Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Election time musings #3


A lot of this is old news because I’ve been so busy.

Opinion #4:In Lil Rick and King Bubba’s jingle for the BLP, Lil Rick sings “Everybody come follow me.” Simple but strong words. Accident or deliberate action? Lil Rick has a huge youth and not so youth (you know what I mean) base. The message therefore could be quite impactful. The issue becomes whether the people who actually FOLLOW Lil Rick will come out and vote. Some will of course but how many I’m not sure. Might take Lil Rick turning up at the house and signing some autographs and drinking some Mackesons and driving them to the polling station. Stereotypical and maybe unfair of me I know but it’s food for thought.

Opinion #5 : This was in the newspapers a while ago and I’d noticed it even before that. The DLP has opted to put the last names of their candidates first on posters: Surname First Name. The rationale is that placing them in this order eliminates confusion in the voting booth. Just a couple things...if that’s the case they should refer to the candidates verbally as Stuart Freundel etc...AND what happened to the comma? Stuart, Freundel is a lot easier on the challenged folks you are trying to target with this. Just suppose you didn’t know any of the candidates in the race, you could easily swear Patrick Todd for instance was really Todd Patrick as he has two first/last names. Just saying... 

Observation #9: The photos on campaign posters are supposed to be the most flattering, taken to enhance some visual quality of the candidate or create an impression. This could be a boyish face, a strong jaw line to inspire charm and leadership material respectively. Well I don’t know what happened with the former Minister of Education but I could only suppose he didn’t like his photos. As soon as the official ones went up, up next to them were some glamour shots against a blue and lilac background. Ain’t want nothing with him boh.

A questionable statement is one I don’t know where to begin with. It either makes NO sense or is such a non-starter I don’t know why the person bothered. So...

Questionable statement #1: The PM was quoted in one of the dailies as saying “St. Michael is a highly literate parish politically – this is not to say that other parishes are not so – but because people come to St. Michael every day, there is a flow of ideas in the parish that exists nowhere else.” O_o So much I could say and yet what do you say really?

Funny but not well publicised quote #1: Dennis Holder, the DLP candidate for St. Joseph. “...part the red sea. I will divide it in half and I will walk through and up the steps of Parliament.” It was funny to me because, well let me just say if he does walk up those steps after the election and not to the visitors’ section, I’ll have to eat my hat.

Observation #10: One of the newspapers carried a ‘talk to the man on the street’ kind of piece. People were interviewed about national issues of importance to them. Two 19 year olds were interviewed. One spoke of real issues, of course I can’t remember what now. The other however put this forward as an important issue to him: do something about the free bus fares because he is paying and can’t get a seat”. You see how life sweet in Barbados??? That is his issue? He wants flogging. Although that also counts as Questionable Statement #2.

Observation #11: Apostle Lynroy Scantlebury, running in St. Peter, went to pay his deposit with bodyguards. Ummm, hmmm, ok. Why? I’d like him to say why.

Opinion #6: Much has been said over the years of the need for a third party in Barbadian politics. My two cents worth: for that notion to come near to succeeding, you’d have to have a schism in both parties and the breakaway factions coming together to form that third party. Otherwise I don’t see it happening.

Questionable Statement #3: The BLP ran an ad highlighting faults of the PM if my memory serves me correctly. Anyway, it was directed at the DLP. The ad listed as one of the faults constant references to pagan gods Morpheus and Janus. Please see above for what a questionable statement is. Did they really run that as an ad? Reference to pagan gods from a learned man very much into the classics means what? In fact let me stop. I’m going against my good judgement in trying to rationalise that one.

Opinion #7: The PM made some comments about young people running for the first time for office. Force ripe, not knowing anything about the party, wanting to put something on their CV, all of that was mentioned. This stance annoys me, no matter where it comes from. I agree young people should take the time to learn, do some ground work, gain some experience but that a big hard back person over the age of 30 (arbitrary age) shouldn’t run for political office because they’re not old? So only older people have something to offer? If I ran for the first time at 62 that would be ok? NONSENSE. I’m saying it here, I would do a better job as a politician and/or government minister than half the current batch of candidates and I’m not even 30 yet.

Observation #12: And to end on a light note, the Nation newspaper is encouraging people to vote for “the most ...” politician. One of the categories is the sexiest politician. Let’s just say I’m still laughing from when I read that this morning.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Election time musings #2

Observation #6: The DLP has started putting up posters. Saw my first ones in my neighbourhood on Saturday afternoon. Left home just after 4 p.m. and saw BLP and DLP posters living in harmony. Came back at 5.30 p.m. and the BLP posters were torn down. Poor Lynette Eastmond was there being run over. Now this is a common occurrence and EVERYBODY knows it's wrong. I'm not even going to go on about that. What I will say is this. I would think the proverbial "right" reason to tear down posters would be out of sight, out of mind. If I was doing it therefore I'd be taking the evidence with me. Just tearing them down and leaving the scraps on the ground is small minded and spiteful and might actually offend. THINK people!!

Observation #7: The BLP held its mass fete, sorry rally, last night. People like bush. So imagine my confusion to see the ad in today's newspaper for the campaign launch coming up on Monday. Why not "launch" at the fete, sorry rally?

Observation #8: Somebody has a lot of money and isn't afraid to give it to the BLP to spend. The DLP might have a lot too but to date it isn't being spent visibly. I'm not that familiar with the rules on campaign funding in Barbados. I found the following link which confirms what we all know, the rules are broken every campaign cycle. Fact #2: http://theaceo.com/mc-page.php?page=47

Fact #3: For ease of reference, here are the schedules of political meetings.
http://www.dlpbarbados.org/site/newsroom/events-calendar/
http://blp.org.bb/calendar

Friday, February 01, 2013

Election time musings

Election time in Barbados is almost like Christmas for me. It's a short season, with a special feel in the air that takes over the whole country (save the grinches). This time around, we've had a somewhat extended season and like too much Christmas music, it's getting old quick but more on that another time. It's like Christmas because I'm a political science student and the subject is my first love.

I thought I'd take the time over the next three weeks to record my thoughts, observations, interesting facts. Perhaps not my thoughts/opinions on issues of substance because election time is also aptly known as the silly season, and operatives and yardfowls are always trying to infer from people's comments what just isn't there. AND I'd like to stay employed no matter who wins...but we'll see.

**DISCLAIMERS**

  1. Anything I say is from a non-partisan position. No party is being endorsed here. If you do something well/poorly and I feel to highlight it, I will. 
  2. The only advice you will get from me about who you should vote for is as follows: Read the manifestos and vote with your interests and the well-being of Barbados in mind.
Feel free to comment, debate etc INTELLECTUALLY. but be civil and don't curse anyone. So I'll post as necessary and let me know if you have anything interesting to add.

Opinion #1: Ya MUST vote. I was in Sheraton Centre when the election date was announced. As I was paying for my item, the cashier was talking to the other one next to her. She said, "Oh, so that means I get two hours for lunch? I ain voting. I going in town to buy hair". Me: O_O. To be honest, how she said it was kind of funny. So being the believer in the system, I told her she should vote and let her voice be heard. She then told me that before she wasn't eligible to vote but now that she is, she doesn't plan to. No matter what I said, she just said "nope". Observation #1 here: a first time, seemingly intelligent young person refusing to vote. Indictment on the system? On the candidates? Why not vote?

Observation #2: The ringing of the bell was done via GIS press release. N.B. It caught my attention, probably like many others, before the opposition talked about it in the next day's papers. Little splash about it, but there was never a surprise element associated with the calling of the elections, so was more needed anyway? No opportunity for soundbites but note well these can help and harm you. Method or madness?

Observation #3: The opposition BLP was out the gate with haste with promotional material. The GIS press release on the date came out at approximately 5.20 p.m. on Tuesday and was carried on the 5.30 p.m. news (albeit the news was broken after midday that the PM was advising the Governor General to dissolve parliament). By 9.30 p.m., posters were up on poles and by 6 a.m. the next day, radio jingles were being played. the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race. Visibility doesn't necessarily translate into votes. All those things could apply here. As of today, Friday at 8 p.m., I haven't seen a DLP poster or heard a jingle. I have seen a newspaper ad. Again, method or madness?

Observation #4: Where de bus? Where de bus? Where de bus to town? Ask the BLP. The BLP bus went to town, to the Treasury building to be exact, to allow the 30 candidates to pay candidature deposits. Is this just a regular political tactic or a case of "thou doth protest too much"? What do I mean? The BLP has a perceived unity issue, so...let's go on a family picnic down to town? Which brings me to my next point...

Opinion #2: The PM said that Mia Mottley told him personally to call the elections in 2010 and surprise Owen Arthur. He then said Owen Arthur wrote him a note asking/begging him to take Ms. Mottley off his hands. IF the ALLEGATIONS are true, then Mottley and Arthur are two full fools.

Fact #1: The DLP has stated it has a four tiered approach to its campaign:
  1. Volunteers. Some 380 called in one day. Someone from a position of authority/knowledge please let me know if this is a positive statistic in the context of Barbados.
  2. Constituency offices.
  3. Campaign managers.
  4. A core team that decides the strategy, led by the party leader.
Opinion #3: Code of conduct=JOKES. And I mean jokes literally, not that the concept of a code is funny. Although...really that is true too. All this talk about codes and running a decent campaign, the jokes and casting aspersions done take over. People in red bodices and men at karaoke singing about once, twice, three times a lady....a slew of videos, need I say more? Jokes are a part of the Barbadian political landscape. Keep it relatively clean and the general populace won't have a problem with it. DO NOT insult our (certainly my) intelligence with codes of conduct and decent campaigns if you are not going to stick to it (which you haven't and you've just started).

Observation #5: Of fetes and bashment jingles. The new political paradigm?

That's it for now. More as the campaign unfolds.