Wickham backs Mottley

. . . says Female voters could sway general election result

With the country gearing up for a general election due by the middle of this year, political scientist Peter Wickham says women could make the difference to the results.

Delivering the Milton Reece Memorial Lecture at Solidarity House earlier this week, the pollster said women continued to show up at the polls in larger numbers than men, adding that Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Mia Mottley had a good chance of leading her party to victory.

“Women have, and continue to, control the processes of socialization . . . [and] women continue to control the electorate in terms of numbers,” Wickham said.

“The challenge, however, is that even though we have so many women who are [professionals], most of them are still not empowered. Another negative is that there is still a perception that politics is not a woman’s world and that men are better suited,” he added.

Wickham, who heads the Caribbean Development Research Services, said that since 1981 the number of women registered to vote exceed men by an average of over 12,000, while the voter turn-out for women since 1971 has been around 73 per cent, or 13,000 more than the 60 per cent turn-out for men.

Wickham said it was highly possible that Barbados was ready for a female Prime Minister, pointing out that in addition to Mottley, the newly formed United Progress Party had a female leader in Lynette Eastmond, and its only Member of Parliament – Dr Maria Agard – was a woman.

“After 50 years of independence we finally have a female candidate who is leading one of the two main political parties and it looks like she has a reasonable chance of winning,” Wickham said in reference to Mottley.

“The Mottley elevation is significant for women because it shatters the political glass ceiling . . . The first point I want to make about Mia Mottley is that I think she is an outstanding politician and she compares favourably with any man that is in politics and has been in politics recently, and indeed she has outperformed many of them as well,” he said.

The political analyst said far from enjoying special treatment because of her gender, Mottley has had to confront several challenges, including the threat of being kicked out of the BLP several years ago.

However, he said, when compared to men in politics who have had similar struggles, she had “suffered” just about the same despite her gender, and in some cases, had “handled her situation a bit better”.

Wickham referred to his June 2017 opinion poll which found that Mottley had emerged as the number one choice for Prime Minister with 54 per cent support, a long way ahead of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur, with 18 per cent support, and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who enjoyed the support of only eight per cent of Barbadians at the time of the poll.

“The important thing is that she is beating two men . . . . Of course it has a lot to do with who you are running against too,” Wickham said.

“There is enough information to suggest that she should beat Stuart. However, if she doesn’t, I should recall that I also argued that Hilary Clinton should have beaten Donald Trump. If she fails we can ask the question, whether gender had anything to do with that failure. If she wins we can say she won in spite of her gender and not because of it, and if she loses maybe we can say it is a small factor.”

Stating that women had long been the “vanguards of politics”, he said they often have a great influence over how family members vote, especially if they were the head of the household.

19 Responses to Wickham backs Mottley

  1. Adrian Shorey February 21, 2018 at 11:15 pm

    Peter you know very well wid people like Dale and George being back stabbers Mia wouldnt last to long at the helm of the blp party. We will wait out and see if Mia will sure get to be the first female Prime Minister cause we done know how bajans feel bout she so stop trying to fool people bout bajans ready fa a famle PM like she. Stupse.

  2. luther thorne February 22, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Adrian Shorey talking bare Pupp.
    All the DLP and the bewitched supporters does do is tell bate lies every Elections and fool foolish people with their foolishness

    Talking nonsense bout Dale and George back stabbing Mia

    Bare talk by the DLP to create doubt and confusion in the heads of foolish bewitched people because dem feel everybody bewitched like the people in ST..JOHN

  3. Sherlock Holmes. February 22, 2018 at 12:27 am

    This is the same man that said Hillary had the vote of women too and predicted that she would have won the election in the USA hands down becoming the first USA president and we all know how that turned out.

  4. Sherlock Holmes. February 22, 2018 at 12:28 am

    The first female president.. correction for above.

  5. luther thorne February 22, 2018 at 1:04 am

    I like Peter
    I have known him for a longtime
    We share alma mater
    But I feel that Peter should just leave it alone with the predictions.

    Not called for
    Nobody knows what will be the Outcome.
    So chill

    • Stephen Mc Lean February 22, 2018 at 8:00 am

      Peter looking for a pick in a BLP administration… i scratch your back you scratch mine!

  6. Saga Boy February 22, 2018 at 6:32 am

    This is what I don’t understand about Peter. How can he expect anyone to believe him to be objective in his analysis of data collected during political pollings? He cannot be making these public statements and expect us to think he does not have a bias. He is no more than a political pimp. Owen will deal with him appropriately.

  7. Saga Boy February 22, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Luther you have me worried. One minute you on a hunger strike and the next yah eating all you can see. One minute you sure the DLP will be defeated and the next minute yah like yah n sure. If you knew George Payne and his private pronouncements about Mia you would be able to identify him with back stabbing. He said that Mia can’t lead him anywhere. He said too that he was going to bring back Maria into the fold. He cussed Owen as well because he fired him. He is not to be trusted.

  8. petra February 22, 2018 at 8:11 am

    How bajans feel about her. That is rubbish. Bajans need to check their own closet for seletons. owen Arthue should be shame to destroy a party who made him what he is today. any way time will tell. God is watching on. stop judging

    • Ras February 22, 2018 at 9:11 am

      @ Petra God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

  9. luther thorne February 22, 2018 at 9:15 am

    People make predictions so they can beat their chests and grin and say Man I tell yuh so. I know !
    Yuh aint know nothing.
    Yuh dont know what is going to happen the next minute
    the next hour , the next day so no one knows the Future
    They pretend that they know so as to impress others.

    Look I care about Barbados first
    Not any political party or personality
    What is best for Barbados and I look at things objectively.

    The DLP has failed miserably
    Now this does not translate into – The DLP will win or the DLP will lose . They should not be given a 3rd term. They do not deser ve it and even DEMS are saying that this present crop is making it hard to vote for Dem .Nobody knows what will happen and
    people should try to stop playing God.

    There are lot bewitched people in Barbados who are suffering from EBES so who knows what they will do come Elections. Yuh cant predict nothing that is why Peter need to keep quiet on this particular issue. That second poll he bring in 2013 is what got we in this now. Peter needs to STFU

  10. Adrian Shorey February 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Luther Thorne i supposed you living in another Barbados??? Who was it that that get rid of her as opposition leader??? Sure is hell not me that went to the GG with Owen Arthur. You seems to be forgetting that was both local and internationals news for all and sundry to read and hear about. Stop your stupid rehtoric people would not be fool by you.

  11. Saga Boy February 22, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Petra if you live in Barbados you would know that lots of bajans do not approve of the lifestyles of Mia or Peter. Stop burying your head in the sand if you live here. If you don’t know what they say about Mia then you are not one that moves around with the people. I do.

  12. Cecil Brooks February 22, 2018 at 10:07 am

    I think Peter should stick to being a pollster and stop telling the people of Barbados who should be Prime minister. He should also tell the people of Barbados that our system of government does not allow us to vote for the post of Prime minister, and in 2018 the hand picking of party people should stop. Instead Peter should be educating people to look for the most suited people to represent them in the 30 constituencies we have in Barbados and let those 30 elected members select from themselves who should be Prime minister.

  13. Adrian Hinds February 22, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Thank you Cecil Brooks. This is pure dishonesty this talk about leadership. If the political class, political commentators and their adjacent s want Bajans to be interested in who becomes PM put the office and the candidates directly on our Ballot. They are making us out to be really stupid. Our job in the voting booth is mark an x for the person to represent us in Parliament full stop.

  14. Kathy February 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    So who really surprise that Wick ham backing She…

  15. Ralph W Talma February 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    1. Thank you very much Mr Wickham for your kind words on Ms Mottley chances of winning the next election. As a sailor who has been through storms and hurricanes over 35 years, I can tell you with 99% certainty that lightning does not strike the same spot twice. Therefore, I concur with you that her Party should be the winners at the next election. Her past actions developed from inter alia lessons learnt from others, show she has the leadership and wherewithal to be just as good a Prime Minister as some previous male appointees.
    2. After much reflection she has my vote, and I wish her smooth seas and a following wind in a campaign which will demand fleetness of footboy all concerned.

  16. luther thorne February 22, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I dont care if Mia is a uh uh or Peter is a uh- uh.

    Has nothing to do with me.

    That they can do the job is my main concern

    If I hire a professional to do a job , I want that professional to do the best. What that individual does in their bedroom has nothing to do with me. That somebody would be concerned about such things is crazy. How silly !

  17. Adrian Shorey February 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Luther Thorne running for high office to be Prime Minister of a country is not running for a hug pen with swines in it so its only fair that if your nasty bedroom business get out and your lifestyle is not in keeping with the high office of this land should mean you don’t fit to run furthermore hold the position as PM.

    Mia is a bright woman but not any body that can get the job done and she has proven that over and over. I say to you she will be stab again in the back by her own blp comrades and this time it will not be an easy one for her. So perish the thought that Mia could get the job done cause she can’t and what is going to make it even worst is the demons she got floating around her daily.


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