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New Look Parliament Website

29 Mar

Good news! The Parliament of Barbados has revamped its website to a more modern look and feel. In addition it now carries videos of the various presentations by members. Member of the public will also be able to see the parliamentary sessions live on the site.

The website strikes a stinging contrast with the behaviour of some members of the house in recent times. We know that the editors of the video must have had their work cut out for them!

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Allegiance Review

27 Mar

Allegiance promotes the principle of transparency and accountability. It is within this context that we report to our readership on our progress. We started off with a great deal of interest in creating a forum for the expression of non-partisan views. In doing so we have been able to develop a small cadre of individuals that are committed to the cause of speaking in a political and yet non-partisan way. This has been encouraging. Our viewership has been growing steadily although as can be expected there are peaks and troughs. There are very few individuals that post comments however. In reviewing our site one would notice a steady decline.

We believe that contributions have nevertheless been of a very high quality and we believe that we have been able to learn from each other.

Amongst those that started out by participating in this exercise, few are willing to come forward and be identified. This has had a severe impact on the ability to move forward with other plans. This is symptomatic of the difficulties that civil society movements face in Barbados. We understand that politics is a rough game and many individuals prefer to remain hidden. We have explored in “Fear or Taking the Lazy Way Out” whether Barbadians are really afraid of victimisation or whether they just can not be bothered. This is still left to be seen. Whatever the reason one can not deny that there is a price to pay with the expertise in spin being honed in Barbados every day.

We have every intention to continue with our contribution to the debate in this nation and we would like to thank those who have contributed to this small movement. As we take stock on our position on the Internet and in Barbados politics we have resolved that we will continue. We have not forgotten our pledge to bring these discussions out in the open via a town hall meeting. The bottom line is that members do not have the will to do so at this time. We apologise. We will however press on as we are determined to make progress.

God Bless all of you at this Eastertime

Just how far does that privilege extend?

23 Mar

We agreed that part of our committment in setting up this site would be to keep an eye on developments in our Parliament especially the Lower House as this is where the elected representatives sit. Over the past few days there has been considerable commentary an incident which occurred in the precincts of Parliament at the core of which seemed to be the possession of a firearm.

The public has been waiting to hear from both sides of the political divide as to how this matter will be handled. The question has arisen as to whether the state through the Commissioner of Police has any role in the matter. If for example a gun were used in a threatening fashion, it would seem on the face of it to be a matter upon which at least a charge of assault could be laid.

Some have wondered if the police is in some way prevented from carrying out its responsibility in the same way that they would had this incident taken place on the “block” or elsewhere in Barbados. The answer would seem to be that there is nothing to prevent the law of the land from being enforced if there is enough evidence to support a charge. However it is also clear that if the victim of the assault fails to cooperate with the police that it would be difficult for any charge to be pursued successfully in a court of law.

If the Commissioner of Police will not take any action for the reasons discussed before, it would seem that the Speaker has a role in ensuring that the debates in Parliament can be conducted without any fear for one’s life. No doubt there are members of Parliament that would take the view that any action taken by the Speaker need not be shared with the public. What seems clear however is that there is a call from members of the public to know what actions are going to be taken.

Then we come to the Party leaders. If the parties are serious about the conduct of their members then they must ensure that there is a minimum standard. Engaging in assaults could certainly not amount to meeting a minimum standards. On this matter the Members of Parliament elected by the people of Barbados must determine how they will respond to this request for answers. At this juncture politicians stand to lose a great deal of respect from the people who have given them the privilege to serve.

Can we blame politicians?

15 Mar

There is an ongoing discussion about the behaviour of young people in our society. Well let us have some plain talk here. Anyone who takes public transportation or happen to be in the vicinity of secondary school children would tell you that they are shocked at the language used by some of our students.

Most recently we have sought to blame ZR drivers for the behaviour of the children. Yes there has been a view that some of these drivers, who are adults engage in sexual activity with our school children. This is only ever discussed informally – never at a formal level. In other countries they would be called paedophiles and locked up. Only a few of these cases ever reach the court. Some of us talk about it as if it were a joke.

We all know as well that there are many parents who go on school premises to “block”. They threaten teachers and in fact behave worse than any of the children. No doubt the teachers then think it best to withdraw any discipline that they might have sought to exercise over that child. It would be useful to have a discussion with anyone who has judged a pageant or a talent competition. Quite often some parents go back stage trying to find the judges to exact revenge for the “treatment” of their child.

And what of our leaders – not only political but those in the Church, business and elsewhere. Have they been setting a good example?

But since this is a political forum let us talk politicians. Those in the Lower House must know by now that many people consider their behaviour that often finds itself on the airwaves absolutely ridiculous. Whether they call it banter or repartee, it certainly sounds like bad behaviour no better than that in which the children engage. Well at least they do not break out into fist fights as is the case in some other countries.

One often wonders if politicians forget that cursing their opponents is carried for kilometres into the homes of many Barbadians for their children to hear. Then they come down off the platform, put on a suit and tell children that they must behave. Is this right? Everyone in the communities know by now that guys sitting on the block can be the beneficiaries of large sums of money for simply going to vote. Why would not a young girl or boy feel that they could put up what they have for sale as well?

Barbados is a small society and children over hear all the allegations about the unwholesome activity in which politicians engage and then we tell them that they must respect their leaders. What exactly are we telling our children – certainly they must be confused as to what is right and what is wrong.

Righting the Record on Political Parties

7 Mar

First of all, thanks for making mention of our party in your article. We hope that with the Almighty’s blessings; with the continued people-focussed activities of the members and associates of the PDC; and with the undying backing of the many supporters and friends of our party, that we shall be able to continue for many more years to come, doing as much as we can to make Barbados a brighter and better place in the forseeable future.

Anyhow, it is important that you have raised on this blog the issue of the functioning of “other existing parties” in Barbados in cases where there are no attempts on the part of mainstream media to even debate the presence of “other existing parties” in this country and to present an analysis of the history of many of these “now defunct and still existing other parties” that have been around in this country over the last 50 or so years. Clearly, these aspects of our politics are different from any discourse on here or elsewhere that highlights the PEP as having been given space in one of the newspapers to publish its views.

Also, we have to say that we abhor the terms, “third party”, or “third parties”, as well as the use of such terms, as types of idiomatic expression found within the political linguistics of the Barbadian society. For, they are vulgar forms of political expression. They do not even have any logic behind them whatsoever and seems to used mainly by lecturers in political science at the UWI, Cave Hill, tutors in political science at the BCC, many of the students in these academic disciplines, some within the traditional media and now this modern media.

But, outside of the fact that BA or whomsoever else has produced no set of theoretical scientific standards for determining or defining what is a third party, or what are third parties in the Barbadian context, there is still the reality of their being four parties that are already in existence in Barbados – which itself is a fact that cannot even be misrepresented or distorted by any body on the basis of whatever crude and/or false assumptions they make.

So, here we have this narrow view – which is really a very flawed misconception – of many people in Barbados asking for a third party when there are four in existence.

Nevertheless, the PDC sees your attempt to bring focus on other parties in Barbados as being good on face, even when we have got still to ask: how can this discourse on here properly start unless this thing about there being a need for a third party in Barbados is disabused of by the writer ( and without they reinforcing it on here)??? how??

Moreover, not setting out a strong theoretical conceptual frame work for your article, but at the same time filling it with many false suppositions and false generalizations and false contrasts makes it even more impossible for us to seriously enter into a discourse on these subjects esp. when you state “that THERE IS an argument that IF PEOPLE in Barbados ( how many) PERCEIVE there to be some kind of vacuum ( EITHER THERE IS OR THERE IS NOT – BUT WHAT KIND OF VACUUM?)that needs to be filled, it could not be filled by a thrid party created simply for that purpose ( LACK OF DEFINITION MAKES IT HARD TO SEE WHAT PURPOSE YOU COULD BE REFERRING TO HERE – YOUR ASSUMPTIONS OF THIS PURPOSE ARE NOT CLEAR HERE TOO). It is felt that a successful third party must have its own raison d’etre.”

Furthermore, you say, “many would say that these parties have failed to capture the imagination of the people and that it is argued that it is more likely that existing parties would transform themselves; than the emergence of a third party” – but the truth is that we can’t understand the latter part, for it seems incomplete. Unfortunately, therefore, we can’t really proceed as we would have liked in discussing that aspect.

However, we will venture to say this little bit to you, BA or whoever else this is, that it is not correctly fair to judge newer parties from the point of view that they are to be evaluated on the same terms and on the same basis as one would evaluate the two older dying parties – one against the each other. It surely is NOT fair!! Agree? But the PDC will develop further within its own trajectories and capabilities in spite of the fact that the DLP/BLP when in government steal from the relevant people, businesses and others and applies some of that loot to their own patron clientilish electioneering activities, the fact that so-called national political opinion polls are done by CADRES esp. that are grossly anti-democratic and unfair and biassed in their seeking to wrongly influence – through many sections of the mass mdia in Barbados – the minds of many voters as to how to vote or not in elections – and that therefore will be detrimental to the “other existing parties” chances of winning seats at the polls in this country, etc.

Certainly, these are the types of fundamental problems that BA and other relevant media should be condemn the DLP and BLP for and CADRES for, instead of trying to take away from the noble political efforts of the other existing parties at helping to improve the “lot”/the status of the Barbadian masses and middle classes.

Finally, what we in the PDC would like you all to do is to help further develop a culture of understanding and acceptance in Barbados that it is NOT the “other existing parties” that are systematically helping bring greater despondence and despair to many of the broad masses and middle classes in the country and greater destruction and destabilization of many of the affairs of this country, but that it is the DLP/BLP Governments that have been doing such for years and that in order to remove these types of DLP/BLP problems, there must be the removal of these joke parties from this political landscape, as well as alternatively the establishment of a thrust / movement in the country that seeks to attain objectives consistent with giving “other existing and future parties” with better ideas and programs than the DLP/BLP chances of accessing governmental office. PDC

A Third Party … …

5 Mar

No we are not talking about a fete! There is now talk in Barbados again about whether we need a thrid party. course this is often where the discourse goes when we are considering a new dialogue in the country.

Barbados of course has some experience with what can be described as third parties. In fact there are two that are functioning. We of course have the People’s Democratic Congress which is a regular contributor and truly seeks to bring an alternative form of Government. The People Empowerment Party is also another party that continues to be relevant in Barbados Politics. Before this we had the National Democratic Party. This party was born out of the Democratic Labour Party. There is also the Workers Party of Barbados which appeared to be radically different in terms of philosophy from the other parties.

One of the parties that was able to pull strong crowds was the People’s Pressure Movement but could not convert this into seats. Many that would say that these parties have failed to capture the imagination of the people. It is argued that it is more likely that existing parties would transform themselves; than the emergence of a third party.

There are countries where alternative parties have been successful in that they have been able to gain one or more seats in Parliament. There has been little evidence that there would be a good chance of this occurring in Barbados in the near term.

There is an argument that if people in Barbados perceive there to be some kind of vacuum that needs to be filled, it could not be filled by a thrid party created simply for that purpose. It is felt that a successful third party must have its own raison d’etre.

It would be surprising if a third party could emerge between now and the next election, but it is also said that two years is a long time in politics!

We would love to get some more insight into these “third parties”, their history and the impact that they had or are having on the Barbados landscape.

Are we in a political crisis?

17 Feb

Senator Evan Bayh

Possible parallels between the USA Congress and the Barbados Parliament

Below is the top half of a news story from Yahoo.com News, on the 17 th, February, 2010, which the PDC thinks is very interesting. It shows why some of what we have been saying about the DLP and BLP in Barbados, must be addressed. The majority of Barbadian voters must give these two old corrupt stupid traditional parties “the greatest shocks in their lives” – by voting them to hell out of the parliament of this country – within the next two elections. They do not have the Barbadian people and public first and foremost in their minds. They have themselves, many of their families, friends, businesses, and foreign interests first; and thus unforgivable relegating the Barbadian people and public to very low rankings in their respective political registers.

Both Parties Failing the USA
Furthermore, what is noteworthy about this particular news story is that some of the feelings and facts that the PDC has related to DLP and BLP misrule over the last 25 years or so, can be read into the alleged frustrations and anxieties of retiring Sen. Evan Bayh of the US Senate concerning the general failing performances of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the USA – although he has stopped short of asking voters to throw both those parties out of the Congress – he is reported to have said that “the American people needed to deliver a shock to Congress BY VOTING INCUMBENTS OUT EN MASSE AND REPLACING THEM WITH PEOPLE INTERESTED IN REFORMING THE PROCESS AND GOVERNING FOR THE GOOD OF THE PEOPLE, RATHER THAN DEEP-POCKETED SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.”

Sen. Bayh’s stance to retire and NOT seek a third term in the Senate seems to be saying at least two major things:

1) that President Obama’s many attempts at bi-partisanship politics and to rein in political lobbying – although well intentioned – have both been in vain or have failed – owing to an extreme partisan political culture, with its pock marked political finance campaign and reelection emphases;

2) That he is sick and tired with outright partisan political behaviour on the part of the US Congress, behaviour which can only be helped reformed by the majority of American voters and by strong reformist national political leadership – which President Obama has so far failed to exhibit.

Looking at Alternatives
So, as we leave you with this bit of news, we want you also to just remember that for love of country, we must get the rid of the DLP and BLP in this country, being very mindful of the fact that as many patriotic politically conscious Barbadians as possible must NEVER NEVER persist with the terrible blunder that our immediate parents, uncles, aunts, friends, and acquaintances, did make in the 70s and 80s, which was to allow both the DLP and BLP to overstay their time in our political environment and for them to be ever so often conspiring with many deep pocketed special interest groups in Barbados against the best interests of the Barbadian people and public – and, now, look what horrific attacks we – the broad masses and middle classes – are often times getting from these bandits.

The Following is the News Report

“Disillusioned Bayh advocates electoral “shock” to broken system

In an interview on MSNBC this morning, newly retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared the American political system “dysfunctional,” riddled with “brain-dead partisanship” and permanent campaigning. Flatly denying any possibility that he’d seek the presidency or any other higher office, Bayh argued that the American people needed to deliver a “shock” to Congress by voting incumbents out en masse and replacing them with people interested in reforming the process and governing for the good of the people, rather than deep-pocketed special-interest groups.

Bayh’s announcement stunned the American political world, as up until just last week he looked to be well on his way to an easy reelection for a third term in the Senate, and his senior staff was aggressively pursuing that goal.

But Bayh had apparently become increasingly frustrated in the Senate. In this morning’s interview he noted that just two weeks ago, Republicans who had co-sponsored a bill with him to rein in the deficit turned around and voted against it for purely political reasons. He also stated repeatedly that members of his own party should be more willing to settle for a compromise rather than holding out for perfection.

“Sometimes half a loaf is better than none,” Bayh insisted.

It’s no secret that the Senate has struggled to take action this year. With the two major parties unusually far apart in their substantive proposals for the direction of the country, even finding half a loaf to agree on has been difficult. Though the Democrats have had a substantial majority in the Senate for the last year, Republicans have escalated their threats to use filibusters (by forcing a cloture vote, see the graph below) to force Democrats to come up with 60 votes to pass any major legislation. And after Scott Brown’s election to the Senate last month gave Republicans a 41st seat, health-care reform and other Democratic goals were stopped dead in their tracks.”

Taken from Yahoo.Com News, Wednesday, 17 th January, 2010.

PDC