As Barbados prepares to attain republican status on Independence Day this year, veteran politician and community activist Hamilton Lashley has suggested that it is time for Barbados to be ruled by a coalition government.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY, he said authorities must seriously consider going that route to preserve the country’s economic legacy for future generations. He said there is no need or space for partisan divide on the political landscape.
“Everybody seems, at a time like this, to be fighting for their own self-interest when the nation should come first. We would perish like fools upon a burning ship and we cannot do that. What we need in Barbados now, and I know it will not happen but I will still be bold enough to call for [it is] a coalition government. We should not be at the point of talking about BLP and DLP and criticisms going left, right, and centre. We should be looking to have a government of national reconciliation, and a government where all of us are on board to help Barbados out of its difficulties,” he contended.
Lashley argued that a coalition government is necessary against the background that a single-party government and its advisors do not have all the answers to Barbados’ social and economic woes.
“Are you going to tell me that all of the people in whichever party wins the election, they alone are capable of confronting and dealing with the problems that face this country? We now have to take a community-based approach. We now have to seriously engage the youth. We now have to seriously engage the Rasta men from all corners of this society. We now have to engage all of the ordinary people in the marginalized and stigmatized communities,” he added.
Lashley said the time has come for citizens from all sections of society to be given the opportunity to take a seat in Parliament and the Senate, where they will be involved in making critical decisions regarding social and economic policies.
The former Government minister added: “You will still have your Prime Minister, you will have your President. It is not going to change your parliamentary style because Barbadians are traditional, so it is not going to change that.” (AH)