WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

Be Careful What You Wish For

Room for only two political movementsGeneral elections, constitutionally due by March 2014, are now less than 12 months away. Under normal circumstances, Antigua & Barbuda would not be experiencing the level of political ferment that exists today on these islands.

Yet, every day in this our media-empowered land, the airwaves buzz with intense political debate as citizens respond to the imperative to advance their own party’s interests – or hinder those of the other side. Clearly, circumstances are far from normal. Or then again, maybe they are.

The political climate in this country today might be taken as a fit case for applying the famous warning about being careful what you wish for – you just might get it. Many in Antigua & Barbuda have called for the formation of an alternative or “third” party, some political movement that might serve as a rallying point for those thousands of voters who yearn for relief from the self-serving sameness of the current ruling and opposition parties.



Practically from the onset of the United Progressive Party years, efforts to form new political organisations have been rumoured, mooted, attempted, and discarded with monotonous regularity. The initials, so often derivative of one another, seem to run together in an alphabet soup of failure. None of the new political movements bandied about in the past nine years has become an actual reality, beyond attracting a tiny band of mavericks to briefly pursue a gallant, impossible campaign before fading into oblivion.

This consistent record of failure to establish a viable third party has a great deal to do with history, culture, and conditioning. It is fair to say that Antigua & Barbuda today provides a highly unfavorable environment for any brave individuals heroic enough to stand out as spokespersons bidding to represent any interests that conflict with those of the prevailing establishment. This reality in turn has a great deal to do with the central role government plays in the local economy.

Every person in the country – every individual, family, and business – has to relate to the government for some reason. This places enormous psychological pressure on every person in the country to keep on the good side of the government of the day. The consequences of falling into the bad graces of the political directorate can be dire, or at least rather uncomfortable.

Another considerable restraint on the formation of new political parties is that provided by the comfortable collegiate relationship that exists between the two major political parties. The ruling UPP and the opposition Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party happily share the belief that our twin-island nation is essentially a “two-party” state: a country with room for only two political movements … theirs. Under this self-serving scenario, so long as the ALP and the UPP exist, no other political viewpoint can have any chance of gaining ground within the body politic.

This ideology suggests that quite apart from being a two-party state, Antigua & Barbuda is also a “one viewpoint” country, where only the political ethic jointly espoused by the two parties in government can hope to represent the aspirations of any portion of the body politic. This position is a patent absurdity, and flies in the face of the democratic principle itself. This is why today, even though the venerable (by current standards) Organization for National Development has thrown in the towel – opting to hitch its tiny wagon to the ABLP star, new efforts are afoot to drum up support for some new group of “patriots” who will knock the current status quo off its feet.

The Antigua & Barbuda Twin Island Congress is struggling to publicize its 175-page manifesto. Mitchell Edwards, the sole individual yet willing to publicly identify himself with the nascent movement, has drawn attention from the public with his party’s radical proposal to enforce twice-yearly vaginal inspections for under-age girls as a means of protecting them from sexual abuse. The immediate sensation apart, that is as far as things go – except that some people are wondering about the gender-equity aspect of the anti-sexual abuse inspections only for girls. The Congress party has not yet come up with a viable proposal regarding corresponding inspections for boys.

Yet another “new” political party looming on the horizon goes by the name of “True” Labour. Formed out of disaffected remnants of the defeated Lester Bird faithful who saw their idol go down to defeat at the November 25 leadership convention, this parasitical faction is promoted by third-generation members of the Bird political family. Vere Bird III and Sean Bird jointly lead the “True Labour” movement, which hopes to so weaken the “official” ABLP that the opposition party misses its opportunity to take the reins of government away from a fast-fading UPP.

This scenario presents new leader Gaston Browne with an unusual challenge: being required to fight on two fronts – dealing with the flea-bites of True Labour while at the same time marshalling the forces of the official Labour Party to defeat the incumbent UPP in March 2014. This ongoing two-front war creates a great deal of media noise, setting the airwaves abuzz while the official ABLP completes the process of ensuring that the best candidates are sent into the field.

The latest media feeding frenzy relates to the disappointment felt by rejected candidate Daven Joseph, now out in the cold after failing to make a respectable showing in the recent ABLP polling exercise. Daven Joseph apparently believes that his candidacy should be assured based on the simple fact that he came out ahead of his ABLP rivals. This is a simplistic and self-serving viewpoint. Joseph did best his party colleagues – the problem is that he did “worse than expected”. Not only did sitting MP Chanlah Codrington leave the twice-defeated Daven Joseph in the dust – Joseph also failed to lead his party rivals by a decisive margin.



It is fair to expect that having been caretaker for the All Saints West constituency for two terms Daven Joseph should have handily disposed of Wigley George and Arthur Thomas, both relative newcomers to the race. Instead, indications are that George polled within striking distance of Joseph, with Thomas coming in a very respectable third. Daven Joseph may have won the race, such as it was – but in the eyes of those who plot election strategy for the ABLP he has been sidelined by the “WTE”.

In the meantime, the rumor mill is working extra shifts, as reports surface of a hot new ABLP “super-candidate” waiting in the wings to wrest All Saints West from the popular Codrington. Who knows – the super-candidate may even be that individual so loathed by True Labour … no less a personage than the Honourable Asot Michael.

Be careful what you wish for.

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17 Comments In This Article   

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Lord Have Mercy, rupert j.,Professor, CURIOUS JORGE

#17 Skyewill » 2013-04-20 07:10

PS: In the future, if I don't respond to you it's because I am busy and you are boring me. Your attempts to use me as a distraction instead of making constructive contributions is obvious to many folks, who have sent me many words of encouragement. All those who want to make me a political enemy, simply because I am not what they all want time to be, TELL THEM I ANI'T RUNNING AWAY, Tell them for me NO DICE! @ Lord Have Mercy, the one holding the Kryptonite, NO I HAVE NEVER MEET OR HAVE HAD A CONVERSATION WITH Mr. Michael, YET! But by your behaviour he must breathe some level of fear in you. If I ever have the pleasure of meeting you face to face, I will take off your mask put you over my knees, spank you like a baby and wash your mouth out with soap :lol: for telling lies.

George-Skye Williams
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Lord Have Mercy, rupert j.,Professor, CURIOUS JORGE

#16 Skyewill » 2013-04-20 06:51

To all you masked men in hiding, MY ANSWER TO YOU QUESTIONS: I will not support anyone who support the WPP, Fence issue, CIP, people not getting paid on time, the deplorable state of our police, EMS, unfinished library, The mismanagement of Social Security, Road & schools conditions. Mr. Browne and I have no formal arrangements in either direction. I have not yet donated any contribution to his campaign as I have done for the present government. However, I have sent him some of my ideas some he likes and some he rejects. I have sent some of the same ideas to representatives of the current administration without response so far and will continue to do so. Once again I challenge you to unmask and show your true colors. I am quite flattered by all this attention, thank you! So are you saying that you can support HMB 20 million to 70 million dollar and rising mess? Browne means different to me. You know even with KRYPTONITE, Superman has always seemed to win. The truth is I really don’t know who will win in the next election but I certainly wish Mr. Browne Well!
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@ JFII

#15 Dessalines » 2013-04-19 13:49

Quote:
These are people who have never viewed themselves as being centered and central to their own history. They have never seen themselves as being agents of their political experiences, but rather as marginals on the periphery of A&B's economic fortunes.
This analysis is on point. We as a culture have always viewed ourselves through the eyes of our former and present colonial masters. There is a pervasive sense of 'absenteeism' among Antiguans, possibly adopted from the British planter class. Some say we lost our identity but in truth we never really had one. Ours was just a transition from British to American (and now Jamaican) cultural values.
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Dessalines

SKYWIL KRYPTONITE

#14 CURIOUS JORGE » 2013-04-18 20:02

IS LIKE LORD HAVE MERCY HAB SKYWIL KRIPTONITE. AS SOON AS DA LORD SAY ANYTHING SKYEWIL RUN AND HIDE. DIS WAN YA SWEET BAD. WID ALL HE CHAT SKYWIL IN DE GARDEN HIDIN HIDIN FROM DA LORD.
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CURIOUS JORGE

@ skye

#13 Professor » 2013-04-18 19:46

I have been observing with amusement the kindred debackle between my brother skye and LHM. The new information that recently surfaced from LHM about my brother skye acceptaing a formal position as an ABLP cheerleader should not surprise anyone, because he has been trying out for the position for a while. I for one respect his position, but I am not sure why it was not proudly announced ... maybe he was waiting until after the probation.
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Professor

The Sleeper Gives Credence To The "So-Called Western Democracy" With The Medium Is The Massage! PT4

#12 John French II » 2013-04-18 17:32

Notes From A native Son Of The Rock! This mere voice in the wilderness has written of the Strategems of Shaka, Chaku, Juno A-BEC, Commissioner 81st, Mamba, Lady Macbeth & their Cohorts of Sleepers delivering The Medium Is The Massage. Their Phalanx of Black Elites, Intelligentia & Petty Bourgeoisie, assorted Buccaneers & Privateers will not fold. Will maintain their 30%.
The middle 40% of those seeking the White Knights of Independent Thinkers riding in on White Horses with no Shared Vision, Mission & Strategic Imperatives will given the temper or distemper of the day stay in their solitary corners like little Jack Horner eating their Goat Water putting in their fingers, pulling out the dumplings & delighting in what good boys & girls they are. If your are not the owner of the enterprise, you can't affect the permissions.
The ABLP working poor continue to hope for Ripe Mangoes Falling, engaging mad rushes to get the Choicest. Comrade Leader is reminded to get Spokepersons lined up quickly & lead the People in a Shared Visioning Exercise without hindrance from the Gang of 4. End of April fast Approaching & Events Overtaking, Have Mercy. Oh Gad! Pray Fuh Eee!
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John French II

The Sleeper Gives Credence To The "So-Called Western Democracy" With The Medium Is The Massage! PT3

#11 John French II » 2013-04-18 16:54

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! In his Republic, Plato addressed 5 forms of Government from the Best to the Worst. The Aristocracy - the Best, which A&B, notwithstanding the wishes, hopes & aspirations of the Black Elites, Intelligentia & Petty Bourgeoisie, A&B will never realize. The Timocracy or Millitary Government. Doubtful if A&B will ever succomb. Oligarchy with a huge division between Rich & Poor. In this it is said that the few Rich will rule the many Poor. A&B's Rich are not not virtuous & attempt to become richer while the poor become poorer due to bad policies. Many describe A&B's Colonial past as exemplifying that evolution.
"So Called Western Democracy" Like Plato, our Politicos & Elites cling to A&B's Democratic Constitutional Evolution. A "Bewildered & Bemused Electorate" believe that if they choose their Leaders, their interests will be realized. Some suggest, since the m** aren't educated in the niceties of Westminister & the Best Greek Traditions, educated by rote with neglected cognitive thinking, they will not make political decisions that proritize their needs degenerating into Tyranny.
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John French II

tell us sky

#10 rupert j. » 2013-04-18 16:54

Sky come clean is it true what the lord have said, for one who speaks eloquently of transparency this sure does not look good, I can see now how your bloggs have turned from being down the middle to being partisan so let usknow is it true.
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Third Party

#9 Professor » 2013-04-18 16:46

The dunce element at the helm of True Labour mistakenly believes they need 17 candidates in order to be a legitimate alternative political party ... so that train will never leave the station.

Edwards and his unedited drivel will never receive the support of sensible Antiguans ... so he is dead in the water.

Notwithstanding the cheerleaders and the noise from the peanut gallery, Antiguans are so fed up with UPP and ALP that the next general election is still anybody's game ... sensible newcommers will have an excellent opportunity to unseat incombents and an independent could become PM.
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Professor

The Sleeper Gives Credence To The "So-Called Western Democracy" With The Medium Is The Massage! PT2

#8 John French II » 2013-04-18 16:26

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! While many have posited that the people get the Government they Deserve, throughout A&B's history, some have equally argued that when a majority are ignorant and swayed by The Medium is the Massage, their decisions may not be the wisest of choices.
Western Civilization places much Democratic Philosophy at the wisdom of Socrates & Plato. How has this affected the thinking of Antiguan & Barbudan Politicos, Black Elites, Intelligentia & Petty Bourgeoisie?
Never forget that Most have been schooled and tutored in the "BEST" Greecian, Roman, British & North Atlantics Classical Traditions. Such is their thinking.
These are people who have never viewed themselves as being centered and central to their own history. They have never seen themselves as being agents of their political experiences, but rather as marginals on the periphery of A&B's economic fortunes. Hence their Vision & Mission for FDI, their Strategic imperative for Living in the IMF's NEST of Fiscal Adjustment & Structural Reform and Goals & Objectives for Citizenship Investment Programs in July 2013 with Measuremets of $50M USD annually.
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John French II

The Sleeper Gives Credence To The "So-Called Western Democracy" With The Medium Is The Massage!

#7 John French II » 2013-04-18 15:54

Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! The term "So-Called Western Democracy" uttered & recorded for Posterity by the Good Hon. Dr. PM is firmy etched in the Culture & History of Antigua & Barbuda. The Electoral Process to command & direct the "So-Called Western Democracy" follows the traditions of the Westminister System - "First Past The Post". Until another direct electoral process is constitutionally enshrined "consistent record failure" will be the lot of a "Bewildered & Bemused Electorate".
This mere voice in the wilderness argues for an Electoral System of Proportional Representation. In a "Small Place" of less than 90K Souls, an Electorate Of some 60K, electing 17 Parliamentarians, this should be highly desirable & efficiently doable given today's technology.
In A&B Quote:
a 'one viewpoint' country, where only the political ethic jointly espoused by the two parties in government can hope to represent the aspirations of any portion of the body politic.
many cling to the belief that democracy is the best form of government & that rulers elected by the people is the best way to ensure that the majority hopes & aspirations will be realized.
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@ Skyewill

#6 Lord Have Mercy » 2013-04-18 15:51

My good buddy Skyewill, when you met Gaston Brown for the first time you experienced love as first sight and developed an emba**ing man crush that you publicized openly in this forum and had bloggers feeling sorry for you.

Now that you finally got the green light to formally work directly for Gaston you did not come and tell the Caribarena Community a thing. Why are you holding out on us? I had to learn of your good furtune from an Asot Michael aide, who was quick to say that you are on probation, because the moneybag does not really like you.

As one of your biggest fans, I am asking you to just come clean with the bloggers: you are the one that claims you do not have anything to hide, so I am wondering why you are hiding the big news from us.
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RE: Be Careful What You Wish For

#5 naomi » 2013-04-18 13:20

Colin, Colin, Colin, as Daven's sister I will agree with you that he should have handily disposed of his opponents in the poll however if Daven or the other three cannot beat Chanlah, how does the executive of the ABLP believe that they can choose some other person and they will beat Chanlah. Instead of the executive come up with a strategy to beat Chanlah they are jumping from candidate to candidate. It is time that ABLP pull them strap up and start working and not expecting the seat to be handed to them. Daven, Wigley, Potter, or any other candidate cannot do it on their own they will need help from everyone if they want All Saint's West. They should already have their running shoes on and working All Saint's West, but instead they are fighting among themselves. That is why Chanlah will win again because ABLP think because the Antigua is in a bad state they will be just voted in. It doesn't work like that so it doesn't matter who they pick it will be the same thing.
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naomi

NEITHER ONE OR THE OTHER...

#4 YOUTH ELIJAH » 2013-04-18 12:54

Colin nice article... no viable argument could be put forward to say that the political landscape in Antigua & Barbuda doesn't need a good shaking up...

The ALP & UPP have done a splendid job and are aspiring to continue to breed the misinformation in our society about democracy, and how it should work to continue dominating the uneducated voter populace on civics.. fooling people to believe they need to vote for one of them or the other to have a government... when 1st layer of government is every elected person from the constituencies who won their seats coming and working together in parliament to run the country... instead they more occupied with fighting against each other...

I want to see independents dominate the general elections come 2014, and regardless of whom ever wins which ever seat party candidate or independent that they do away with the unproductive partisan & opposition politics and work together to solve and move Antigua & Barbuda forward...
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YOUTH ELIJAH

Colin

#3 tenman » 2013-04-18 10:49

Colin the super candidate should be used against the PM. I strongly believe that the environment in Rural West is more conducive to Asot Micheal. Though in the past ALP held All Saints West, I suspect the demographics of the area has changed, especially due to the housing projects that have occurred there over the years. Its more middle class than working class. Rural West has more of a youth presence (my unscientific impression) and this is where Micheal's strength lies. Its easier to get young people to be open minded. Let me suggest the party if not done, scientifically examine the variables, do a SWOT analysis.

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Edwards

#2 tenman » 2013-04-18 10:34

I have known Edwards for some years but the truth is a political party indeed needs more than one person. If this existed Edwards would have been persuaded that he was asking for trouble with the virginity checks and ideas that he will get children to pick cotton as part of national service. His added idea about having a government body ensure that religious groups adhere to biblical teaching is again ridiculous. You then hear of the grammar and verbage issues in the document and realize that he had no proof reader. Its not that he does not have some good ideas, the problem is there are too many bad ones which cause a distraction

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twice-yearly vaginal inspections for under-age girls

#1 skyewill » 2013-04-18 05:25

Here they come with a sick mentality. Where on earth in a modern society anyone who comes with anything like this is likely to win anything? A third party should have been on the scene years ago if anyone was really serious. I still believe if 3 or 4 really good independents surgically implanted and they had enough time and money could effectively form a different government, a coalition government that could metamorphosis into a real party win about 2019 or so. In Antigua people vote party and not issues. When you look at pre 2004 and all the accusations and post 2004 with WPP and HMB, SS and ABIB, and so many blunders and game playing with people’s lives and welfare you have to wonder if when people look at their children they don’t want to make a better future for them. It must run deeper than culture, and operant conditioning. Right now you should not underestimate either side. That would be a great mistake and the middle is much too soft.
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Mr. Colin Sampson

 Mr. Colin Sampson is a Journalist and the host of "The Colin Sampson Show" on Caribantigua TV 

 

 

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