Balanced approach needed
As a political science student at the University of the West Indies my colleagues and I are often accused of being too quiet in our own political environment. We are seen as the students who should speak out and engage both Government and the public on pertinent issues affecting this country.
On February 21, 2013 Barbadians have been asked to choose between two distinct messages from the two largest political parties in this country. Findings from my own objective analysis revealed the Democratic Labour Party has developed a model of policy which focuses on the element of the economy but also that of a society; while concurrently the Barbados Labour Party focuses more on developing economic policy.
The debates on the economy have been many, with terms such as privatisation, job losses and deficits being thrown into the public domain for Barbadians to form their own opinions in hope that they vote for one colour or the other.
Firstly, let me state that it is my belief that Barbados needs a balanced approach to ensure that our economy remains stable, but our social services are not affected. While increased growth is admirable, most of all I fear the devaluation of our dollar or defaulting on our loans and obligations.
Regardless of political affiliation, one thing we must admit is the fact that Barbados has done well managing the global economic recession. As a people we must understand the greater good, the importance of weathering the storm until the sunshine returns.
Moreover, there are some critical statements which must be made in 2013 if we are to grow as a country. For instance, privatisation cannot be seen as a panacea for issues of public spending. What we must do is to better manage state-owned assets in an attempt to increase productivity, but also extend this approach to change the attitudes of our work force so they too understand the public sector is a part of something much bigger.
The content of the messages at this moment will only frustrate thinking Barbadians. Attacks on both the living and dead, also attacks on creditability and sexuality will descend from platforms all around this country, because the real issues will only be addressed after the delivery of the manifestos.
At that moment we must question the promises and sift through the impossible to choose the party which has the best vision. Certainly now is not the time for hasty leadership, now is the time for critical thinkers and innovative minds. The shelf life of policy in this country is determined by the party we elect to govern, whether it has benefited Barbados or not — they decide what will be.
In closing, I want to urge Barbadians to pursue from our politicians what we need rather than what they decide to give us. Many have been asking for national debates but at the end of the day once more we are told what we will get. Vote for sober leadership and above all vote for us as a people not for a politician to power.
— Dan Foster