Barbados Labour Party (BLP) St Michael Central candidate Arthur Holder has urged party supporters to heed the advice of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and take money from vote buyers.
Addressing a BLP spot meeting in support of St Michael North East candidate Mia Mottley in Yard Gap, Bush Hall, St Michael last night, Arthur argued that vote buyers had no way of knowing where the money takers placed their ballots.
“All you have to do is to take the money. But you aren’t going to only take their money, you need to take their money and vote against them,” he advised BLP supporters, while suggesting that any alleged vote buying would be on the part of the incumbent Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
“Remember that your vote is secret. The people don’t know who you vote for,” the attorney-at-law stressed.
However, Stuart is of the view that any and all vote buying is on the part of emissaries of the Opposition BLP, who he suggests is underestimating “the intelligence of ordinary people” by offering them cash for votes.
“The worst thing you can do in politics is to underestimate the intelligence of ordinary people,” the Prime Minister told party supporters at a recent DLP meeting.
“I have made it very clear to the people [in my constituency] of St Michael South and I am making it very clear to the people of Barbados – I say this unapologetically – if money starts sharing around try and get some. Do not get it by illegal means, but if money is sharing around, get some. Because this kind of political cynicism that is manifested in Barbados has to be confronted, but that is not another way of saying that if they want to be cynical you cannot show that you are more cynical than they are. So if they sharing out money, take some,” he stressed.
In response, Holder suggested last night that it was the DLP activists who “got nuff money . . . and they are going to spend nuff money on the date of election”.
He reasoned that whatever money Barbadians get from those attempting to buy their votes, the people of this country deserve it because workers have not been benefiting from pay increases while suffering from more taxation.
“You ain’t get nothing for five years. The civil servants ain’t getting no increase in salary. They have made that abundantly clear. Taxes on your back like the sword of Damocles,” Holder charged, while also accusing Government MPs of taking care of themselves in the last Parliament by reinstating with retroactive effect a ten per cent salary cut that was instituted in 2014 in empathy with the financial challenges of ordinary Barbadians.