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TONI THORNE: Entrepreneurship over politics


Toni Thorne

TONI THORNE: Entrepreneurship over politics

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ELECTIVE politics seems not to be an option for self-actualisation, advancement nor the ideal way to make an impact or contribution to our country. That’s the view of our youth with whom I held recent conversations.

Strange as it may sound to older folk, gone are the days when the average person saw becoming a politician, MP or Prime Minister as the ultimate career goal. As my conversations with my peers increase, I am actually finding that there is a disdain towards the way we have and continue to practice politics in Barbados.

Why is this so?

 More career options

The world is now more advanced than it has ever been. Opportunities are boundless and the glamorisation of career options such as in entrepreneurship has trumped career options like politics.

A career in politics is seen as fleeting and non-sustainable. Many persons believe that more gratification is attainable with entrepreneurship than politics. I have personally noticed a greater interest from the younger public in the personal development of successful local entrepreneurs than local politicians.

I believe that whatever field a person chooses, once one “excels at it, one is certainly contributing to national development.

Furthermore, when we were tweeting #betterbim during the last election, one noted an interesting aversion to partisan politics amongst some of the nation’s youth. There was more of an inclination to want actions that would affect the overall development of our country. Previously, it was believed that our choice of support was dependent on the political organisation that our parents and grandparents supported as if the right to vote was passed down by heritage. We now want to make decisions for ourselves. More persons are carrying the sentiment that the political choices of their parents and grandparents are not ours.

Disgust for political yardfowlism

“Peter” seems to pay for all when it comes to the disgust some of us feel towards political yardfowlism and the propagation of what is known as “cornbeef and biscuit politics”.

Facts, statistics and viable and creative solutions are more pertinent platform offerings than “who got who”, “who horn who” and “who leff who”. Additionally, more of us now believe that our vote is priceless as opposed to being equated to a hundred dollar bill. Barbadians are intelligent and can see when propaganda or detours to dealing with real issues are being pulled before their eyes.

The point remains, however that in our political system we must laud those who are brave enough to take on the tough role of being involved in elective politics. The impact of political life on the families of politicians is negative at times and very taxing.

Public life is one of constant scrutiny.

However, it is my hope that the current leaders and the future leaders of my country look at improving the way that politics is practised. Let them focus on the issues at hand and find viable solutions to and issues whilst acting with integrity and professionalism at all times.

I also hope to see less egotism and a general understanding that being an elected official or even a candidate is an act of service to the people and not a favour.

. . .The glamorisation of career options such as entrepreneurship has trumped career option like politics.

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