The Prime Minister advised that CBC should allow debates between all candidates contesting the St George North by-election. Political parties do not have to participate in these debates. However, we think that it would be unwise not to participate.
By participating, Candidates have the opportunity to both explain their plans to voters, and defend their plans from scrutiny from other candidates and the moderator.
At present, candidates are simply mentioning their plans to voters. But neither our professional organisations or journalists are checking to see whether the plans are workable. Neither are they questioning whether the candidates have any capacity to implement their plans.
The debates are an opportunity to expose the plans to scrutiny. In preparation for the debates, let us review each party’s plans. The parties can then improve the plans for the benefit of the constituents, and to better prepare for the debates.
REVIEW OF PARTY’S PLANS.
The BLP plans to bring prosperity to the people of St George North through fish farming. The main questions are: Is this an idea whose feasibility now needs to be studied? Is the implementation date this year, or 2023? Who is funding this idea? What experience does the candidate have to implement it?
The DLP plans to assist the youth in cricket, and to have a skills bank. The main questions are: What about the youth that do not want to play cricket? The skills bank idea has been tried and failed, because people want to employ the best skills available in Barbados for their job. So, what is different about this skills bank that improves its chances of success? What experience does the candidate have to manage a skills bank?
The UPP plans to monetise the creative industries. The example given was making money by uploading videos to YouTube on the Internet. The main questions are: What training is required to implement this idea? What experience does the Candidate have in making money from YouTube videos?
The BFP plans to do construction activities. The main question is: What capacity does the Candidate have in implementing this idea?
The PdP plans to do farming. Farming has been proposed by political parties in every election since our Independence. Those who try it have to contend with monkeys and humans stealing their produce. There is also the risk of excessive rain, drought, and limited water. Farmers have to invest much for months before seeing a return. So the main question is, how are these foreseen issues being addressed?
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Solutions Barbados plans to employ persons in the construction of houses, and to train families to start businesses, with no start-up money. I have 30 years of experience in the construction industry, and am the 2014 winner of the National Innovation Competition. I already train people how to build strong and low-maintenance houses, and to start profitable businesses. Therefore, I welcome the scrutiny.
Let the debates begin.