Leader of Solutions Barbados Grenville Phillips II has described the decision by the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and United Progressive Party (UPP) not to participate in the live political debates as “unwise”.
Phillips said the debates presented an opportunity for candidates in the upcoming by-election in St George North to reveal their plans to constituents.
The DLP’s candidate Floyd Reifer and the UPP’s Ambrose Grosvenor, have both opted out of the two live debates slated for October 29 and November 6.
“The Prime Minister advised that CBC should allow debates between all candidates contesting the St George North by-election. Political parties do not have to participate in these debates. However, we think that it would be unwise not to participate.
“By participating, candidates have the opportunity to both explain their plans to voters and defend their plans from scrutiny from other candidates and the moderator,” Phillips said in a press release.
He also questioned the feasibility of some of the plans put forward by the other parties contesting the by-election – the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), the People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP) and the Barbados Free Party (BFP).
He said there were several questions to be asked.
He said while the BLP was proposing fish farming as a means to bring prosperity to St George North, constituents needed to ask who was funding it and what was the planned implementation date.
He said the DLP was planning to assist young people with cricket and to have a skills bank. However, he questioned what would happen to those youth not interested in cricket. He added that the idea of a skills bank had been tried numerous times without success.
The candidate said while the BFP planned to do construction there were questions surrounding the candidate’s capacity to implement it.
Phillips said the PdP’s farming plan was nothing new and faced several challenges, while the UPP’s intentions to monetize the creative industries also left several question marks.
However, he pointed out that as an engineer he was well equipped and qualified to deliver on his promises.
“Solutions Barbados plans to employ persons in the construction of houses and to train families to start businesses, with no start-up money. I have 30 years’ of experience in the construction industry, and I am the 2014 winner of the National Innovation Competition.
“I already train people how to build strong and low-maintenance houses, and to start profitable businesses. Therefore, I welcome the scrutiny,” Phillips said.