During its five-year tenure, the incumbent Government of Barbados led by the island’s first female Prime Minister Mia Mottley, will be closely monitored by citizen organization, The Shadow Cabinet.
The recently formed group which is led by youth and community activist Corey Lane, also includes social development and community activist Kemar Saffrey, community worker Melissa Savoury, social commentator and the first youth Prime Minister of Barbados’ Youth Parliament Jason Carmichael and leadership specialist and missionary Imran Richards.
The organization was established because of the changed political landscape following the May 24 election, with the Barbados Labour Party recording a landslide victory and securing all 30 seats. For the first time in the island’s history, there was no Opposition.
The frontbench position normally left to the Opposition has been assumed by Lane and his team of young independent thinkers who seek to not only scrutinize the policies and actions of Government but also provide sound alternatives and educate the masses as well.
Interim chairman of the Shadow Cabinet, Corey Lane told Barbados TODAY that the body sought to use social media and traditional forms of media to reach the public. They will also be employing the use of an app, Cit View, where Barbadians can receive real time information on policies passed in Parliament and ask questions.
Lane said the organization had no political preferences and would not serve to act as a mouth piece for Government or other political institutions.
“I have fundamental problems with adversarial politics because at every step of the development of a small nation like Barbados you have 50 per cent of itself fighting against itself. A nation against itself cannot stand which is why we are saying let us have some intellectuals, let us have some independents, let us have some voices both young and old analyzing what is happening,” said the interim chairman.
However, as the island embarks on the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) Plan, there has been much debate about its last in first out approach.
“Simultaneously with modernizing Government, you are using the last in first out which mainly displaces young people. So you are going to modernize the Government system with the older people in the system. Obviously that cannot be the best way going forward.
“I believe that a good mix of experience and youthful creativity and exuberance could augur well for the Barbadian economy and society,” Lane said.
The community activist also commended the Mottley administration for its quick response and carefully thought out policies during their 164 days in Government but said the ball was dropped in its delivery.
“Where my disappointment comes is really in the implementation, the nuts and bolts of the engine room. I think that is where they are falling down,” Lane said.
Lane also expressed concern over the lack of youth engagement and conversation on the country’s changes and the public’s reluctance to educate themselves on the country’s economic future.
“A lot of people listen to rumor and heresy so that is why this body needs to come, do the reading, do the research and do the unbiased analysis as much as possible,” he said.
The Shadow Cabinet will be made up initially of ten members and will seek to have a full slate of 21 Shadow Ministers by January 2019.