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Surprise, surprise!

Two political scientists have expressed support for the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP)’s plan to table a vote of no confidence in the Freundel Stuart administration, while stating that the Prime Minister’s response had come as no surprise.

“You would expect that the Government would wish to dismiss it and we saw what happen on one occasion where they simply did not respond, but that is something that you would have to take the risk of if you are in Opposition. So, the dismissal by the Government is not anything to be unexpected,” said former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus Dr George Belle, who believes the reasons given last week by Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley for filing the motion were valid.

“She has said that it’s to expose the weaknesses of the Government and to force a debate or force discourse and discussion on the exposed weaknesses and that is quite a legitimate method in Parliament to use. So, on those grounds I feel that there is nothing wrong with the calling of the no confidence vote,” Dr Belle said.

“The whole of Barbados is complaining about water woes, complaining about not getting back their income tax, they are complaining about free education being taken away from them, they have been complaining for almost eight years and it has gotten intensely worse.

“They are criticizing the Government when they say that they are going to do certain things and don’t deliver; they are worried about the fact that the Government laid off 3,000 people  . . . and that there have been 11 downgrades. Is that [reason enough] to say whether there is anything to expose?” Belle asked.

While lamenting the fact that the BLP did not have a parliamentary majority, Dr Belle said the method used to highlight the challenges facing the country was effective, though he acknowledged that the no confidence motion might come up against a brick wall. However, he explained there was no right time for such a vote, saying it all depended on whether the Opposition believed it had a case against the governing party.

Nonetheless, Dr Belle said the ultimate decision would be based on “the commonsense” of Barbadians since “it is only in exceptional cases, as had happened with [former Prime Minister Erskine] Sandiford, that a no confidence vote is going to bring down a Government”.

Addressing the monthly meeting of his St Michael South branch at the Bay Primary School on Sunday night, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said he was not unnerved by “all of the noise” about the no confidence motion.

“This is the third no confidence motion that is being brought by the Leader of the Opposition since the DLP came into office. The first was brought against the late David Thompson, one was brought against Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and this is the third one now,” he said, while charging that the motion had more to do with Mottley’s fear of the outcome of the BLP’s internal elections for a new executive of the party in October than with his Government’s performance.

In response, Belle said the Prime Minister’s theory would have to be proven.

“If that is the truth so then he would have made a point,” Belle added.

However, his former UWI colleague Peter Wickham has questioned Stuart’s reasoning on the matter.

“It’s what you call a non-sequitur,” Wickham told Barbados TODAY, arguing that “fundamentally the vote of a no confidence is about issues that have been put on the table in relation to his Government’s management of the affairs of the State. Whether or not Ms Mottley can or cannot be elected as chairman of the Barbados Labour Party has noting to do with that, because whether or not the matter is successful she still cannot be elected,” he said.

Wickham, who is also a regional pollster, also said he was anxious to have the no confidence motion debated in Parliament because answers were needed on a number of social and economic issues that have been put on the table.

“I think that it is time for us to hear something different . . . . We are interested to know what is the solution as opposed to a constant reiteration that the Opposition is going wrong,” he told Barbados TODAY, while suggesting that the Prime Minister’s reaction was consistent with his general attitude to such matters. (FW)

8 Responses to Surprise, surprise!

  1. BaJan boy April 13, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Mia earned her current position and is the only member of the current who is clearly the correct choice to lead the party into the next elections if the BLP want to win. Freundel PM by default continues true to form and bajans will not forget him and his condescending bunch. In Mia’s absence can any one truthfully say who will lead them into an election with any chance of winning. The real clown the hat also continues true to form as he never supported nor Cooperated with Owen as PM neither. He lead the coup simply because he figured if he did he would have gotten a high profile Ministry had the B’s win. The BLP will be committing political suicide and would be real political clowns according to one of the biggest political clowns Blackett to ever enter Parliament if they push Mia aside. In fact that is exactly what Freundel Stuart want in order to get another life.

  2. Carson C Cadogan April 13, 2016 at 7:41 am

    As expected.

  3. harry turnover April 13, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Mia wants a debate…..” the Prime Minister’s reaction was consistent with his general attitude to such matters.” says Wickham …the #1 Political Polster in the Caribbean…yet he agrees with Mia.
    If that is so Peter,why do you think that the PM will change his attitude and debate it in such a way to enable the BLP to gain some Political points ?
    One thing I am not clear about..if a no confidence is tabled MUST IT BE DEBATED or can things be manipulated so that it cannot be debated ?

  4. Donna Harewood April 13, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Carson C Cadogan, as expected from you also. Do you have a patent on yardfowlism?

  5. jrsmith April 13, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I am fed up with title people who plays no real part in the economic future of Barbados ,jumps on the media soap box to announce themselves as people who knows best..

    Barbados’s problem isn’t yesterday it started 3 decades ago, so both the (DLP) and ( BLP) is to be blame , then the voters they fault because they allowed the game play as to vote for the party and not the capabilities of the elected (MPs ) , then come the selection of ministers , a group of people selected as like to build a house most of whom are painters .

    The politicians fail the management fail , the management fail because who is employed to manage have no idea how to, because they are not experience or qualified to do and is only employed because they are party faithful. the whole political infrastructure is non productive and top heavy, people are expecting too much from nothing..

    Would the vote of no confidence fail or be successful, what difference would it make, MIA is the only real experience politician we have in Barbados as a member of ,a party and a lot of bajans would share the fact she would be a fantastic Priminister.,

    My last vote for the Dems was because of our late leader ( David Thompson)since his passing nothing has happen in Barbados to be proud of , My bet is for Mia …if this said vote of no confidence was part of the parities constitution, where the individuals could be removed from office after the vote of no confidence by the constituencies, this then would play a very successful part to how the individual MP the people who voted for them..

  6. dave April 13, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I am told that all Mia Mottley doing is helping the DLP. This action is just allowing the DLP to galvanize . She is giving them practice. Maybe she wants to help them , somebody says that she may have helped them before by campaigning against some candidates in the BLP -2008

  7. Sherlock Holmes. April 13, 2016 at 11:52 pm

    As former Prime minister Arthur stated Mia Mottley listens to Peter Wickham the two poll man and that is evidently her greatest problem.

  8. Sherlock Holmes. April 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Bajan boy you are letting this thing known as politics really get to you if things do not go the way you anticipate you probably will do some thing very drastic,maybe even to yourself,you need to stop taking things political so serious,there are always failings with mankind and being constantly disrespectful in this forum shows that you are losing it, lighten up and be mindful of your postings.


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