The United Progressive Party (UPP) candidate for St George North, Everton Holligan believes there is a place for a third party in Barbados, arguing that citizens are disenchanted with the traditional two-party political system.
To support his contention that a multi-party system could be viable, the political newcomer pointed to the fact that 95,000 registered electors did not vote in the last general
election in 2013. He attributed that to people wanting options other than what were presented.
“I think that as a free people we need to constantly express ourselves. Barbados is a democracy and I think there is a place for a third, fourth or fifth party. You have to be multi-dimensional if you want to move the country forward. It does not matter if it is a third party, as long as it is trying to create the best world for our children,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The UPP, launched in February, is one of three new political organizations seeking to go up against the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the main opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in the next general elections that are constitutionally due next year. The others are the Barbados Integrity Movement (BIM) and Solutions Barbados.
The 42-year-old Holligan said that based on his discussions across the constituency he is seeking to represent, people are apathetic, upset with the electoral process, and uncertain about the future of the country or who should get their vote.
He presented the UPP, which is chaired by former BLP senator and Cabinet member Lynette Eastmond, as a viable alternative and said the party was listening to the people.
The community worker said his political philosophy is based on unity, creativity, collective working responsibility and co-operative economics.
“I believe that we have the power to recreate our world,” the father of five said. “My purpose is to leave a civilization for my children that is greater than the one I inherited. I am investing in their future.”
Questioned about Eastmond’s political leadership, Holligan maintained that her return to elective politics suggested she was someone who was passionate about service.
The UPP candidate said Eastmond had a vision that included a “charted path” to address unemployment in Barbados.
Holligan also told Barbados TODAY other members of the party were presenting ideas to address the economic challenges facing the country and the UPP’s economic programme would be rolled out in due course.
Meantime, commenting on the problem of deviance among the country’s youth, Holligan argued that some of the blame could be placed at the feet of previous generations of Barbadians who never took the time to investigate the root causes of the problem.