Political scientist Devaron Bruce says he is not surprised by Ralph Thorne’s move to the opposition benches.
According to reports in another section of the media, the Member of Parliament for Christ Church South has severed ties with the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration to become the Opposition Leader.
Though Thorne could not be reached to comment, his move has been met with little surprise.
Bruce told Barbados TODAY that though some may see the move as a shocking development, the writing had been on the wall for some time.
“Generally, I would say that had you been paying attention, it’s not terribly surprising. Ralph Thorne for the last two years or so has been quite critical as a backbencher. There has been some speculation that he would have crossed the floor for some time. He has also been someone who was a member of the Democratic Labour Party for some time before the Barbados Labour Party,” Bruce said.
“I believe the writing was on the wall, and many would say that he did not have much to lose. The question becomes whether he is willing to run again to regain his seat.”
He added: “I think what a lot of persons are looking forward to is how he governs as the Opposition Leader, as well as the senators that he is going to appoint. I think those are the key things.”
Meanwhile, former opposition senator Caswell Franklyn is pleased to see Thorne crossing the floor from the BLP and becoming the country’s new Opposition Leader.
Franklyn, who spoke at the conclusion of a protest in The City on Saturday against the Cybercrime Bill, said he was “very proud” of what Thorne did, but not surprised.
“You can see Ralph was uneasy. If you listened to the debates, Ralph was trying to get them to behave, because Ralph has a conscience,” Franklyn said.
“People see many times when some of these bills were being debated, Ralph did not turn up at the House, because he did not want to be associated with them. This is the logical conclusion to what was happening with Ralph all the time. He had to make a choice.”
Thorne’s move marks the second time a member of the Mia Mottley-led BLP has left the party to become opposition leader. Following the 2018 election when the BLP again won all 30 seats, Bishop Joseph Atherley decided to leave the party and became opposition leader. He subsequently formed a new party that failed to win a seat in the 2022 general election.