Rabble Rouse

Independent candidate poses threat to Marshall

The road to the next Parliament is hardly paved in certainty for Dale Marshall, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Member of Parliament for St Joseph.

Having seen his margin of victory increase nearly tenfold in the last election, Marshall now faces a major hurdle in the person of Randle Rouse, the former Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate, who plans to run as an independent in the next election due in 2018.

While independent candidates fare badly here as a matter of course, Rouse is appealing to the hearts and emotions of the people of St Joseph in a way Marshall appears unable to do.

He is the very person who lost to the BLP legislator twice – by 78 votes in 2003 and by 41 votes in 2008 – before he was replaced by Dennis Holder in 2013.

That was when Marshall performed best, winning by a more comfortable 351 votes.

Rouse wanted another shot at Marshall come 2018, but the DLP decided to stick with Holder, whose name never came up during yesterday’s visit to the constituency by Barbados TODAY.

However, a Pulse of the People random survey found that Rouse could pull out an upset, while the incumbent will have to marshal all his forces to hold on to the seat.

Rouse is not the only obstacle standing in Marshall’s way. He also has to contend with a high level of apathy and constituents such as Gordon Anthony Brace of St Elizabeth Village, who feel they have not had any personal gains of which to refer for supporting the BLP parliamentarian.

Gordon Anthony Brace

“I change over from Dale Marshall because he was supposed to help me with down here [repairs] and he ain’t help me, so I went to the DLP. I always was a BLP but I change over to the DLP,” a blunt Brace said while standing in his verandah.

However, two of his neighbours, one of whom was Phillip Mayers, said they would stick with the incumbent.

Phillip Mayers

“I will vote for Dale Marshall,” he said in a terse response which received a ringing endorsement from his daughter Nikita Mayers.

“Dale,” she added while eating breakfast.

In another section of the quiet and quaint rural community a voter who wanted to be referred to as Carlo, was among those with no interest in voting.

“All parties are the same . . . [there is] no difference. Politicians are only in it for a salary. When there is change [in the approach to representation] I will vote,” Carlo, a tiler, told Barbados TODAY.

As if apathy were not enough, Marshall must also deal with a high level of uncertainty among voters, such as the man who gave his name only as Richard, who “can’t tell you who I want to represent me”.

He has not ruled out voting, although the condition he placed for visiting the polling booth suggests those hoping to get his vote might have a very long wait.

“If I can get back my income tax [refund], I will support any politician that comes,” he declared.

One of the community’s best known names is Luther Thorne, the late politician and legendary educator after whom a primary school at Government Hill, St Michael was named.

Thorne’s son, Winston Churchill Thorne, lives in St Elizabeth Village, where Barbados TODAY found him relaxing in his front porch.

Winston Churchill Thorne

At 97, Winston would have experienced many an election, and would have voted several times, including for his father in the days when there were double-member constituencies.

However, he has no plans to vote the next time the poll is held. Not for Marshall, not for Rouse, not for anyone.

“I ain’t got no special body to vote for, man. I voting for Christ,” he declared.

While the elderly man waxed biblical, the next resident was a lot more colourful in his language as he expletively expressed his feelings about the country’s political class.

“Man, I done vote. I ain’t voting for a [expletive]. They [politicians] ain’t no [expletive] use.”

When pressed to say which party he has supported in the past, the man replied: “Man, you hear wuh I say. I done wid dat [expletive].”

Over at Joe’s River, Marshall’s cousin Colin Morris was on his way out of his home, moving with the help of a walker.

“Don’t matter who they bring, they can’t stop Dale,” Morris said. “Of course, I voting for him.”

However, he was the only one among the residents in the area with whom Barbados TODAY spoke, on whose support the former attorney general can count.

With the exception of those who are yet to decide, virtually everyone else seemed solidly in Rouse’s corner.

“Randall Rouse,” Sharon Clarke blurted out when asked who she intended to vote for in the next election. And without hesitation, Rouse’s name flowed like a refrain from the lips of the three other members of the Clarke household.

At the home of Kimberley Brathwaite, the family appeared conflicted, with the mother-of-five saying she simply could not make up her mind, while her 19-year-old son Joseph, vacillated.

Joseph Brathwaite

“Dale Marshall holds good events . . . a good man . . . that is mostly all I come across he,” Joseph said.

“I ain’t really know Randall Rouse though. [But] I ain’t sure who I gine vote for.”

The sentiments were not any different in Horse Hill where the majority of residents interviewed were undecided, although two members of the Holder/Howard family said they would stick with the incumbent.

However, very much like everywhere else in the constituency, another resident said he had no interest in voting for anyone.


5 Responses to Rabble Rouse

  1. jrsmith August 19, 2017 at 6:16 am

    This is my take, the bajan who is in on the party vote ……….. Its time to vote again, they have all forgotten the hell bajans was in over the past 8 years, nothing was done for the black masses , the way how the politicians treated our people , people complaining since they last cast they vote they haven’t even seen they (MP) on TV …………..
    Why bajans seems not interested in the way they have lost the democratic right to freedom and liberty , being held to ransom by our corrupt politicians , 50 years of (Independent Dependency ) and still 1% of the nation is in comfortable control of the black masses……………….
    Is it still the corned beef, rum and biscuits on the menu from the politicians , they know how to control bajans thats because bajans will talk of change and is scared and frighten to challenge the political infrastructure , thats why the present government will return to office in the up coming elections…….bajans just dont want change ……………………………………………………………
    Look at the 20,000 march ,look who organize that march a group of 1 % ers , this just show how we are not that far from slavery which is still in the blood and minds of the people, scared to fight for basic survival , the act we want for our people survival ………
    Th act of parliament we want to control our politicians..giving our people a new lease of life the act (Accountability Act 2017 ) for our people /young people sake………………………

  2. Anthony Prescott August 19, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Politricks, has now viewed its ugly head and people have lost faith in the system…… Is it any wonder, things happen right in front of your eyes and as long as you talking the opposite its like, reality is talked right under the carpet and…..say one thing and do a next….. I remember my Father raised my like that…. bloody hypocrites !!

  3. Old school bajan. August 20, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Democracy is not a spectator sport. Stop with the LIKE OR DISLIKE if a party or candidate. Start with a elected person or government record of achievement while in office. Five years us a long time to show some work evidence. Barbados cant keep re electing the same people to high office every five years hoping or praying for change. Hoping or praying have no place in elected politic. Action does!! So stop the insanity and vote in real change with a new party.

  4. Greengiant August 20, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    What a heading B T? Rabble Rouse? What on earth makes Randal Rouse so rabble? Is this the only phrase you can find to describe the independent candidate?
    If so, then you need a strong lesson in headline creation. Rabble is certainly no a word to be used in this circumstance.

  5. george payne August 21, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Perfect depiction unless you prefer RABBLR ROUSER but he is no rabble rouser


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