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Working at our expense

I have been doing my best to figure out something in regards to the people who we cast our votes to have elected to help fight our causes.

Maybe I can get some help from one of you kind and understanding folks in Barbados, or in any part of the world that reads the Barbados Today.

We go to the polls whenever there is an election, and vote for the person who we feel will have our best interest at heart. Not only through our feelings for this person, but also from what the person states that they are willing to do to help us to gain a better quality of life. Oh, and by the way, this is about all the different elected officials, Republicans, Democrats, or whoever.

Please allow me to make it clear that I am not in Barbados, I am in the US and not picking on any political folks in Barbados. And I am also sure that there are many US readers who might jump on this chance to help me to understand this situation I am about to present to you.

We elect the person that we believe will help us. That person wins the election, and is now our representative.

These elected officials, who by the way happens to be working for the people, have everything going in their favour from day one. They can come together without you or I having any say, and give themselves a raise of pay. But meanwhile we are killing ourselves every day for so much less than they are working for, and hoping that the company will give us a raise for the work that we do faithfully each day we show up.

They can have all-expenses-paid vacations, fly first class, drive an expensive car which mostly is furnished by us for them – although we have no say in the matter. Most of them make being in politics a way of life; honestly, not because of our interests, but because of the rewards that the position creates for them.

I think that they should all be allowed a standard amount of time in office, and not allowed to continue at our expense.

Here in the US, anyone who’s running for office has to declare what they have from day one. This way you’ll be able to keep track on how any of them might be able to become millionaires within a short, or long, period of time at the salaries they pay themselves from our tax dollars.

What I am having a problem understanding is, if these men and women are working for you and I, then how is it that we have no say in what they are paid?

And before I forget, they all have a pension plan, and medical coverage for the family. Can anyone be as so kind as to help me with this employee being able to pay his or herself along with all the perks?

I’m looking forward to an answer, and hoping that some of you reading this will ask yourselves these same questions.

— Charles Cadogan

One Response to Working at our expense

  1. Stephen Small-Warner (SSW) February 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Greetings Mr. Cadogan:

    I wish some Civics student in Barbados, a member of the Senior Retired Executives team, or an experienced Minister of Government had responded to this. I am not the best qualified person to respond to this message but here are some answers.

    Barbados’ political system is a democratic system, one vote one eligible qualified voting participant. Historically, it is primarily a two party system, one electoral “Party” being the Democratic Labor Party, the other, the Barbados Labor Party. Third Parties have been formed with relatively short lifespans; eventually failing to thrive. The thrust of the “Parties” is primarily to uplift the quality of life, work, education, business, civics, etc. not necessarily in that order, of and for the people of Barbados wholly, and within their constituency (the demographic area they represent), both individually and collectively, while in elective office…and when out of elective office in whatever capacity they can help their constituents.

    There is yet a system of free education at all levels, optional paid for schooling is accessible by those who care to pay. Free education, free health care, and other in-place social systems are becoming very challenging to maintain as free. Hence, there are debates by/on Barbados’ citizenry, and visitors from other Islands who come, being made to pay something for the services many now enjoy as/for free.

    While there are “perks” on being an elected officials, the local populace know the basic salaries and perks for elected officials, and are trying to institute a system where elected officials must declare their “assets” before holding electoral office. This effort is to defeat the the perception and/or reality of elected officials “stealing/thieving” to enrich themselves while in political office. Elected “Parties”/officials can be in office for a maximum of 5 years constitutionally derived as a “Term” in office before having to defend their electoral office and seek re-election. The Prime Minister of the ruling party, party in power, sets and calls the date of the next election.

    Pay scales are set for elected officials, same as “civil servants”, both being government employees. Guidelines exists for spending for all civil servants on travel, food, etc., while employed by government. Of course, the flexibility and oversight are handled at different levels of seniority, and with established processes for approval, disbursement and reimbursement of usage of public and private funds. Elected officials do not set their own salaries as such and are subject to much scrutiny by the populace, opposition party officials, et al, but may have several other ways to acquire additional monies, just as any other official may have in a democracy. The above said, the Barbados public enjoys a high literacy rate, historically and presently, and it’s citizens scattered all around the world are considered high quality people and excellent “employees”.

    In summary, Barbados boasts a very civilized people, high literacy rate, orderly changing of governments, many free social services, an attitude of “can do” by the populace and the formation of many social, civic minded and other organizations to ensure that the status-quo and quality of life keeps improving according to the needs of its people.

    I’ll wait for my “licks” on this submission, but I hope you’ve gotten some/most of the answers you seek and a better understanding on/of Barbados. Do google “Barbados” for more specific information or go to one of its Embassies/Consulate Offices in the USA and pick up some literature. And, do go/come visit and enjoy our well touted “paradise”; wonderful free beaches, helpful literate people, great duty-free shopping, quality accommodation, hotels, rooms, warm weather and sunshine and still to date, some of the most peaceful, educated youth and in general, people, on God’s earth!

    In attesting to the above, do know that I am a Barbados-American national (we’re allowed dual nationality; another great perk) living in the USA.


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