While both the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and the official Opposition are unimpressed with the performance of the Mia Mottley administration during its first 100 days in office, two of the island’s prominent political scientists are giving the ruling party two thumbs up.
“I don’t think we can say it was a bad 100 days in office. I think that all things considered, the Government has done well,” pollster and political scientist Peter Wickham told Barbados TODAY this afternoon.
“They hit the ground running and they moved at a blistering speed to the point where, after 100 days in office, we seem to have the framework of an IMF [International Monetary Fund] agreement, and the speed we have moved at is really impressive.”
Wickham said the administration had gone about addressing the critical issues identified by the BLP, noting there had been action on the sewage crisis, the economy and public servants’ salaries.
“I would say it has been a particularly active first 100 days . . . and I would think if an election were called now, people would be generally happy with how things have moved,” the pollster argued.
It was yesterday that DLP leader Verla De Peiza said she was unimpressed by the Mia Mottley administration, suggesting it was all talk but no action.
Opposition Senator Caswell Franklin took a similar position today, stating that the BLP had inflicted more hardship on Barbadians than its predecessor, and that its performance during its first 100 days was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
However, Wickham disagreed, telling Barbados TODAY there were clear contrasts between the Mottley administration and the DLP, which was swept out of office in the May 24 general election.
“That is a view to which he [Franklyn] is entitled. He is a member of the Opposition now, however styled, but I can’t agree with him. I think we have had concrete movement in several directions, which is very, very different to the situation before May 24, and I think that’s the important thing.
“You can see a contrast before and after the election regarding a level of communication, a level of interaction, meetings of the Social Partnership and also regarding progress on major issues. So I would disagree,” the political scientist stressed.
Meantime, Dr George Belle, retired dean of the faculty of social sciences at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, was on the same page as Wickham.
Belle said the electorate was getting what it had anticipated in the approach of Mottley’s team to addressing the “complicated” issues “inherited” from the DLP.
“There is enough of a contrast of styles of [governance] between what is happening now and what had become grounded in the last administration . . . and that difference says that perhaps it’s a reflection that things are being done differently. And I think that is what the electorate of Barbados was hoping for.
“I think we have seen something of that already, and it is on that basis you can say that there is hope for the future and that the propensity of the Government is to do things better and different; and if they are doing that we suspect they are probably engaging with the problems in a different way from what we had become accustomed to seeing over the past eight years,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The political scientist said with the signs suggesting “something different and something potentially better” would likely come from the new administration’s practices, “I would give them good marks”.