbados Labour Party has returned to the House of Assembly fully – and Speaker Michael Carrington is still in the chair.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley may not want to read my scorecard, but on this matter I have to award the match to the Government.

Please don’t get me wrong, I understand and appreciate the point Mottley and her team were trying to make, but tactically the mission in my view did not consider all the possible challenges. It is quite easy when rallying troops to scream “No retreat! No surrender!” but a prudent general will always have an exit strategy.

Again I may be wrong, but what has been said by the Opposition did not suggest to me the way out was clearly thought out. At this stage it appears more to be a case of the Opposition running out of steam on this particular matter.

It is for this reason that I, with no background in political strategising, suggest that the decision of the Dems not to permit debate on the Opposition’s no-confidence motion in the Speaker might have been a blessing in disguise. The DLP in my view took the heat off the Bees’ return to the House by shifting the discussion to their avoidance of the no-confidence debate.

On this matter of the conduct of Speaker Carrington, Barbadians appear to have strong opinions, but there is not that overwhelming groundswell of condemnation that would cause Government MPs to be worried about a backlash from their constituents.

Under the circumstances it was therefore hardly likely that members of the Democratic Labour Party would have voted against their colleague or even abstained from the vote. It is also hardly likely that the now “independent” Owen Arthur would have given even a second thought to supporting the no-confidence vote.

The obvious conclusion? Any no-confidence vote at this stage would have failed.

This then provokes the second question: If you can’t win the vote on a matter such as this, why bring it in the first place?

By my reckoning no such motion was likely to be heard before the Estimates debate. And if it was heard after, then it was very likely Bajans would already be debate weary. The Opposition would not have achieved the traction they expected.

But I am no politician, political strategist or political scientist, and I know I am not nearly as smart as the Opposition Leader, but I would still be so bold as to warn: “Tread cautiously on this one, my friend!”