The ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is heading towards a third-term victory in the next general elections in Barbados.
General elections are not due until 2018, but in today’s world with predictive text, my computer is feverish composing in the scientific knowledge that the opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) cannot recover from its present path but will continue to cover over its internal wounds. Consequently, the public will see its body suffering several public breakouts that will be superficially bandaged by the party’s spin-doctors. Gangrene will set in and many of its limbs will be trimmed from its body; recovery will be long, slow, and painful with death possible.
Barbadians’ hope for an alternative via the Clement Payne Movement is unlikely since that group has failed to expand island wide and is largely City-based.
Consequently, the DLP’s victory is assured in an election that will have poor voter turn-out and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart will get a third term. Few people, if any one at all, would have consider Prime Minister Stuart a three-term Prime Minister.
After all, his party’s 2013 returned to power for a second term with a slim two-seat margin that was marked by cabinet Ministers suffering from serious outbreaks of verbal foot and mouth disease as Barbadians buckled under stiff economic measures including layoffs in the public sector that spill off into the private sector and led to double digit unemployment. Matters were compounded when the financially-ailing taxpayers were slapped with a Municipal Solid Waste Tax.
Pundits and callers to talk shows lamented that these measures threatened to wipe out the middle class and expressed fear that Barbados would have been reduced to socio-economic conditions akin to those prevailing in the 1940’s conditions. These conditions, callers said, would breed high levels of crime. This is an environment generally favouring an opposition party but instead the BLP squabbled itself into death.
As a result, no strong opposition parties contested against the ruling DLP in Barbados’ 2018 general elections. Instead, several weak splinter groups led by former front line members of the opposition BLP came forward but the electorate saw no strong alternative that it believed could confidently hold together and lead Barbados out of its socio-economic problems. Voter turnout was therefore historically low and the DLP’s win record-breaking massive.
Pundits compared the once strong BLP’s internal problems with those of the DLP after the 1990’s economic downturn that saw the end of the then Erskine Sandiford’s government. However, they quickly noted that the Dees’ internal injuries were treated and sources of infection shaved off in time for recovery with only minor setbacks.
However, it must be noted that the split in the DLP occurred when the party introduced austerity measures that faced stiff and vocal protest from the electorate but the BLP’s problems began with party members sniffing possible victory at the polls and the opportunity to divide the spoils that come with winning. Here ends the predictive text.
Meanwhile today, the BLP is searching for effective tools of implosion while the DLP scramble for answers to the country’s economic woes.