No chance

Comissiong says new fringe parties cannot win

The new political parties that emerged recently have no foundation and no chance in the general election due next year, according to David Comissiong, the controversial political activist and leader of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP).

In fact, Comissiong believes the new movements “should not even be considered as political parties” in the absence of a history of engagement, a philosophy or political agenda.

Any serious party, he said, would not spring up shortly before an election with little to show in terms of its history and guiding principles.

“I don’t consider those entities parties. I encourage anybody who wants to get involved in the public and political life to do so, so I welcome any involvement. But honestly, if you are going to designate yourself as a political party with any credibility then you can’t jump up within a few months of an election and say, ‘here we are’. You need to have been engaged in the society, in the important issues that confront the people; you need to have been showing that commitment over a period of time, you also need to have a philosophy, you need to have a policy agenda,” Comissiong told Barbados TODAY.

Already this year, Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) led by Neil Holder, and the United Progressive Party (UPP) under the chairmanship of former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) senator Lynette Eastmond, have announced plans to contest the poll. Both parties are said to comprise mainly disgruntled BLP rejects, and join Solutions Barbados, under the leadership of Grenville Phillips II, as the new parties bidding to upset the established parties – namely the main Opposition BLP and the ruling Democratic Labour Party.

While Solutions Barbados, made up only of business people, has named nine candidates, the UPP had named only one, and BIM is yet to announce a single person to carry its banner.

Comissiong said that was not good enough, insisting that a credible political party needed time “to have engaged in a process of discussing a policy agenda with the people of the country, the people that you claim to want to govern and lead”.

“So . . . while I welcome these kinds of developments, I am saying it seems to me that they are not deeply routed enough to qualify as genuine political parties. I don’t want to pour cold water, but I know what it is to go up against those two traditional parties. It is not easy,” he stressed.

Comissiong’s own party, the PEP, has yet to make any impact on the electorate since it was launched in 2006 as a electoral wing of the Clement Payne Movement. It fielded four candidates in the 2008 general election, polling 235 votes, or 0.16 per cent of ballots cast.  And while he had said in May last year that the PEP had been “resuscitating its political programme” and it would “be fielding candidates next election” with the focus on youth, Comissiong told Barbados TODAY his party would only consider contesting the upcoming ballot if it were the wish of the Barbadian public.   

“The People’s Empowerment Party still exists. I have been very active over the last several years but the party itself as an institution has not had an active political life since the last general election. You never say never, [and] they say a week in politics is a long time. If it should become evident that there is a role for the People’s Empowerment Party to play in the next election and if the people send a message to us [we will contest].

“Right now I am focused on trying to see how I can help to nurture a kind of citizens civil society movement in our country because I feel that the two-party system is fundamentally flawed. The key to dealing with that flaw really is to have an energized and active citizenry making demands of that system, making demands of those parties, making them accountable to the people, therefore I am trying to play that kind of role,” the social activist stressed.

30 Responses to No chance

  1. Tony Webster May 9, 2017 at 5:21 am

    Any political party which is to be taken seriously, requires several “core” founders of known track record, including undoubted integrity, vision, ability, as well as a philosophical outlook which is consistent with our essential Christian and democratic foundations, inherited, wouldja believe… from London!

    I readily would agree, if anyone also added, that while a socialist conscience is also required, in Barbados, given the on-going stains on our psyche of slavery’s remnants, that an outright communism-based political party, in any guise, has no relevance… and no pep in their step.

    Doubt me? Ask Bernard Coard. Actually, quite a brilliant guy, but misguided. Sorry, self-misguided, and a rather sad political footnote. Even Ralphie , has not uttered the phrase “Scientific Socialism”, in almost three decades!

  2. Concern citizen May 9, 2017 at 6:08 am

    Would never vote for a party made up of all busiess person. A lot of busineses in barbados are the stranglers of society. Using the economic problems in this country to line their own pockets. No different to who there are criticizing. Just looking for another opportunity to get richer. Bunch of tricksters.

  3. Bobolee Popo May 9, 2017 at 6:12 am

    _those new parties are a bunch of political poppets ..
    _they will all lose their deposit..
    _as a matter of fact,none of them will get 100 votes..

  4. Jennifer May 9, 2017 at 6:13 am

    The problem with this people is that they don’t know WEALTH, they don’t know what it means or feels like to own wealth, neither do they don’t want WEALTH, they despise leadership and love being led by the gonads. Their NEST has been securely left in that cane ground. They prefer to be with their backs bent all day, every day, being that good slave. Any kind of change to put them in ownership of WEALTH or in the drivers seat would mean getting rid of their sweet MASSA grain and getting rid of their current state of EGYPT (bondmen and bond women) which they enjoy and are currently holding. (we can thank Christianity and education SYSTEMS for all of that) Whether they are bondmen in BIM or abroad. Their slave way of thinking does not allow them to go any further other than where they are and they will even oppose anyone who can forsee or promote any change and they will even see that LIBERATOR as an up-setter or dictator. Both massa and the politicians know all of this too. They are truly like BOVINE cattle – CHEW, SWALLOW DOWN AND REGURGITATE.

  5. Greengiant May 9, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Why do we continue daily with this issue of race? David the reason the masses haven’t taken alternative political parties seriously is simply because for several years parties like yours have failed to attract quality representatives.

    Simply because your PEP has failed to make an impact doesn’t mean others will. You have continuously failed to grow as an organization since 2006. This is now eleven years and by now you should have been on the lips of several barbadians. Due to your own failings this hasn’t been the case. By now the PEP should have been fielding 30 candidates easily, but you have failed to build an ideology with which we can associate.

    You’ve been sidetracked by the benefits of the Pan African and commission and other fringe organizations to your own political peril. That’s why I see Arthur as the true political puppet master of the 21st century. His politics of inclusion enticed you guys off the path as meaningful political challengers, now you are forced to restructure and will take another decade to reestablish yourself.

    I’m sure Solutions Barbados has learned from the lack of focus shown by the PEP and NDP in the past. So the approach will be different, first they will associated with the right quality for foundation building, then continue to develop as a party with a value added approach in choosing future candidates. We will attract quality membership with the capacity to plan, and the focus to stay the course. I’m sure this party will offer this country and alternative in the very near future because unlike your type who are elitist formed out of the belly of both established parties with an ideology of uncertainty and confusion. This party is has no history of association to BLP or DLP and will develop it’s own ideology that will be people oriented. You need to do some research on the growth and development of the new french president. He paid attention to the political offerings and people’s desires. That approach my brother is the recipe for future leaders.

  6. Gsmiley May 9, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Jennifer as usual pure rhetoric. Just a whole lot of mumbo jumbo.

    Where do you come up with your responses?

    These new parties just arent serious. Commissiong is correct.

    • jennifer May 9, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      U know it is true too. Very well.

  7. Mark Adamson May 9, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Mr. David Comissiong is one of the greatest Barbadians of this post-independence era in Barbados.

    His distinguished and selfless service on the behalf of many of the voiceless and downthrodden is matchless and peerless in this era.

    And whether

    1) Mr. Comissiong has been long using his enormous legal advocacy skills in representing the families of victims in coroner’s inquests searching for the truth of the circumstances in which those victims died (The I’kobi Maloney Inquest, The Britton’s Hill Cave In Inquest, etc.);

    2) Whether it is using his vast experience in social and political
    activism in helping ever so often to mobilize and rally many Barbadians in the cause of the pursuance of social or legal justice in this country (The two Bobby Clarke /David Comissiong led marches in 2014, et al, against the so-called Solid Waste Tax and against DLP/BLP misrule/ and his suing the government of Barbados over the Immigration Department’s fingerprinting bid last year);

    3) Whether it is in his brilliant agitation for, and – in many cases –
    success by himself and or others in the erection of, the
    appropriate establishments (Clement Payne Centre, the
    Commission for Pan Affrican Affairs), symbols (a pantheon of Government Heroes) and honours (Clement Payne Awards) – over the years – to assist in the necessary building and upholding of strong national identities and values for a pre-dominant black people of this country against the backdrop of Barbados having for centuries been a major point of colonial enslavement and racist oppression;

    4) Whether it is his providing critical dynamic leadership for a long time in the
    organization of Pan-Africanist centered events in recognition of
    periods ( African Liberation Day, Black Awareness Month, UN
    designating of this current decade as a Decade For Peoples of
    African Descent) honouring the upstanding memories and
    traditions of people and things African/Black, respectively;

    5) Whether it is – since the late 1980s – providing himself as a very knowledgeable and informed source on the history of the formation and continuation of Black nationalist/conscious movements in Barbados, the Caribbean and beyond (Marcus Garvey’s UNIA, Anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa);

    6) Whether it is in his having been a tremendous anti-imperialist
    crusader against atrocious wrongs perpetrated by, say, the USA on
    weaker countries, like Cuba (The US embargo/The Helms-Burton
    Act) – Iraq (the 1991/2003 Gulf Wars) – Panama (the 1989
    Panama Invasion), and,

    7) Whether it is in his quest to continue strengthening ties
    between himself and some other adherents/supporters of the
    ideological political left in Barbados, and many other leftist
    governments and movements in Cuba, Venezuela, etc.
    and so much more, he has been a most magnificant and most noble citizen of this country.

    But, it is in my reading and assessing of the above comments that have been attributed to Mr. Comissiong (in the above Barbados Today article – that I have serious and fundamental problems with the reported responses of his to these newer parties and political organizations.

    Here are just the outlines of three of those fundamental problems:

    1) Notwithstanding his storied and significant achievements in the public legal charity realms, the African/Black history and heritage realms, and leftist realms, Comissiong has – for an inordinate length of time – been a MASSIVE and PRONOUNCED failure in his countless of his attempts at political electoral organization in Barbados. And whilst there are persons who have, I believed, grudged and envied him on the near wholesomeness and completeness of his personal, intellectual and professional achievements and have thus allowed such negative attitudes to get in their way of helping him to do better at organized politics at the national levels, this MASSIVE and PRONOUNCED failure of his has more to do with his authoriative and divisive eadership style than such negative grudges and envies of those others. For, his leadership style – which has often times been rubbing many people the wrong way and has seen him very dismissive or not entertaining of many other persons’ intellectual and political views and positions in many of his reported and verified local political organizational activities – is totally in contrast with a consensus, unified type leadership that is required of any persons looking to be a national leader in this country. Mr Comissiong’s history of behaving in this manner, and his inclination not to rein in this style, has primarily been the reason why the PEP has failed to revive itself, despite his giving media assurances that his party was going to be providing candidates in the coming election.

    2) Notwithstanding Mr. Comissiong’s very unflinching and
    unstinting selfless service – over the years – to many publics in Barbados, he has become very politically discredited and erratic as a local political figure and one who has been substantially more about enduring political loyalty to himself and himself alone as opposed to enduring political loyalty to the particular organization that he would have been part of. That, along with his substantially lacking in political credibility of political views and positions, owing primarily to his own constancy of illogical
    political stuntsmanship and grasshopping over the years from DLP to NDP to BLP to PEP, and his own constancy of helping generate trust issues for himself, has helped to make sure that his electoral political stocks have become entirely diminished and will NEVER EVER rise again to decent levels in Barbados.

    3) Notwithstanding Mr. Comissiong’s supposed and reported opposition toward the tweedle-dee tweedle-dum cockfighting
    behaviours of the DLP and BLP, he cannot reasonably be taken seriously by anyone when he comes out against these newer political organizations purportedly on the basis of the length of time of their existence, their strength of their ideological, philosophical and political foundations, when it is clear that at whatever times these parties have come – and whatever their structures and functions – they are opposed to this DLP/BLP madness, are part of a wider and tremendous
    national movement of rightful and legitimate response and opposition towards the gross and appaling behaviours of DLP and BLP governments in this country, and have therefore sought to come up with and present to the people of Barbados their own pilosophical and policy and organizational instrumentations. So, rather than having got his PEP properly revived and having helped to put it on the side of the majority of poor masses and middle classes that have been – over the years – suffering on account of
    the very adverse and stupid implemented policies and programs of DLP and BLP government, he has been found to be taking weak and ineffective potshots at these very important political groupings, when it is clear that they have been doing the things that have helped to make them far more electorally viable than his PEP – which has floundered on many old archaic failed leftist ideas and ideologies and retentions within a primarily increasingly pro-capitalist, pro-pluralist political system of Barbados. Mr
    Comissiong, I believe, therefore has had bad and ill feelings about these political organizations because they have so far been faring better than the PEP was faring at the time when it
    was preparing for the 2008 general election.

    With such it is clear who Comissiong is backing at this stage – the
    said intellectually and politically backward, bankrupt, decrepit and
    discredited BLP faction – that was at the helm of the government
    of Owen Arthur that fired him from the Directorship of the
    Commission for Pan African Affairs in the middle of the first
    decade of the 2000s.

    Indeed, very unbelievable for a man of his intellectual and Pan Africanist prestige!!!!

    Mark Adamson

    • Milli Watt May 9, 2017 at 9:51 am

      I am not impressed with this assessment by David. I remind you all about Trump and Emmanuel Macron two political unknowns and were able to start a movement (the trump movement is questionable) but here. Unless he is saying the Barbadian public is so immature, so inept, so idol, so mendicant, so dependent that they are unable to shed the dogma of SAME OLD. Then unfortunately he is right (although I did not get that from the piece)

    • hcalndre May 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Mark Adamson, Comissiong would not be a person that the bajan people would endorse, because they like to be led like sheep and can`t think for themselves especially when they hear that this one or that one went to Cave Hill. There is a host on one of the stations that like to admonish some callers for their opinions because they don’t have a degree in what ever and listening to this person when simple things they can`t speak on, the excuse is, “I`m not that old.” Probably they were born a decade ago would want me to believe.

    • hcalndre May 9, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      @Mark Adamson: I agree with some of your comments about Comissiong and some I strongly disagree with. Knowing the mentality of the barbadian, Mr. Comissiong would be at a disadvantage with the majority, regardless of their status. They that have the power, especially the politicians, can you name one that would put his position on the line for any of the people that they beg for their X? with all the promises, corned- beef and rum, what more do they do when they are elected but buy some suits, nice cars and make sure that they never be deemed as poor again. Those disgruntled ex politicians missed out on something so they`re eager to recapture and the others are political rookies that would be suicidal to elect them.

  8. Peter May 9, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Experience teaches wisdom. David Comissiong, You are a known failure at forming, and leading a political party. you are only able to convince the illiterate, uneducated and low level people of Barbados. Even they don’t pay any serious thought to you and what you say. I quite agree with you on your point that the other new parties are “fly by night” parties. BIM is headed by one Neil Holder who seems to be a front for some failed DEM supporters who are working behind the scenes and who did not get a DEM pick. Lynette is an intelligent individual who I think will do great as an independent or a party rep in St. John, Wendel Callender is a known washed up failure. and Solutions Barbados need to show a full slate of candidates, and come up with a manifesto showcasing their solutions and how they plan to apply it to obtain the desired results. They should really be out there if they are serious. Comissiong, in closing, you have NEVER brought any developmental or positive ideas to the fore. All you do is criticize, condemn and castigate. that is why only a certain class of people follow and appreciate you. All negativity.

  9. hcalndre May 9, 2017 at 10:54 am

    @ Peter et al; Attorney Comissiong is too smart for most barbadians especially the ones with the Slave/Massa mentality. He should be the Moses of the people there, he reminds me very much of an attorney named William ‘Bill’ Kunstler who has passed on in NY. Comissiong could have taken the high road and become friends of the elite class of bajans and let the poor masses suffer and be fooled by the politicians and their friends. Keep up with what you`re doing, you will never be liked by those bajan people.

    • Peter May 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Hcalndre, whomever you are… You swear for a man who cannot command a single seat in parliament. He has brainwashed your very small and gullible mind into believing him and his negative school of thought. It reflects your extremely high level of stupidity. What has that non-entity done to bring in $500 dollars into Barbados’ economy? Then lat me be facetious and ask YOU hclndre WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? except write bare fart? You should sell your brain. Its probably worth Millions. It’s brand new. It’s NEVER BEEN USED.

      • hcalndre May 9, 2017 at 3:10 pm

        @Peter, thanks for the price I could get for my brain, have you ever heard the calysonian who said how many bajans like you it takes to get an oz. of brain.

      • hcalndre May 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

        @Peter, money is what Barbados is in dire need of, they`re some of you would grab it even if Jesse James ride into town with a bag full.

      • Carson C Cadogan May 10, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Somebody mash your corns.

    • jennifer May 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Hcalndre – well said. That 1% will never see what U are saying. Trust me.

      • Peter May 9, 2017 at 2:20 pm

        That is why you RE rejected returning maid without a job in Barbados. You too failed miserably. You suck up pretentious jackass. You cuss black people in one breath calling them crabs tyhen you blame white people for everything including your insipid lack of qualifications then you quote from the bible in English a book written by the same white people you are born to serve. you have no choice. See you in London. I can hardly wait.

        • Jennifer May 9, 2017 at 7:01 pm

          Keep watching All of you lot time soon up. San Andreas. Hahahahahahahahahaahaha

  10. Sheron Inniss May 9, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Mr C I don’t agree with you on this one. The present system is broke. I would like to see MPs who understand their role is stewardship not all the isms. For example people from gangs who commit crimes are loyal to their own but that does not make it right. MPs who look out for some and not all are no better. In my opinion their first duty is to make sure Barbados is good for all. Second to look out for the poor and indigent.The haves should pull their weight. To whom much is given much is expected. Oh and they need to stop taxing pensioners pension and so much more. I suggest real MPs start reading Steven Covey books. He uses the Biblical principles in his own words. Or talk to Errol Griffith. So much more I want to say but time does not permit.

  11. Greengiant May 9, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I’m with Solutions Barbados fully. Mr. Adamson and the others need to get my point. The PEP has been around since 2006, they’ve never brought a full slate of candidates, they behave purely like activists, so what qualifies their leader to say unless other parties bring a full slate they should be rejected?

    Show your political growth first, challenge the status quo of both leading parties, then talk. Decide if you are a political party or not. Stop humping all over the place and get grounded, the PEP needs leadership to develop and David Comissiong doesn’t offer that. Being an objector doesn’t prepare you for political leadership. Politics is not a seasonal thing, you have to stay in the minds of the people. The New parties have just started the journey, and they too must stay the course. The PEP and NDP dropped the ball years ago. Stop pulling down the new parties, and support them, they’re the future. So what you’re saying of them now can only be said in a decade if there’s no political growth.

  12. Alex Alleyne May 9, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    HCALNDRE, where you stand you got to be smelling bake pork cos you talking bare rum talk.

  13. Nathaniel Samuels May 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    Greengiant, I have news for you. Your Solutions Barbados does not have the solutions and maybe, just maybe, one of the party will not lose his deposit. I agree with David; you guys are non-entities and will be rejected by the people just like David’s group was. You really have to come better than what you are proposing.

  14. Mikey May 9, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Let those who only see a future in two parties that have ran the affairs of this country, let them continue to HOPE for better days.
    Let those who are afraid of CHANGE, let them continue to HOPE that the country will be BETTER MANAGED.

    I have no TRUST nor Hope in THEM.
    I support what “Greengiant” has said ,,, Let Solutions Barbados work their solutions for the good of the country. If they do not have enough numbers to form the next Government, I hope a coallition of the 3rd, 4th or 5th parties will take the country through the next ten or twenty years.
    Because PEP failed, no other parties can be successful ?

  15. Greengiant May 9, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    I really don’t think some of you are going to the Solutions Barbados website. The comments about the party’s position, proposals and the fact that so many of you are asking what the party is offering as an alternative to the Dems and Bees tells me you haven’t visited the site. I suggest you read the information that’s posted before commenting negatively. The approach of the party is totally different to the PEP, NDP, And the others from the days of Eric Sealy, Carl Haddock and the like.

    To speak of Solutions Barbados and the others of the past in the same sentence is disheartening at the least. The days of individuals entering elective politics for the sole purpose of weakening other candidates are behind us. Education, knowledge of social, infrastructural, business and economic processes with productivity, efficiency and development as priorities has driven many like minded barbadians to risk being victimize by the old members club to enter elective politics. We know the road will be tough, and dangerous but really, what more can we lose? We’ve had enough of both BLP and DLP, it continues to be a predictable cycle. One sells and borrows it’s way thereby increasing the public dept to GDP ratio, overheating the economy. The other implements austerity measures, such as tax increases, internal devaluation, and reduced household liquidity to stabilize the economy. This has been the case since 1971. Take some time to read the economic reports, IMF reports, Auditor General’s reports, Central Bank reports, and CDB reports on Barbados from 1971 to present. You will see us being driven around the same cycle track by the same two cyclists. It’s time they both are disqualified for repetitive foul play. We need some fair play, it’s about time.

  16. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    The only reason why the new political parties will fail is because they do not have enough money to buy corn beef and biscuits. That is the criteria for getting many bajan votes.

  17. Loretta Griffith May 11, 2017 at 11:16 am

    The more I read, the more I conclude this country is replete with hypocrites.

  18. Greengiant May 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I won’t refer to the electorate as hypocrites @ Loretta Griffith. I see the problem as a state of inherited political blindness. When both major parties can still be preaching the achievements of Grantley Adams and Errol Barrow in 2017, then we as the masses are near sited indeed.

    If we ask politicians from both parties. ” What have you contributed, where is your legacy “? I shudder to imagine the answer. Some of them have spent decades in government and opposition with little or no direct contribution to the cause of the masses. So No one can really claim to be working for the people if they’re using Adams or Barrow as a yard stick.

    • hcalndre May 11, 2017 at 7:13 pm

      Here she goes again saying on her radio show that Comissiong is going to lose the case because he is speaking to the people about the case, that`s why in the US all cases must be tried in public. Should Comissiong lose, it would not be for speaking the public on what`s going on, it would be the system. President Trump has to answer to the people or take the 5th because he is not above the law and every TV and radio station is on the issue 27/7, You think that Trump could say that he will be at a disadvantage because everybody is talking about his firing of the FBI boss and the Russia issue.


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