The X stops here
Let me preface this article by stating that I am non partisan; that means I have no political alignment so my comments apply equally to both parties.
We are two weeks away from the elections and I’m as undecided as Yannick Hooper was this Crop-Over. The thing is, I’m not the only one; many people are saying that they really don’t know who to vote for.
To tell the truth when I look at the candidates, I can only see a handful (and a small hand at that) that I would want to run this country. In fact, I don’t know many of them. I don’t go to political meetings to hear the ranting and raving, so it’s possible that information has been distributed which give the bios of the candidates, but I have seen no such document.
What I’m interested in is what their claim to fame is, what successes they have had (and I’m not talking party successes), what they have done for the country and more importantly what they intend to do and how.
I am sick of hearing each party talk about what they did in the past and I am sick of hearing promises that are as empty as the Government’s coffers. The fact is the world is still in an economic crisis and Barbados is not exempt, so where will the money come from to make good on these platform promises?
Did we really expect the Government to reduce VAT to 15 per cent again when there is no money in the treasury? Can a party realistically say they will reduce unemployment if they get in or criticise the current administration for the high levels of unemployment when the private sector is sending home people and even developed countries are struggling with high unemployment?
So I really don’t know who to vote for. It might have helped if I’d seen the candidates for my constituency even once in the five years that I’ve been living here. Talking to them one on one may have given me a basis for voting but even that I don’t have. I know that parliamentarians can hardly walk through their constituency without someone asking them for something, so I can almost understand why I have not seen mine.
However, I don’t want anything from my representative other than to know what solutions he/she can bring to the community, what plans they have to help the people in need and whether they would like help to put together a group of volunteers who are willing to give back and work with them to serve the community and the country.
So you know who will get my vote? The person or the party (although I don’t really vote party) that can present a realistic picture of what they can do if they get in for the next five years. Not what they think we want to hear, but what is realistic and doable given the circumstances we are operating in.
The party that has a vision for the future which is not based on the way we used to do things but based on the recognition that Barbados needs to completely change its economic model and to pursue a digital economy which is in keeping with the trend in the developed world. Finally I would vote for a party that is as concerned about the spiritual condition of the nation as the economic condition.
We can abstain from voting, but then we would have no-one to blame but ourselves if the wrong party gets in, although as far as I’m concerned six is half a dozen. What would be a good thing, in my opinion, is if one of the independent candidates won a seat and the rest of the seats were split equally between the two parties. They would be forced to have a coalition government and then perhaps we could get the best of both parties running the country.
My definition of “best” is the person who has a proven track record in their field and who can bring something positive to the table, rather than being elected based on their ability to talk sweet and fool the masses.
So folks it is our civic responsibility to vote. All I would advise is that you ask God to lead you as you cast your vote. The X stops here, so make yours count.
* Donna Every is a Chartered Accountant and an MBA who worked with Ernst & Young for ten years before starting her own Business Advisory practice, Arise Consulting Inc. She has written four books including What Do You Have in Your House?, Surviving in Times of Financial Crisis and the newly released novel The Merger Mogul.