BLP quandary

Voters in St James Central not keen to go to the polls

A heightened sense of apathy appears to be pervading the constituency of St James Central, currently represented by Kerrie Symmonds of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), who won the seat in the 2013 general election by 2211 votes to 1990 for George Hutson of the governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP).

As Barbados TODAY continued its Pulse of the People series during a two-hour tour of the constituency, the team found that there was a serious lack of interest in voting for either the Mia Mottley-led BLP or DLP of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

Most of the people interviewed – several of whom did not hide their anger – said they were so disenchanted and frustrated at the state of affairs in the country, such as a lack of job opportunities, the high cost of living and the apparent disconnect between their representatives and them, that they were simply sick of politicians who only came around during election time.

Of particular note, the majority of supporters who usually voted for both major parties said they were undecided about voting, or who would get their votes.

In fact, the most intriguing declaration came from a Hoyte’s Village man, known only as George.

“I voted for a man . . . Symmonds, but he can’t get my vote again. I support the BLP, but not Kerrie again. He don’t speak to me. He does pass in he big vehicle wid the windows up and go in the terrace by he friends. If the Bees send somebody else, I would vote fuh dem . . . but not he. And I ain’t voting fuh the other party [DLP],” said George, who has been living in the constituency for the past 60 years.

His friend, John Ross, left no doubt he was a DLP man. However, he told Barbados TODAY that no one would get his vote in the general election, constitutionally due next year.

“Freundel party belong to me. I voted DLP, but I done voting,” Ross declared, adding that he was fed up with the state of the country.

However, before driving off, the St James Central constituent, who is from outside of Hoyte’s Village, made an interesting remark.

“If the BLP send another leader, I would vote for the Bees. Mia does frighten me,” he said in reference to the Opposition Leader.

Not far away, in Hoyte’s New Development, the voices were more emphatic in favour of Symmonds, as supporters declared their undying commitment to representative and party.

“I comfortable with Symmonds. I will continue to support him. He helped me get my house . . . he does help people in the area . . . I supporting Kerrie,” Alvin Broomes said while on the way home.

“I would support Kerrie Symmonds . . . because I’m a BLP,” added Brenda King-Rouse in a pointed comment.

It was the same with a young Jedd Ifill, who was on his way out, accompanied by a visiting friend.

Jedd Ifill

Ifill said Symmonds was a “decent man” who helped the entire community and was “the best man running”, while his neighbour Susan Clarke left no doubt as to how she intended to exercise her franchise come election day.

“Within the community he does get around,” she said of the parliamentary representative. “He works well in the community. There was George Hutson, but I more familiar with Kerrie. I have no problems [with Symmonds] really. I will continue to support him.”

Susan Clarke

However, there were those such as the “disenchanted” and “down-spirited” Arlene – she did not want to give her full name – who were not as willing to give the BLP legislator their votes.

Stifling under the weight of economic problems, Arlene said not only was she undecided, so too was her “frustrated and angry” daughter who was struggling to balance work and school.

“I am not sure if I voting. I am so disenchanted and down-spirited. I am unemployed now. I have a mortgage to pay . . . my daughter is at university struggling along because I can’t afford the fees. I fighting on my own . . . nobody don’t help me,” she lamented.

“My daughter don’t know if she is voting. She is frustrated and angry.  She just got a job and she is using the money to help pay for her university fees and help me out. It is so hurtful that many of her friends who were going to university had to drop out because their parents can’t afford the fees.”

The pain in Arlene’s voice was palpable as she pointed to a neighbouring home which was repossessed by a financial institution because the family could not keep up with the mortgage payments.

“Things in this country are . . . I don’t know what to say,” the St James Central resident sighed.

In any event, not everyone was worshipping at Symmonds’ altar. Michelle Blackman and her daughter Debra have both been supporters of the DLP.

Standing outside her Hoyte’s New Development home as her daughter awaited a bus, the mother of ten made it clear that she would not support Symmonds. However, this did not mean she would be voting for the DLP come next election.

“I don’t like how they running the thing [country] and the whole thing should change. I undecided now . . . I would have to see what they [the next DLP candidate] is offering first. Yuh can’t trust nobody these days; they does come wid one story and there is another,” Blackman said.

“I don’t think I noticed any change in anything from before. I supported George Hutson . . . but I would have to see what the next candidate was offering before I could decide if I voting . . . so right now I am undecided,” added Debra.

Over at Bagatelle Park, a husband and wife, both public servants and both speaking on condition of anonymity, came to similar conclusions for personal reasons.

“I think I am going to withdraw my vote this time . . . for the DLP,” said the husband, who complained that he had yet to receive his 2013-2014 income tax refunds, and that his standard of living had dropped.

His wife on the other hand said she was undecided, lamenting an effective cut in her salary.

“If you are going increase my taxes and not going to increase my wages, I have taken home less money than I took home before . . . and you got mortgage to pay and all such like,” she pointed out.

20 Responses to BLP quandary

  1. Jennifer April 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    CAUTION!!!! Approaching roundabout>>>> keep straight onto roundabout >>>>> turn right, then another right, Keep going right. DEAD end aHEAD.

  2. Mark Adamson April 21, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    We in the PDC have been saying it for some while that both the DLP and BLP must go in this Barbados. Never before in the history of the politics of this country have so many people been so sick, tired, fed up and frustrated with those two old jack o lantern factions.

  3. ch April 21, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    It is bare foolishness when people say they are not voting especially black people who came from a history of slavery when they did not even have the right to be a human being.
    When you choose not to vote, you choose to give up your right to have a say in your own life. But you allow other people to decide for you.
    You hand them the chains and the whip.

    • Bajan April 22, 2017 at 8:57 am

      That’s the whole idea of democracy and free will. The right to live your life as you please, the right to decide for yourself and the right to vote or don’t vote. Relax. It’s just life. Enjoy every minute and don’t let these simple things fret you.

  4. Lennox hewitt April 21, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    U no i keep telling men so if u don’t vote u give up your rights to argue but bout anything the goverment do so ifmu don’t vote stop talking bout how expensive xyz is .

    • Jennifer April 22, 2017 at 12:30 am

      But there has to be something fueling the not voting mindset, and this is where the attention should be focused. When a people has lost confidence and will to even vote because…………… there can only be one thing left on their minds.

    • VoR April 22, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Voting doesn’t mean that you will get the change desired. So that argument is spurious.

  5. Sunshine Sunny Shine April 22, 2017 at 12:27 am

    When those who have represented the country have primarily been looking after interests along personal lines how does one cast their vote for two representing bads. What is insteresting is that none of these people interviewed spoke about the third party alternatives. I would think that if you can no longer stomach the Bees or Dem that you would give another party a chance. You mean all the food hampers, free houses, pay my depts contributions from politicians that is the criteria that the electorate used to guage a good politician got them so loyal that they can’t give a third party a chance? Lord have mercy.

  6. Peter April 22, 2017 at 12:36 am

    When people can’t make up their minds, they will have to” tek wuh dem get.” BT must realize that every vote in that constituency don’t revolve around voters in Hoyt’s Village. Even that failed reject from England tellin wunna that wunna should best go round and round de roundabout.

  7. Jennifer April 22, 2017 at 12:38 am

    @SSS – Well said, both parties are like dead wood loaded in termites. “You mean all the food hampers, free houses, pay my debts contributions from politicians” – this old corn beef and biscuits style has been upgraded to cheffete style. Mind you just like the same Cheffette it is not stomach filling and the need for the real food will soon hit home to the point where you cannot stomach the system.

  8. Milli Watt April 22, 2017 at 8:23 am

    this race could be tighter than I thought……..hmmmmmmmm. I wonder if a third party could fill this void…….hmmmmmmmmm (squared)

  9. Carson C. Cadogan April 22, 2017 at 8:24 am

    As a result of stinging criticisms by Min. Steve Blackette BT is now branching out.

    But these one sided polls really don’t mean anything.

  10. hcalndre April 22, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I heard that they`re some yard fowls who hang around the parliament building on days when it is in session waiting for the food that`s left, so a belly full once or twice a week and that`s good for their vote.

  11. Zeus April 22, 2017 at 8:58 am

    If you really pick apart these articles my mr Joseph no one will vote DLP very interesting …..How does a opposition member help a person with a house does he pull how own pocket or does he go through a government agency ….how does he help a community ….more questions than answers …… question to solutions Barbados ….the contractor that you mentioned as a member of your team can you tell the public how he got started in the industry ……and what was he kicked out of the congregation that started him……how are we guaranteed he will not do the same thing to the public coffers …..welcome to the political areana

  12. Melvin Skeete April 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    These comments indicates why Bim is in trouble. Oh yes, depend on the politician for handouts from the government.

  13. Donild Trimp April 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    @Peter – you should be more respectful to returning nationals who contribute a hell of a lot to the Barbados economy.

    it is not nice to infer that a contributor to the discussion is a “failed reject” from England.

    • Jennifer April 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      @Donild Trimp – That is the type of person he is. Chauvinistic, and always talking about his offshore account, villa and rubbish, obnoxious, disrespectful, disgusting, with the ability to only see his own needs. No morals what so ever that is why I have drawn a line under him. Now, imagine, I am so stupid and yet 98% of his comments are based on counteracting what I have written. Sick.

  14. Shawn Phillips April 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    The Barbados Labour Party has place our Country in some serious turmoil ad ppl all over are hurting from the hardships we are facing. This current government does not deserve another term in office .Barbados needs to be rescued from them before it get any worse .

  15. Nathaniel Samuels April 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Mark, are you replacing the two parties with the PDC and with you involved? What portfolio would you be handling and what is your track record?

  16. Helicopter(8P) April 24, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    So sorry for my fellow Barbadians but don’t you know here in the U S A lots of people feel dienchanted, leftout and hopeless with the political atmosphere being played out presently?


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