Ruling Democratic Labour Party of Barbados fails its own “Good Governance” Test, by Henderson Bovell

Social Commentator: Henderson Bovell (Next - what society is the DLP manufacturing)

When the DLP’s stewardship on: the economy, social policy and good governance, is assessed, it already knows that it will receive a failing grade. Take ‘good governance’ for example! First they were told to “lower their expectations,” then the DLP told Barbadians to “stop bellyaching.” But with the economy in trouble and with serious social problems on the rise in communities across Barbados, even die-hard dems are saying that the DLP does not know what to do or what it is doing. In response, the DLP is letting the people of this country know that they “cannot ruffle its placidity” or “get under its skin.”

The ruling party has somehow managed to convince itself that someone wants to ‘set its agenda.’ But all Barbadians want is for the DLP to accept responsibility for its actions and stop blaming others – including the global crisis. Barbadians also want the DLP to get on with the job of transforming the society to meet the needs of the people, as it promised and to also let the people know, where exactly is the ‘Pathway to Progress,’ it promised in 2008.

Unfortunately, the DLP strategy seems to be that by remaining silent, that will somehow give it the comfort of being in control and isolate it from any criticism of having made a mistake because no one would know what it is doing. But that is only- half correct.

Under the caption: “Good Governance,” on page 47 of its 2008 manifesto, the DLP stated: “the DLP administration’s attitude to accountability will be based on the understanding that as servants and representatives of the people there can be no secrets or matters to be hidden from the population. Consequently, a DLP administration will be accountable for its actions and policies and take the public into its confidence. Under a DLP government, the people will be kept informed of what the government is doing on their behalf.”

The above explains why the silence of the DLP and its persistence in moving the goal post, compounded by its scolding of Barbadians for being totally fed-up and disappointed with its silence and poor performance – is a fundamental breach of the very commitment given, as regards, letting the people know what the DLP is doing on their behalf.

Even at this point, the DLP seems to have lost the moral and contractual authority to govern and when its dangerous mismanagement of the economy and the fact that Barbados is now on social melt-down – are taken into consideration, the DLP should call elections and seek a new mandate from the people. Still, what remains mind-boggling is why a Government, which is performing as poorly as the DLP is – would feel that it deserves to be re-elected.

The DLP must not continue to hold the people of Barbados hostage. Surely, it too must be hearing the cries – even from within its own rank-and-file, that it (the DLP) is a Government this country can no longer afford, especially if ordinary Barbadians (particularly those for whom the fatted calf is not being slaughtered) are to keep body and soul together.

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