Another party?

Wickham and Belle differ with Eversley on need for third alternative

The time is ripe for a third political force in Barbados, argued one local political strategist today.

However, Reudon Eversley’s assessment did not get the backing of his colleagues Dr George Belle and Peter Wickham, who said the idea still had not taken root.

Reudon Eversley
Reudon Eversley
George Belle
George Belle
Peter wickham
Peter Wickham

In explaining his position, Eversley, who played an integral role in the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) successful 2008 campaign, led by the late Prime Minister David Thompson, noted that 40 per cent of the electorate had stayed away from the polls at the last general election held on February 21, 2013.

He said this was firm evidence of the growing disenchantment with both the DLP administration and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), while arguing strongly that Barbadians were now more receptive to the idea of an alternative political party.

“There are Barbadians who will argue that Barbados is a two party country. I do not necessarily buy that,” said Eversley in an interview with Barbados TODAY in which he made reference to failed past efforts at forging a third party on the island.

“Third parties fail for a variety of reasons,” he said, noting that “Sir Richard Haynes’ National Democratic Party, while it showed promise, people saw him as power hungry and they felt that when he broke from the DLP basically he wanted to be Prime Minister”.

He also pointed to Sir Frank Alleyne’s People’ Democratic Party and Eric Sealy’s People’s Pressure Movement, saying “nothing much came out” of either effort.

However, he noted that when the DLP was formed in 1956, it could have been considered a third party, but in five years they were able to form the government, a development which he credits to the late Sir Cameron Tudor.

“Any third party that comes on the scene and is supported by effective political marketing, branding, positioning, all the techniques that have been effectively used to market goods and services can be used for a political party,” he contended.

“ At the end of the day, a political party is providing solutions to needs. When people go to vote, they go to fulfill needs, in the same way that when you go to buy detergent, you buy it to satisfy a need.

“Some people need to accept that the nature of politics has changed. The issue of loyalty to party is disappearing. My generation will probably be the last that will vote consistently to either D or B. Young people today are more inclined to vote for a party based on what it can do for them in terms of meeting their needs. That is the new dynamics not only in Barbados but globally,” the political scientist added.

Following the resignation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur from the BLP on Friday, Eversley painted a bleak picture of local politics today, saying, “increasingly, as I move around this country, I find Barbadians are becoming more receptive to the idea of a third party.

“They are disappointed with both political parties, but more so the Democratic Labour Party,” said Eversley, who recently severed ties with the DLP.

“I think that if a new party can emerge and it comes with an agenda that can really capture the imagination of Barbadians, especially the middle class, I think it can be a success,” he told Barbados TODAY.

However, reacting to Eversley’s observation, Belle, said: “The history of third parties in Barbados for most of the modern period, but particularly post independence,                  is not good.

“Even if you go back to the 1940s, the last competitive third party would have been Wynter Crawford’s party and then that succumbed by the late 40s and he eventually carried his forces into the Democratic Labour Party when it was formed.

“The problem with a third party is that it is going against the natural division with a population between two major parties. A two party system is defined on that basis. It may sound theoretical, but it is grounded in human behaviour. It is not that you have only two parties, it is that one of two parties is likely to form the next government. That is how a two-party system is defined. Therefore, for a third party to be viable it has to become one of those two parties. Unless you can take the base of one of those parties in place, you are not going to to do it,” Belle added.

Also addressing the possibility of a third party surviving in Barbados, political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham said: “I basically do not agree with the third party talk. While I do agree that 40 per cent of the electorate did not vote in theory, in practice, you appreciate that the voter turnout was a lot higher than it appeared to be.

“The other reality is that in order for a third party to fly, it has to be able to capture a substantially amount of support for it to stay intact and Richie Haynes demonstrated that that was not possible.

“The voter turnout now in Barbados was not the lowest. It has been lower before and the environment was not right for a third party. While I think that it is a great idea, it is likely to do what third parties do across the region – capture 20 per cent of the electorate and 20 per cent is not going to be sufficient to make it work,” Wickham added.


13 Responses to Another party?

  1. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole July 29, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Who will be the third party? Martians? If not it be the same old people moving to a different spot.

  2. Peter Buckley
    Peter Buckley July 29, 2014 at 7:00 am

    If it encourages the populace to think before they vote, thereby forcing the politicians to think before they speak and lead instead of just cruising through life on the public dollar, then it’s a good thing.

  3. Arther Lashley July 29, 2014 at 7:32 am

    WHY so you think OWEN resigned??
    For his health!!??

    He will BE that NEW party.

  4. Steve Crawford
    Steve Crawford July 29, 2014 at 7:57 am

    …behavior is learned either through genetics or via observations. Political behaviors are learnt via observations, therefore, they can be modified.

  5. Prince Nick
    Prince Nick July 29, 2014 at 8:16 am

    a third party will not survive in Barbados al la third party will be is another overshoot of one of the 2 major parties soo nope

  6. Nicksie No Regrets Clarke
    Nicksie No Regrets Clarke July 29, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Another party to do what? Stupppzzzz

  7. Fabian Dottin
    Fabian Dottin July 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

    All distractions from dealing wid Barbados’s real problems

  8. jr smith July 29, 2014 at 10:10 am

    It seems these days ,people on the soap boxes ,say things make comments , rude remarks and are not really concern for the future and people of Barbados.
    Another political party, really. Bajans are not even very proud as they used to be about our present political structure.
    A political wind of change must be made , we need more grass root politicians, we need honest down to earth people.
    Bajan politics is stuck in a void, people seems just to wanting to be premadonnas, forgetting the tens of thousands of people who have voted for them, did so because they may have thought at the time, somthing good may come about, but what merits they used to cast they votes.
    Today a lot is finding life very challenging,very depressing and lost the pride and strenght of being bajan and proud.
    We need to regroup, focus , stop being selfish, be christian minded and not only religious. we need the effort which our late generations had pool together to bring us where we are today, we must reward our history.

  9. Jackie Alleyne July 29, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Perhaps there should be! A party that considers the needs and views and opinions of the citizens of the country whose money is paid in taxes but are NOT considered in ANY decision-making, only to be USED – it strikes me as being archaic and feels like history repeating itself.

  10. Rusty Ralph
    Rusty Ralph July 29, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    New party definitely needed. These two are taking the country backward and forward to nowhere, while they try to win elections and secure parliamentary pensions. New party needed to privatize Statutory Corporations and take that weight off the taxpayers backs. New party needed to restructure the civil service and make ALL public jobs 3yr contracts, renewed by favorable appraisal. New party needed to clean up the corruption and inefficiencies which the Auditor General uncovers EVERY year.

  11. Luisan Rogers
    Luisan Rogers July 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I always think before I vote….I think my vote makes not an iota of difference as to what any politician is actually going to do when they are in power. Will a third party really make a difference? Don’t think so.

  12. Patrick Blackman July 31, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    How could anyone listen to Peter Wickham, this idiot spied on his country for the USA, he has no credibility whatsoever.

  13. Rosita Broome August 17, 2014 at 9:30 am

    We have a third Political Party the PEP. Yes I agree we need another political party. Why is this? Because these two parties are not in touch with the needs of the people. I said before, we need to train our politician s before they are elected. We vote for people who have no idea about the job he or she has taken up. They spend 5 years in trial and error and then we put them back in for another 5 years. Madness! I say the next party can institute this and also look at changing the Constitution. The criteria for a good politician is… number 1. He must be a people’s person. 2. He must
    understand how to manage and mobilize people . 3. He must have Christian principles.. integrity and morals. 4. He must be grassroots in thinking, so he understands the needs of the ordinary citizen. 5. He must be creative and innovative in his thinking. 6. He must be an excellent orator and very knowledgeable about his craft. 7. He must be willing to put the needs of his constituents first and always goes the extra mile. He must be a great listener. 8. He must be a SOCIALIST, simple. The He there also means SHe, folks.


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