Forde’s fury

St Thomas MP on course for another crushing win

Cynthia Cinthy Forde, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) parliamentarian, is an immovable force in St Thomas, the constituency she has represented since September 2001, when she shredded George Pilgrim of the then Opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) by 3,662 votes to 1,740 in a by-election.

The BLP was in its second term then, riding a wave of popularity under Owen Arthur as Prime Minister.

Like a raging storm, Forde has ravaged through every DLP candidate in her way since – Patsie Nurse in 2003, Haldene Dottin in 2008, Dr Rolerick Hinds in 2013 – winning by an average of just under 1,900 votes.

No one has ever polled 2,000 votes against her, and in the last election, she increased her support over the two previous elections, not a good omen for her next opponent.

For the first time since the former primary school teacher burst onto the elective political stage, she will face a candidate whom she has torn apart before, with the DLP choosing to stick with Hinds for the next election, due by the middle of next year.

However, based on the results of a random survey of the Pulse of the People by Barbados TODAY yesterday, his chances of an upset are as good as those of a candle keeping its flames burning while exposed to the howling winds of a category one hurricane.

Outside of a handful of constituents who were either undecided or could not care who wins, the landlocked parish – one of only two here, the other being St George – stands firmly in Forde’s corner and ready to roll over a battered DLP.

“Cynthia Forde,” was the terse response of Victor Skeete and Beverly Harewood of Melrose, when asked separately who would get their votes, both responding in a manner that suggested that they were wondering why anyone even bothers to ask.

“Me and my disabled son Anthony Bowen voting Cynthia Forde,” Maureen Bowen, also of Melrose, declared.

Small businessman Melvin Knight has seen the hard times. With the economy barely breathing, it was not surprising that he called for a change of Government. “There is time for change. My small business sinking . . . the taxes killing us. More can be done [to improve the economy],” Knight, the proprietor of L&N Bar in Melrose, said.

On the opposite side of the road, Ricky Broomes was hanging out with his brother. He would not say who he planned to vote for, but he gave a hint.

“Cynthia is a fighter . . . she really fights for things for the people,” Broomes said.

For Annmarie Bowen, there must be something in it for her. She said she needed a job, and she would only vote if she got one.

It was not the same for pensioner Cecil Augustus Lewis of Grandview, Shop Hill, a Vincentian who has lived here for nearly half a century.

Cecil Lewis

Lewis voted in the land of his birth once, but virtually every other vote that he has cast was for the BLP, and it is not about to change.

“I am a [Barbados] Labour Party man. I am from St Vincent. I was in Barbados for 43 years . . . . I voted once in St Vincent and ten times in Barbados,” Lewis said.

Forde is also assured of the vote of Venessa Walcott, a mother of six, as well as that of 86-year-old Elric Ifill, although his 84-year-old neighbour, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she would vote for whomever the Spirit leads her to support.

Elric Ifill

Amid the groundswell of support for Forde, including that of Oscar and Patricia Archer, Christian Montute and Tharel Thompson, all of West View, Rock Hall, Velda Nurse of Shop Hill, who voted for the sitting parliamentarian in the past, said she did not plan to do so the next time round.

Christian Montute
Tharel Thompson

Instead, Nurse said she would stay home on Election Day. So too, will Beverly Greaves of West View, Rock Hall, who told Barbados TODAY she could not be bothered with who win the election.

In fact, Greaves revealed that she had deliberately spoiled her ballot when she voted in the last election.

The unscientific Pulse of the People survey suggested another devastating loss for Hinds.

Still, the returning candidate can count on the diehard support of one man, a Shop Hill resident who did not want to be identified, but who “belong to the DLP” and is prepared to vote for anyone – or anything – in the party’s colours.

“I belong to the DLP. The BLP ain’t do anything for us. If they [DLP] bring a donkey, I will vote for him,” the supporter said.

emmanueljoseph@barbadostoday.bb

3 Responses to Forde’s fury

  1. John Everatt August 25, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Yeah, as you can see at least one person (Annmarie Bowen) is looking for a government job and that is the bribe she will take to vote. It is a way of life here. And she just might get it from one politician or the other.

    Reply
  2. Mazie Kienemund
    Mazie Kienemund August 26, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Lots of us don’t remember alot from when we were four..but one of my best memories at 4 is Ms Forde..A lady who created change in many children shaping their world for a brighter future…She Rocks

    Reply
  3. Greengiant August 26, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Just shows even the elderly, or those heading toward the geriatric age are guaranteed an easy chair in our parliament.

    Reply

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