When should a savvy PM call elections?

29 Mar

PM Patrick Manning

Prime Minister Patrick Manning has apparently hinted to party faithfuls that they might need to get into election mode pretty soon. Elections are due in 2012. The leader of the majority opposition Kamla Persad-Bissesar has responded by telling him to bring it on! Reports in the local media are also giving the impression that residents in the PNM stronghold are telling him to bring it on too – so that they can vote for the other side! It is always difficult to tell what any demographic is feeling from this far away. However anyone visiting T&T must have wondered why a country that is “oil rich” has not spent more of that money on improving conditions in Laventille.

So is Barbados getting into election mode too? The reports by DLP members to Constituencies and the acceleration of the Constituency Councils might suggest that there will be an early election. The BLP has also been holding a number of public political meeting. While those held in the past have been rather parochial, the meeting held in Heroes’ Square might suggest that the BLP is also getting itself ready.

But for both Governments elections are due in over two years. How would voters react to an early election? No doubt there would be representations about seeking a renewed mandate. There could however be the view that there is a need to call an election before the economy gets worse. Time will tell.

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11 Responses to “When should a savvy PM call elections?”

  1. Juniper March 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    You must be joking it feels like just last night that we had elections. What might be happening is that parties plan to campaign longer!

  2. Susan March 30, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    I think that you are right Juniper. In some ways I think that Barbados never came out of election mode – so we have this situation now where it seems as though the political parties are going to campaign for five years.

  3. The People's Democratic Congress March 30, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    Down with the Damned DLP and the Blasted BLP!!

    This is the time for the broad masses and middle classes of people to think more politically clearly and deeply than ever before, really.

    This is the time for them to realize that both these idiotic DLP and BLP factions are primarily about the leaderships of these parties, the main principals and financial connections associated with these parties, many of the interests of the families of these leaderships/principals/connections, plenty of the interests of many of the friends of these leaderships/principals/connections, and many of the business and foreign interests of them.

    Put simply then both these stupid joke parties are NOT about the basic fundamental interests of the average poor person and the average middle class person in Barbados, and are NOT SO MUCH about the national public interests.

    That this is so means that almost ALL of these persons who still support or vote for either of these two ramshackled factions, MUST SEE THE USELESSNESS AND THE IRRATIONALITY OF STILL SUPPORTING AND VOTING FOR THESE PARTIES AND THEREFORE MUST STOP SUPPORTING OR VOTING FOR THEM. FULL STOP!! STOP SUPPORT OR STOP VOTE FOR THESE BACKWARD ANTI-POOR ANTI- MIDDLE-CLASS PARTIES THAT ARE NOT ABOUT THESE TYPES OF PEOPLE – OUR PEOPLE – their – OUR – basic fundamental interests and the country’s greater fundamental interest!!!

    WE SAY TO THEM THAT INSTEAD OF SUPPORTING OR VOTING FOR THE DLP OR BLP, OR INSTEAD OF CONSIDERING SUPPORTING OR VOTING FOR THEM, THAT IT SHALL SURELY BE EMINENTLY BETTER FOR THEM AND MANY OTHERS TO GIVE OR CONSIDER GIVING GREATER MORAL POLITICAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO AND PLENTY MORE VOTES TO THE PDC OR THE PEP THAT ARE FAR MORE ABOUT THEM THAN THE DLP AND THE BLP.

    IT WOULD ALSO BE FAR BETTER TOO – AT THIS STAGE – TWO AND A HALF YEARS I BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTIONS – IF MANY OF THESE PEOPLE – OUR PEOPLE – WOULD SEE THE LIGHT AND GO AND MAKE SURE THAT AT LEAST SOME OF THEM FORM THEIR OWN SERIOUS PEOPLE CENTERED DEVELOPMENTALIST PARTIES THAT WILL BE FAIRLY SURE TO REPRESENT THEIR AND THE COUNTRY’S BASIC FUNDAMENTAL INTERESTS THAN CONTINUE POLITICALLY PARTISANLY DEPENDING ON BOTH THESE CORRUPT 20 TH CENTURY DLP AND BLP FACTIONS AND THEIR PATRONAGE. AND THEY HAVE ENOUGH TIME LEFT TO FORM THESE PARTIES BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!

    AND THERE IS ANOTHER SERIOUS OPTION AVAILABLE. MANY OF THEM CAN SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT BECOMING INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES IN THE NEXT ELECTIONS – WHEREFORE THEY WOULD BE BETTER OFF BEING ABLE TO PLAY GREATER ROLES IN THE POLITICAL ELECTORAL PROCESS BY ACTUALLY BECOMING CANDIDATES IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CONSTITUENCIES IN THE NATIONAL POLITICAL ELECTORAL PROCESS THUS EMPOWERING THEMSELVES POLITICALLY AND THUS REMOVING THAT DLP/BLP CAST OF VIEWING THEM AS SIMPLE POWERLESS DEPENDENT VOTERS.

    RIGHT NOW, IT IS VERY CRITICAL TOO TO THE FURTHER NATIONAL POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THIS COUNTRY AND IN FURTHERANCE OF THE NATIONAL INTERESTS OF THIS COUNTRY FOR THIS DLP/BLP FOOLISHNESS TO BE BROKEN DOWN TOTALLY .

    THERE IS NO SENSE IN PROLONGING THE AGONY OR IN PUTTING OFF WHAT EVENTUALLY HAS TO BE DONE – THE TOTAL LIBERATION AND EMANCIPATION OF OURSELVES FROM THE DLP/BLP – OR LEAVING IT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS TO DO. SOME OF THOSE OF PREVIOUS GENERATIONS MIGHT HAVE SAID SO AND LOOK NOW WHAT THE SHIT THE DLP AND BLP HAVE BEEEN DOING TO US SINCE BARROW’S DEATH.

    SURELY, THIS WICKED DEMON YOKE OF THE DLP/BLP MUST BE THROWN OFF FROM THE OFF THE BACKS OF THE BROAD MASSES AND MIDDLE CLASSES OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. AND THE SOONER THE BETTER. AS THAT, THERE CAN BE NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW TO BOTH ACCELERATE AND HEIGHTEN SUCH AN OBJECTIVE. FOR THE POLITICAL AND OTHER CONDITIONS IN THIS LAND ARE CURRENTLY RIPE FOR THE EVENTUAL RIDDING OF THE DLP AND BLP FROM THE PARLIAMENT OF THIS COUNTRY AND ULTIMATELY THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE OF THIS COUNTRY.

    REMEMBER MANY WITHIN THE MASSES AND MIDDLE-CLASSES ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT KEYS FOR FOR SUCH!!!

    SO LONG.

    PDC

  4. Snapdragon March 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    There are many people who are unhappy with the two political parties or with some of the MP’s in both parties. As far as they can see there is no credible alternative.
    There are many debates that are going on now – except for this blog I don’t really hear much from anyone other than the two major parties. How can we choose an alternative if we do not hear them debating the issues.

  5. The People's Democratic Congress March 31, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    To the peson behind the psuedonym – SnapDragon,

    There are NOT just many people unhappy with those two archaic dying DLP/BLP political factions, there are thousands upon thousands of people in Barbados that are sick, tired and fed up with them.

    We in the PDC know that this is so from our constant surveying and corresponding with many of them on a daily basis in this country.

    Their negative feelings attitudes about the DLP/BLPalso extend yes to different MPs across both those parliamentary parties – many of whom also have been making many promises to many constituents and have NOT – deliberately in many cases – delivered on them – and many of whom are giving out cell and land line numbers to many of these same constituents for the latter to contact the former and only thereafter for the same latter to be angry and disappointed at not getting through to the same former.

    Only yesterday we were told by a gentleman how Mr. Richard Sealy, Tourism Minister, gave him weeks ago two numbers (cell and land line) to call him ( the Minister) on some matters, yet after having been constantly calling those numbers how up to now there has NEVER been any contact made between the two of them whatsoever through the gentleman’s use of those numbers.

    Snappie,

    Having realized that you said that many people are unhappy with the DLP and BLP, which is true, and how you go onto further write that “as far as they can see there is no credible alternative”, makes us wonder if you have got serious conflicts going on in assimilating or converging with what we in the PDC refer to as the present, past and future.

    Moreover, to say that there is no credible alternative, Snaps, is NOT true. For we in the PDC are a credible alternative.

    Just check Dictionary.com for the meaning of credible and you would see that when you apply the meaning of credible to the PDC that the PDC is indeed a credible alternative.

    But, yes, we have some distance to go before we are elected in this country. So far, most of what we have done already has been viewed by thousands of Barbadians and others with favour and sympathy and support esp. moral and political support.

    Therefore, in such and other regards we have built and will continue to grow build and develop in many political electoral ways as we go forward together with many of the masses and middle classes in the achievement of the objective of accessing governmental office in order to carry out many of the visionary bold farreaching rational policies and programs on the behalf of the masses and middle classes of people of this country and the country itself.

    This is in a nutshell our overarching mission at this stage.

    Certainly, while it is important to debate issues of national and subnational importance affecting many of our people in Barbados and elsewhere, we are and will NOT be a party of debaters and talkers debating and talking while Bridgetown and other parts of our country burn to hell down.

    As a matter of fact, we deplore and deprecate the situation right now that exists in our country where there is too much talking and chattering by oh so many talking heads chatterboxes as countless social political material financial problems fester tremendously right before our damn eyes.

    We are a party of serious action – not just talk write!!!

    So, in our NOT answering your question in the way we presume you would like: how can we choose an alternative if we do not hear them debating the issues – strange the way how you move from them to we in your statement – which speaks to your avoiding your own responsibility to be a more politically active and vigilant citizen – we say to you – quite frankly – that it is very impossible to answer it because it is riddled with underying false assumptions and preconceived notions and biases among other things.

    Analyse it for yourself and see them and then ask yourself if you have been fair to us, Snaps!!

    Anyhow, we leave this one for you – please play a greater role in the politics of this country and dont believe that it should be left only to certain people ( DLP BLP ) to get elected in this country, please!!

    INDEED, DO WHAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY DO AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS TO HELP SAVE YOUR COUNTRY FROM REMAINING ON THE COURSE THAT IT IS ON RIGHT NOW OF GETTING WORSE AND WORSE IN TOO MANY AREAS OF THE SOCIETY POLITY AND MATERIALITY.

    Down with the Damned DLP and the Blasted BLP!!!

    PDC

  6. Snapdragon March 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    PDC as is the case of all politicians you become very angry when anyone criticises you. Indeed I noted a hint of disrespect towards me in your post. This is similar to the BLP/DLP response that you are always criticising. I guess as an afterthought you started to become more engaging towards me in your post. You say that you are a party of action. What activities have you been engaged in thus far that will bring us closer to the change that you are promoting.

  7. The People's Democratic Congress March 31, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Snappie,

    This is our last response to you under this thread.

    In your last post you again accuse us – and wrongfully so – of some things of which you cannot reasonably support on this blog.

    Hence, the charges you make are entirely goundless and baseless.

    You certainly know them, so there is no need for us to refer to them.

    Our party has successfully been able to avoid going down into the gutter write with commenters over whatever issues that are raised by whomsoever on these blogs – BA and BU, generally. For, we know that our time must be better utilised and spent on these blogs!!!

    And our record is there for many people on these blogs to see.

    Moreover, in your case we will not detour from this policy.

    We are content to pelt some lashes in the DLP/BLP and their main agents ( real or perceived), to strike some heavy blows against some very destructive systems operating inside and outside of this country, and to present alternative strategies and proposals to them for implementation by a future PDC Government.

    Therefore, our preference is to be very constructive and positive in how our party deals with our posts on this and the other blog – BU. We are NOT bloggers. We do NOT blog per se.

    We simply use these blogs to post our ideas and policies, etc. and to respond in whatever ways to other ideas, policies, programs etc. NEVER TO RESPOND TO PEOPLE WHO WE DONT KNOW OR EVEN IF WE KNOW THEM WHEREBY WE ARE UNABLE TO VERIFY THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THE MOODS IN WHICH THEY WRITE!!!!

    Even though you can make us believe that you are “colouring” our words with your own thoughts, Snaps, there is no way that you can judge own words as indicative of a particular mood and feeling and still be NOT satisfying us OR FAILING to satisfy us that you have met the critieria for demonstrating use of those sensory faculties necessary to determine such FACTS, or even the assumptions therewith.

    So, please, please dont anticipate or presuppose our moods and feelings based on your own anticipations and presuppositions of our moods and feelings, or even on the basis of artificial intelligence, or attempt the impossible – to juxtapose your own moods and feelings with our own moods and feelings via this mediumI!!

    Thank You.

    PDC

    • snapdragon April 1, 2010 at 6:17 am #

      Just expressing my views PDC!

  8. Allegiance March 31, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    Well it seems that with the High Court decision in Antigua & Barbuda that that country might be in election mode. The High Court has handed down a decision to the effect that three election results including that of Baldwin Spencer were not lawful because of late starts.

    We will have to see what happens when the cases are heard on appeal!

  9. The People's Democratic Congress April 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    The case in Antigua and Barbuda where High Court Judge, Ms Louise Blenman, recently annulled the electoral results in three constituency elections in the March, 2009 General Elections in that country, is one case in which many peoples within the English Speaking Caribbean, must and ought see, or for that matter ought continue to see, the matter of legal recourse to their own local High Courts, or to whatever other relevant tribunals ( in the respective legal jurisdictions ), as a fundamental axiomatic legal, constitutional, moral and equitable right of theirs as part of a wider political legitimate dispensation and process that has been established within a system of the rule of law and natural justice anywhere within the region; and furthermore as a right that is being exercised on the basis of an intention to properly settle many issues and disputes surrounding many national or bi-election electoral outcomes in the relevant Courts or tribunals in their respective countries.

    Indeed, this is one and the only set of principal arguments and vindications – out of lesser ones – that can be introjected in this legal case in Antigua and Barbuda – where the Antigua Labour Party (ALP)would have some time ago brought applications in the High Courts of Antigua and Barbuda against the United People’s Party (UPP) questioning – under S. 44 SS 1(a) and 2(a) of the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution – the then membership in the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda of four members who were elected to duly serve four constitutencies in constituency elections that arose out of the 2009 General election on the grounds that there were, et al, undue influence and non-compliant breaches in certain electoral laws in those contests.

    Well, the fact too is that in relationship to this case – the United People’s Party – which would have realized three of its members’ seats having been declared invalid – has already successfully applied for, and got, a stay of execution until the 16 of April ( BarbadosToday – 1 April, 2010).

    Well, to be clear as to why there were three invalidations when there were four court challenges, the other membership of the House that was questioned – based on the same allegations, by the ALP, and this was in Barbuda, and which has been by Mr. Trevor Walker of the Barbuda Labour Movement, was however declared valid by Madame Justice Blenman.

    Having stated those facts, though, the PDC now turn its attention to some very disturbing, grevious and irresponsible comments attributed to one Peter Wickham, so-called political scientist, in the said BarbadosToday, where Wickham was reported to have stupidly summed up this case as being a part of a trend where some courts (in the said English speaking region ) are aggressive in directly confronting governments.

    Verily, such aforegoing comments are so unwise, insensate, careless and reckless to think of that when one looks at the fact that if one were to properly read into Justice Blenman’s ruling on the case, some of those same reported comments of Wickham in relation to this case, it would be more than certainly clear that Mr. Wickham would have improperly suggested to the greatly politically unread and great politically informed throughout the region, though, that these courts and the presiding officers were the ones who would have brought these cases against the governments and NOT the particular opposition parties.

    BUT THE FACTS ARE SUCH THAT THE PARTICULAR COURTS AND THE PARTICULAR JUDICIAL OFFICERS DID NOT BRING THESE PARTICULAR APPLICATIONS AGAINST THE PARTICULAR EXECUTIVE GOVERNMENTS, AND THEREFORE FOR HIM TO HAVE POSSIBLY MADE THOSE INAPPROPRIATE HYSTERICAL COMMENTS AND TO BE REPORTED AS SAYING SUCH IS TOTALLY REPREHENSIBLE AND REPROACHABLE.

    MR WICKHAM MUST BE TOLD BY THE PDC AND THOSE WHO ARE IN THE KNOW THAT THE COURTS WOULD HAVE BEEN MERELY SEEKING TO CARRY OUT THE CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES, ADJUDICATING IN SUCH CONTENTIOUS MATTERS, OR HAVE BEEN MERELY SEEKING TO AND OR HAVE BEEN APPLYING THE PARTICULAR LOCAL LAWS TO THE FACTS – ACTS OR OMISSIONS – IN THEIR RESPECTIVE JURISDICTIONS.

    Too, what is clear is that these courts – which are the ULTIMATE guardians of the respective national Constitutions – have also been basing these particular rulings on the facts, and have also been basing them in support of their adherence to rule of law and in support of their adherence to principles of natural justice. These rulings have NOT made based on any partial political grounds as Mr. Wickham so disgustingly suggests or imputes. And in some of these cases, bi-elections have already been held. And, therefore, in these cases where bi-elections would have been held or contemplated, say in Jamaica, it would have had to be seen that the decisions of the courts would have had to accepted and upheld by the parties concerned.

    So, clearly Mr. Wickham is being unfair and unreasonable and is so in making false reckless imputations against the character and integrities of those particular judicial officers.

    To add salt to the injuries, Mr. Wickham reportedly went on to state – in the same edition of the BarbadosToday – how, in this Antigua and Barbuda case, the message that was sent by the court was one – which was reinterpreted by BarbadosToday – as challenging the legitimacy of the Balwin Spencer Administration at the national level. Said Wickham: “As far as the individual constituencies are concerned, it has created the question of.. whether or not the the Prime Minister – who derives his power from parliament – can continue to function as prime minister if his seat has been declared null and void. And i think that is really the legal question that needs to be answered”

    What ignorance of the highest order for a so-called political scientist to be reported as saying. Indeed, it could not have been any more absolutely wrong headed and inaccurate than for him to express such. And, it was very fallacious too for this regionalist to argue such bunkum. For, the facts are that the Prime Minister in Antigua and Barbuda, or any where else where the prime minister is head of government in the English Speaking Caribbean, does NOT derive his power from Parliament, but from a specific and historic legalism and constitutionalism that has been created and maintained and practiced in the countries to allow for the office of Prime Minister to function in the governments and in the wider societies. In the Antigua and Barbuda Constitution, see that such centers around and is reinforced by S. 69 SS. (1), SS 2(a), or any other the applicable provision of sub-section 2 -And in the Barbados Constitution see that it is S. 65 SS. (1) alone around which such is centered and reinforced.

    Take careful note too that the Antiguan and Barbudan Constitution clearly states in the first of three possible conditions under which a prime minister is chosen by the Governor General, that the person who becomes prime minister must be a member of the House who is the LEADER in the House of the political party that commands the support of the majority in the House, whereas the Barbados Document states in the one and only instance that it deals with such a matter that it is the person who in the Governor General’s judgement is best able to command the confidence of a majority of members of that House.

    Any how back to Wickham, in the context of regional prime ministerial politics the Prime Minister only becomes prime minister because he is the person who in the eyes of the Governor General is the person who ( through out his tenure) is best able to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Assembly ( NOT THE PARLIAMENT, and yet still does NOT do any thing ( through out his tenure ) to the extent that would lead to his prime ministership being revoked by the Governor General – or any thing that helps cause him to lose the confidence of the majority – or any thing that HELPS CAUSE HIM TO BE NOT a member of the House of Assembly, et al. What Wickham must realize too is that the House of Assembly is NOT the Parliament – which itself does include the Senate.

    So, contrary to the foolish nonsense that Wickham is suggesting that the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda must be viewed as an elected position (via the last of the above two comments), the position or office of Prime Minister has NOT been suspended, nullified or voided, NOR has it been legally constitutionally affected by the decisions of Justice Blenman, and could NEVER have been, but it is the electoral process which help caused Spencer to be elected into the House – as an elected parliamentarian – that has been successfully and rightly challenged – as proved by the rulings of Justice Blenman – and NOT the Office of Prime Minister or the Prime Minister himself.

    Too, the questioning of the membership of the Antigua and Barbuda House could NOT have gone forth to the Prime Minister nor his office nor addressed to the Prime Minister or his office, and therefore could not have possibly been subject to the rulings of the Justice Blenman, simply because Mr. Spencer – as Prime Minister – is NOT elected to the role of Prime Minister in that country. Simple as that!!

    Also, for him to be reported to be saying that because Mr. Spencer is an elected House member and Prime Minister at the same time too, and that because his seat would have been declared null and void, and that the latter created a problem for the prime minister in the context of national governance and which for him (Wickham) would have meant that there was a political problem that would have had to be answered, shows clearly that Wickham is totally confusing the person with the main roles he plays at the same time – in this regard, as a parliamentarian and prime minister, and with the political governmental significances of these two roles in relationship to party politics and party government , by his using a very narrow backward relativist approach rather than using an broader informed absolutist approach.

    Penultimately, while we have just stated such positions, and in the way how we did on this Antigua and Barbuda situation, such does NOT mean that we in the PDC do NOT realize that there is a great need for fundamental changes to the Constitutions of the countries of the English speaking Caribbeam to make them more suited to modern times and circumstances. For, we in the PDC know that in Barbados and other parts of this said sub-region, such changes for better are absolutely and direly needed more than ever before as we seek to move ahead in this 21 st Century. Hence, it is totally unacceptable and disgraceful that in Barbados, in Antigua and Barbuda and in the other English Speaking Terruitories where this is done – one still sees disgusting situations where Ministers are still Members of Parliaments/Legislatures which are themselves FAR FAR FROM BEING representative, numerically speaking, and FAR FAR FROM BEING representative politically speaking of the people, and wherefore only a few are able to debate and pass legislation in their respective countries.

    These are the kinds of issues that the majority of our peoples within this subregion ought to be seriously looking at – with a view to fundamentally reforming rebalancing – and ought to be looking at too with regard to the fact that so-called pollsters like Mr. Peter Wickham and certain sections of the media in our sub-region are whenever so-called national public opinion polls are done, findings produced, and aspects of which are published in those particular sections of the media, are so doing these things in the contexts whereby there are despicable violations in the principles of free and fair elections being held in these countries, where there is an enormous amount of undue influencing of of the way how voters vote or dont vote as a direct result of or on account of some of the so-called poll findings that are released and published in these countries.

    Surely, Mr. Wickham and the relevant other regional pollsters and some of their polling tactics must be critically looked at by the majority of peoples in this sub-region with a view to bringing them to heel for continuing to do untold damage to the voting process.

    PDC

  10. James April 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Well it seems as though today is the day for Trinidad & Tobago! The date is yet to be announced. I understand that he has 90 days to say when – This should be very interesting.

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