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Minor parties no accident


MICHAEL RAY

Minor parties no accident

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There must be some very good reasons why “third parties” are getting the attention of so many commentators and columnists.

Dr Tennyson Joseph recently asserted Third Parties Exposed (last Thursday’s DAILY NATION) and went on to mention:

1) A demand by the leader of Solutions Barbados for candidates to commit themselves by contract to a fine of US$250 000; and

2) The expulsion of a member of the United Progressive Party by the leader on policy regarding marijuana.

How dare Dr Joseph question policy positions of two political parties that attempt to set the foundation to solidify the integrity and morality of the respective groups?

Nevertheless, let me go on to fundamental issues related to the emergence of parties in Barbados.

Barbadians who have lived the customs and practices of the pre-1937 years, as well as those who have read the history, understand the raisons d’etre for the formation, emergence and evolution of political parties.

The formation of the Barbados Labour Party in the year immediately after the riots of July 1937 was no accident; neither was the establishment of the Barbados Workers’ Union four years after the riot.

Fortunately, a number of Barbadians from the post-1937 era have grasped opportunities to read from books such as Barbados: Our Island Home, Builders Of Barbados authored by Sir Alexander Hoyos and History Of The Barbados Workers’ Union by Dr Francis Mark.

People with such an experience would scarcely find it difficult to understand and appreciate what factors give rise to the birth of new political parties.

There is really no reason to constantly ask questions about the “new political economy” from which these parties emerge, as is Dr Joseph’s wont.

Generations of Barbadians have acquired more than enough understanding as to why and how these new political parties emerge, with no better barometer than the prevailing economic climate of the season.

The persistent harangue and harrying of “third parties” may very well be a blessing in disguise, allowing them the opportunity to kindle the attention of an expectant electorate.

– MICHAEL RAY

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