He is arguably the most loquacious member of the Freundel Stuart administration, sharing his opinion on virtually everything and never afraid of taking positions foreign to collective responsibility.
Member of Parliament for St James South Donville Inniss has already made it clear he would not “bury his head in the sand” to the “element of despair” among Barbadians, a suggestion that this was what his governing Democratic Labour Party (DLP) colleagues had been doing.
It was in March that the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development had said those within the ruling DLP who believed the next general election would be easy must be “smoking something”.
There was disquiet among voters, Inniss said then, and the DLP would “pay a heavy price at the polls” if it chose to ignore the signs.
In a twist of delicious irony, Inniss appears set to pay a heavy price if the sentiments expressed by voters during a three-hour Pulse of the People random survey of his constituents hold true.
Victorious by 770 votes in 2013 over Sandra Husbands of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), the oft-quoted minister appeared to have a difficult time holding on to his lead.
The majority of voters with whom Barbados TODAY spoke, several of whom had voted for Inniss and the DLP in the past, were adamant they would go with Husbands next time round.
A few residents said they would not vote at all, and only one person said he was supporting Inniss – Timothy Holder, a West Terrace man who was sitting in his verandah relaxing over a meal.
“I sticking with Donville Inniss,” was all Holder said.
However, a large majority of those who spoke to Barbados TODAY were throwing their support behind the BLP, and nowhere was this more evident than in Husbands where entire families and individuals guaranteed the Opposition candidate their votes.
For example, there was the bare-backed Nolan Gooding who, sitting in his front porch, began what seemed like a chorus of pro-BLP sentiments.
“Even their own people now saying that they need a change in this country,” Gooding said of the DLP.
“What coming up now, they got to give the Bees a break. I think all the people in the Husbands vicinity say they going vote Bees this time. That is our people for the next election,” Gooding asserted, adding that his wife and two others from his household would join him in voting Husbands.
About 100 yards away, the long-time BLP supporter Sylma Walker, who had voted for the Opposition party since she was 18, made it clear she was not about to switch allegiance.
Not satisfied that the point had been sufficiently made, Walker called out Joan Roach, another occupant of the house, to sing the BLP song.
“I voting Bees . . . all the time,” Roach declared.
The enthusiastic Walker was not through. After Barbados TODAY had visited other homes in Husbands, the BLP voter called out again to explain that she had called her husband Dennis Hunte, and he had queried why she did not add him to the list of people who support the Bees.
There were further signs in West Terrace that Inniss could struggle to hold on, as former DLP supporter Beverly Alleyne, who was working around her house, announced a change in allegiance as she described the administration as a hodgepodge Government.
“[I will] certainly not [be voting for] Donville . . . I think Sandra is committed. I am disappointed at how West Terrace looks. It used to be in pristine shape. Donville has let down this constituency,” Alleyne said.
However, in the spirit of full disclosure, the West Terrace voter revealed that despite being “a big Dem” she never hesitated to give her vote to the Opposition.
“I was a big Dem . . . but I ain’t no Donville person. I voted Liz [former MP Liz Thompson] and Sandra. I am going to vote for the BLP,” Alleyne stressed.
Of course, not everyone was on the BLP wagon, but Inniss could not count on even those.
At West Terrace, a retired woman was busy in her garden repairing a garden hose, but even as she got it together, she still was not sure who would be the alternative.
There was also a neighbour, who wanted to be identified as Lynn, and who did not say who got her vote in the last election.
Lynn said she had a hard time deciding whether to go with the Dees or the Bees, as she compared both main parties to flesh-eating predators.
“That is so difficult to decide who I want to represent me. That is as hard as being in the same water as piranhas. That is so difficult. Everybody knows the economy is bad, but as a person who is fairly educated, I am not seeing anything on the horizon that looks close to making sense. That is the honest truth. I am not hearing anybody coming up with any plan,” she contended as she stood in her verandah while the family dog Micah barked and jumped around excitedly.
Still she was not kind to the BLP, saying the Opposition party had failed to capitalize on Government’s mistakes.
There was also Victor Padmore, another neighbour and former DLP voter.
“I ain’t decided yet because most of my years I did voting the Democratic Labour Party, but recently, I don’t like their performance. I got to decide in mind ‘pon the other party,” Padmore said.
Minutes later, Barbados TODAY was welcomed into a home where the matriarch was undecided and a disgruntled female occupant insisted she would not be voting in protest against unpaid pension and an uncaring Government.
But Orson Smith, who lives in the same home, made it clear he would exercise his constitutional right to vote, but it would not be for Inniss.
“There is need for a change in this Government now. Things are definitely too hard in Barbados and this Government has to go. There is no doubt about it. Since the DLP has been in power, which is generally the case, money is never around. Whenever this Government comes into power, money just disappears,” Smith argued.