Out of their mouths they shall condemn themselves.
There is a new song in Barbados – “They Buy Votes”; and the Mighty BLP and Lord DLP both staking claim to the song.
When it was first aired I really thought it was the blooming of the sour grape which would later show its tartness just in case a particular party did not win. But both parties seemed brimming with confidence that they would be walking up the steps of Parliament as victors.
Nonetheless, the stories that have surfaced over the past week have not surprised me in any way at all and I am seriously wondering, what is the big deal, since allegations have been levelled against both parties.
Somewhere in the back of my mind is something about integrity legislation. Hmm
But money was passed; is that really an issue?
I hear people talking about tainting the democratic process and all that jazz. Really?
I see it as nothing more than a step up from corned beef and biscuits and white rum. People no longer have mauby taste, so they want their pockets to reflect that.
From where I sit, I see this simply as a showing or revelation of the society we are, where persons can grand stand and tell you how important it is to vote and dredge up the memory of our forefather and all the struggles that led to Adult Suffrage.
They stress how it is our right and our responsibility to vote and participate in the democratic process that some still don’t enjoy. Some went as far as to say if you don’t vote then you should keep your mouth shut and don’t complain because you didn’t participate in the process – as if voting makes you a citizen.
And then on the day we can hear of people paying as much as $500 for persons to go and vote in their favour.
About $4,000 being snatched from one would-be politician who is now out of pocket four grand and still out of Parliament.
About the jeep that was parked outside the church with the young lady who was recording your identification number and giving you an envelope with $150 which some people did not want.
About the iPods and iPads that were distributed – I am not sure if Steve Jobs would have been pleased about his technology being distributed in this way.
About the money that was paid in certain constituencies by certain members of a particular party so their own colleagues would be ousted.
About the ones that got annoyed and cursed when they figured the cameras had captured them passing cash.
Then we are to respect these men and women and expect the most of them as they assume the high office of leading this country. It makes me wonder who else is buying their way into positions and who is being disadvantaged because they don’t have money.
By the way, it is my understanding that the giving and receiving of cash or anything else to sway or gain a vote is illegal.
But from a moral stand point, that is the life we live. We are a sinful, immoral bunch, quite hypocritical; a bold lot who are not afraid to engage in immorality openly. The reality is that we expect politicians to give us things. We put them in government because we believe they will do something for us. We are a society of “what’s in it for me?”
There are too many; particularly young people who see our political process as a waste of time and believe politicians can and will do nothing for them – so they are content to take the little spread and go and vote or promise to.
I really think we should get on with the job and stop wasting time. We had three weeks of campaigning and we when you think we would get back to the more serious issues we have already had a week of complaining.
Can anybody say what happened to the person caught photographing the ballot? If we are not going to take steps against what happened then we should just shut up and move on and stop airing our nasty linen in public.
Barbados enjoys the privilege of being the only Caribbean territory where no observers scrutinise our voting and other election practices. We go places as observers; nobody comes to keep us in check.
But now we are raising red flags and blowing whistles and drawing attention to ourselves like real hypocrites. Prior to the elections I heard people talking about dealing with the real issues. Unless I was in a coma, I did not hear those issues. I heard a lot of piffle and now I am hearing even more.
Let us stop the sanctimonious grand standing and get on with healing, and leading and transforming that was promised.