Three members of the Alliance Party for Progress (APP) are of the view that it is time to do away with “old-school politics” and for future governments to work diligently on programmes that will truly empower the nation’s younger generations to carry the country into the future.
During a virtual meeting, the party’s candidate for St George South, Everton Holligan, said parties like the APP have come on the scene because they are unhappy with the evolution of democracy in Barbados, to date.
“So, we have put ourselves out there to create a new narrative, to get away from the old traditional voices and bring newer voices representing newer values and institutions into Parliament,” he said.
Holligan, who contested the 2018 general elections under the banner of the United Progressive Party which is now a coalition member of the APP, said being appointed to the Cabinet should not be the be-all and end-all of being elected to Parliament.
“Personally, I am not interested in having a ministry if I am elected. I believe as an MP, you have a duty to be on the ground with your constituents on a regular basis, finding out their concerns and putting them before Parliament so they can be addressed by the Government of the day,” he said.
“In the last administration, practically everyone was a minister, so just how effective have they been in their constituencies? I want to be there creating opportunities for the people I represent rather than waiting on a ministry to do it, and giving them long-term career opportunities rather than a basic job for a few weeks at a time.”
The APP’s candidate for St Michael West Central, Veronica Price, said through her work as a clinical psychologist, she had developed programmes that would help the younger generation to overcome some of their emotional issues that would lead to deviant behaviour and channel their energy more positively.
“One of my major concerns since returning to Barbados is the number of young women I have met who were sexually abused as children. This has affected all aspects of their lives, and one of the services I offer is counselling, which is the first step towards healing,” she said.
“I have also developed a programme called Project Nisi, a six-week course for young people who may have been sexually abused or have engaged in criminal activity, and this helps them to use their God-given talents in a positive way, including helping them to generate an income.”
Citing an example, Price said she met a young man who was a third-generation drug dealer, and after she showed him how he used Mathematics to carry out that illegal trade, he eventually moved into a more legitimate line of work using those skills.
Meanwhile, candidate for St Joseph, Paula Sealy-Bradshaw, said she wanted to maximise the potential of the rural parish through agriculture and tourism. “We recently had a discussion on the aloe plant and asked why we could not have aloe farms and healing herbs farms established over here. St Joseph would be an ideal location because the soil is very fertile. That could be a lucrative venture since aloe is in high demand in the beauty and health care industry,” she said.
“St Joseph is also perfect for eco-tourism ventures and it would be good to see a regular music and arts festival staged in the parish at least twice a year. We also have to improve the Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity because people there are still having challenges with Internet access.” (DH)