Barbados is not a two-party country.
So says chairman of the United Progressive Party (UPP) Everton Heru Holligan, who has blasted the notion that to be a successful politician in Barbados you have to be either attached to the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) or the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).
Speaking to members of the media yesterday ahead of the November 11, by-election in St George North, Holligan said he was disgusted by what was portrayed on The People’s Business on Sunday night.
The chairman charged that the show, which was aired by the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) was heavily influenced.
“The way the show was set up to influence public opinion against other taxpayers… because they are now being encouraged that there is no other political institution that can be effective in Barbados. So even if they have organic thoughts to lead their country in different ways they are being told from early that the only way you can do that is to join an established party even if your philosophy differs or even if progress means that your philosophy must differ,” Holligan contended.
“So what was set up for national tv on Sunday was a huge disgrace, especially in an establishment that we pay taxes for. It was not The People’s Business, it was the BLP’s business and it had nothing to do with the organic issues of the people.”
Holligan, who took over as UPP chairman in 2019, acknowledged that starting any new political party was challenging.
However, he maintained that young people should not be taught that they had no other options besides the BLP or the DLP.
“And then on top of that, old-aged pundits that continue to gatekeep for old parties is what creates this devolution of our society. So our people are not evolving the way that they should be, progress is not being made the way it should be because we’re telling young people and other students of other political institutions that if they want to progress in a society or develop a political career, or help people, they have to join themselves onto a party.
“This is why we are staying organic and we are not looking for favours to join to any particular party and this is why I celebrate Ambrose Grosvenor and all of the other candidates who think that it is important to stay independent and to join new parties and to work hard, because it is hard work to build something. If we can’t teach young people to build something from the ground up and just hook your bandwagon onto something that currently exists then we are running right back in colonialism,” Holligan insisted.
Grosvenor, the UPP’s candidate for St George North also recalled a time when more than two parties were in Parliament and called for Barbadians to be more open-minded.
“In 1956 we had a situation where they were multiple parties in the House of Assembly. Yet, despite all of this education and all that is happening in the world we still seem comfortable in accepting the notion peddled by some, that Barbados is a two-party country. That is not so,’ Grosvenor added. (RB)