Despite none of Barbados’ new political parties resonating with the electorate, based on a recent public opinion poll, the leader of one of them believes the time is ripe for her organization to bring change for Barbadians.
Addressing a political meeting in Licorish Village last night, political leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Lynette Eastmond suggested it was time to “change the script” from moving from a Barbados Labour Party (BLP) government to a Democratic Labour Party (DLP) administration every ten years.
“There is a time now to have a new political party on that ballot. It is time to have another candidate on that ballot for you to choose from,” she contended.
“Ninety-five thousand people in the last general election did not go out to vote. Why? Because they did not feel moved to support either the BLP or the DLP any longer. If you speak to people across Barbados, they are completely disenchanted. They are saying that their lives are not changing any longer, there is no progress being made and we have now become stagnant as a people.”
Eastmond’s comments came on the same day results of an opinion poll by the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES) were published, showing that the BLP is the party of choice among voters. None of the minority parties factored in the survey results.
Eastmond chastised Government for ignoring sectors that had the potential to benefit individuals and the country overall.
As an example, she said while the world was moving forward with technology, people in Barbados with the skills to make a mark in that arena were being left behind.
“As you walk around Barbados, there are these young people who know about building applications. The apps that you have on your cellular phones, they are building them in Barbados, but the Government has not allocated any funds to these new industries in the Estimates,” she lamented.
The former Cabinet minister in a BLP administration said while other areas were starved of funds, Government continued to pump money into traditional sectors, like tourism.
Eastmond argued that because of this, many talented people, like Rihanna, have had to go abroad.
“We have seen countries like Jamaica that have wonderful artistes – they have to be based abroad . . . . They have to go abroad to realize their dreams,” she said. “The millions of dollars that they earn do not come into the region. They stay in the USA, and the USA is happy to have them. We want the money to come to us in these new areas.”