It’s ‘political folly’, says Wickham

Political analyst Peter Wickham has described as “political folly of the highest order”, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s decision to allow Parliament to dissolve automatically without setting an election date.

The move is unprecedented in Barbados’ electoral history, and Stuart must now call the election within 90 days.

Wickham said while the Prime Minister had not breached any constitutional provisions, “the problem is he’s breaching provisions relating to common sense and political pragmatism”.

“It reinforces the long-held view that he does not make decisions well. It reinforces a view that he is really not ready for what’s happening and that he has some kind of fear. And those are the only things I can say, but we can’t judge any of that until after Election Day,” the pollster told Barbados TODAY.

“But it doesn’t help with his perception in the eyes of the majority, especially as the majority already has reservations about his proclivity to tarry in relation to decisions like this,” he added.

Wickham made reference to two instances in Caribbean politics where the prime ministers waited the full 90 days after the dissolution of parliament to call elections.

One was then Trinidad and Tobago prime minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, who at the dissolution of parliament said she would use up the entire period because she wanted to introduce term limits.

The other instance was in 2014 in Antigua and Barbuda, when then prime minister Baldwin Spencer was awaiting a court decision on boundaries.

“He could not set a date until such time that the court made a decision,” Wickham said of the Spencer decision.

“But we have a situation now where nobody knows, and it’s only a few hours since it was dissolved, but . . . there’s no justification for this. You had an entire five years to determine when you’re gonna go back to the people for a mandate and you cannot even announce a date now?”

Wickham stressed that the decision was not unconstitutional, “and it’s not anything for which he can be sanctioned for in a court of law”.

Nevertheless, he said Stuart was not buying any favours with the public by delaying the announcement.

“I remember when we did an analysis of his personality in 2013 in the polls that we did, the most distinguishing feature that came out was people said he took too long to make decisions.

“If this is a critique of his, you have a situation where he is being contrasted with an individual who is already saying what she’s going to do to fix the problem,” he said in an apparent reference to a speech on Sunday night by Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley to party supporters, in which she vowed to be transparent as a leader.

Mottley had also announced last week how she planned to deal with the vexing sewage crisis that has rocked the south coast.

“He cannot speak to the sewage problem on the south coast and he cannot even make a decision in relation to the one thing that’s imminent, which is an election. So I think it doesn’t help him at all, it hurts him. I think it is political folly of the highest order, and my only thing is that we will have to see how the public views him on Election Day, but we certainly can’t do anything before because he’s on good constitutional grounds,” Wickham said.

18 Responses to It’s ‘political folly’, says Wickham

  1. Atman March 6, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Fundel just being spiteful…and using the opportunity to do as he like with our money for as long as he could.

    • luther thorne March 7, 2018 at 12:10 am

      You Atman

      You are so right

  2. luther thorne March 7, 2018 at 12:07 am

    Man why you dont HUSH ?

    • Atman March 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm


  3. Saga Boy March 7, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Soon your wait will be over. In a few weeks you will get your wish. In less than 7 weeks you will have your date. But in the mean time Peter you need to shut up. How can we expect you to treat fairly with the results of any political polls on Barbados if you publicly declare your preference for the BLP?

  4. hcalndre March 7, 2018 at 3:48 am

    Peter; I heard a talk show lizard whom I would expected different saying that nothing is wrong with Stuart`s style of doing things, that would be if he was running his personal business at his home. not the people`s. A lizard changes its color depending on where it is at the present time.

  5. Roverp March 7, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Abuse of power is no good leadership as the DLP thinks.

  6. harry turnover March 7, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Bajans are more now than ever determined to get rid of ALL A DEM due to Stuarts SPITEFULNESS in holding on to Power due to a technically.
    DEM…your SHELF LIFE HAS EXPIRED and NOBODY BUYS EXPIRED GOODS except those who don’t read the labels and even so ,once one realizes that goods have been EXPIRED ,all they have to do is to take them back,get one within the EXPIRED date or a refund.
    The longer he holds on to power would make ANY right thinking Bajan more DETERMINED to make sure that they don’t even form the next Opposition with the exception of course of those dedicated yard fowls who up to this time are still on to some last minute wishing and hoping that their scratch days would be prolong for the next five years
    Bajans…. DO NOT BUY into anything that has EXPIRED.,,,anything that has EXPIRED ARE TAKEN OFF THE SHELVES….it is therefore an INSULT for DEM to be offering EXPIRED GOODS to the PUBLIC

  7. lester March 7, 2018 at 9:48 am

    wow me thinks the silly season is in full bloom, the BLP operative is at it again, be patient peter, be glad that time is running out peter, you will soon get your wish but bullying tactics will not make the PM MOVE, in the meantime a fresh guard is needed just tired of these washup politicians

  8. Dick Tracy March 7, 2018 at 10:30 am

    The article simply calls a spade a spade! Voters will decide if he’s right or wrong. There will be yard fowls on either side, and at the end of the day we’ll see who backed the right horse. But, with everything that’s happened since ‘2008 we know who the favorite is.

  9. seagul March 7, 2018 at 10:49 am

    In some respects we have betrayed those who died to give us the right to vote. We went to sleep thinking the battle was done only to turn around and find fifty years later….Mr.Stuart is doing exactly what all before him did, and what the rest that follows will do. Caribbean ‘dress me up’ politics. Lizards and chameleons.

  10. Kathy March 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Oh Peter come on now, we know you have a lot of grievances with the PM but you know what they say ” if greedy wait, hot will cool”.

  11. Atman March 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    @Kathy…do you know what is the result of waiting too long when you’re dealing with cancer?

  12. seagul March 7, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Marley said Get up, Stand up. For most in B’dos that message for them sadly means to dance. The diversity of social networking in the new media is positive but the status quo has become experts at manipulating and coopting any counter cutural movement. Our cultural heritage which has kept us bonded and unified to a degree are being lost and subjugated because as long as human beings are in a state of fear and stimulated desire we will always be beholden to the elites that offers to resolve these problems by selling us products and propaganda. . Ras Raincrop

  13. Tennyson Drakes March 7, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Peter, you got it wrong on the last occasion. Hoping that you would also get it wrong again on this occasion.

  14. Carlisle Norville March 7, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    would you believe that frundel Stuart told the Dems in new york, he is confident he will win the elections & he will see them again
    next year the audacity & arrogance that this man display has
    me feeling as a man of colour very embarrassed, i am sure some whites are saying ( them black people are something else,) one would have thought since he is supposed to be educated, he is a Q.C.that since he is not a handsome man, he would try to impress
    that even though he is NOT Good looking, he has some brains, the man has impressed me is J**k A** has no concept of what a leader is supposed to do, the best he can do is ,on a regular basis
    entertain the slave master children, with wine & champagne @Ilarro court, while his black brothers & sisters cry out to God Almighty for deliverance, from his wicked ways ( he & Sinclair are pharoes Black slave masters we back in Egypt again looking for a deliverer

  15. Carlisle Norville March 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    i meant (Pharoah) & NOT pharoes thank you.!

  16. Belfast March 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    How can supposedly intelligent and patriotic ministers sit back and allow one man to destroy this country? They are all equally to blame, every last one of them.


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