People who are infected with the COVID-19 virus should be allowed to vote electronically.
This is the view of Solutions Barbados candidate for St Philip West Karina Goodridge, as she outlined several areas where she said more needs to be done.
Officials of the Barbados Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the Ministry of Health have already indicated that COVID-19 positive residents who are eligible to vote but are in isolation are prohibited from leaving their homes or the isolation facilities to cast their ballots.
However, Goodridge, has joined several lawyers and other political hopefuls in calling for provisions to be made to accommodate that section of the population.
“COVID-19 persons should be allowed to vote digitally. A system should be implemented where they can do online voting or vote via text,” Goodridge recommended.
She told Barbados TODAY that Government should accept liability for individuals who may fall ill after taking the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Accepting civil liability for the taking of vaccines should be enforced. If we are saying that only a small percentage of the population may be affected by taking vaccines then accept liability for the small percentage who do fall ill,” she said.
Outlining areas which needed greater attention from Government, Goodridge singled out housing, agriculture, the cost of living, entrepreneurship and employment, and a COVID-19 management and response plan.
“Barbadians are particularly interested in hearing about the Covid-19 response plan, the plans for the economy, cost of living and employment,” she said.
She told Barbados TODAY that a part of the COVID-19 response plan should be greater self-monitoring.
“We need to come to a point in which we allow citizens to do self-management. Digital thermometers should be freely distributed to householders to allow them to do self-checks and self-tests. Some persons only discover that they showing symptoms upon reaching work. If we buy the thermometers in bulk, the cost should be cheaper,” said Goodridge.
In relation to employment, she acknowledged that Government was unable to hire everyone and should therefore create more opportunities for individuals to become entrepreneurs.
“We need to teach people how to become entrepreneurs and empower them. Even if there is a subset of persons who choose not to advance themselves or their skills, still empower them – give them the requisite skills to fend for themselves, she said, adding that the time to register a business should be shortened.
She suggested that Value Added Tax (VAT) be abolished, “old debts” be forgiven, and that personal and business taxes “should be fair and affordable”.
Goodridge also called for greater focus to be placed on improving the online learning experience for children to ensure “students do not fall below standard”.
“The elderly should receive a stipend even if they do not qualify for pension. Economic housing, estate planning and guardianship for persons with disabilities or mental health patients need to be provided. Home help needs to be provided for the more vulnerable,” she added.
She also proposed that “properties with food-bearing trees pay a reduced land tax”, adding that more should be done to get more farmers to meet international standards.
Goodridge will be going up against Kay McConney of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), Lynette Eastmond of the Alliance Party for Progress (APP) and Dr David Estwick of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in the January 19 general election.
The attorney-at-law urged Barbadians to go out and vote on January 19, because the vote “matters”.
“The ball is in our court and we have to make use of it. For too long we have been silent when we have been disappointed. This is the time when we should make the most noise. We have to pave the way for the future generation to come and set a greater example,” she said.
Goodridge said she was in the political race because it has always been her desire to represent and help empower people. (MM)