Notes From The Margin

March 18, 2008

Welcome to the 5 year long election campaign!

When the dust settled on January 16th the two parties ended up being quite far apart on number of seats but actually quite close on total number of votes cast. With only an 8% difference in terms of total votes, it means that the current government is vulnerable to a 4% swing. This means that despite a comfortable majority in Parliament, the Thompson administration must politically plan from now with an eye to elections in 2013. It also means that the Mottley opposition is already keeping an eye on that year.

As a result of this we are likely to see Mr. Thompson trying to attack what has long been perceived as the BLP’s strongest point; it’s management of the economy. The BLP for it’s part will pick at every flaw in the government’s actions.

This leads to the  ludicrousness of things such as Government suddenly becoming skeptical about unemployment statistics despite never having said a word about it before or during the campaign. It certainly was not a part of their platform. They are not releasing those figures because it will reinformce the BLP’s perception of good governance.

For the BLP’s part, this whole “We don’t know why the government won’t work with our consultants” is laughable. They damn well know why and they would do the same if they were in office as well.

What it amounts to is that we are in for a five year long election campaign, with the cut and thrust of January continuing at a lower intensity until 2013

Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a wild ride!



  1. Marginal:

    Yes, everything is political, but before you reach a wrong conclusion of what this means, let me quote Bernsrd Crick. In his book,”In Defence of Politics”,Crick defines “politics” as “the public actions of free men .” (p.18). He notes, also, that in the exercise of their freedom people can decide not to engage in political actions.

    How does this relate to the quoted data on the labour force and employment/unemployment? I think that the current data do not tell us enough for it to be useful for the purposes of practical decision-making, as Mia Mottley seems to suggest. In short, what we need is more detailed and articulated statistics that do not seem to fly in the face on what we believe is occurring on the ground.

    Comment by Linchh — March 19, 2008 @ 2:18 am | Reply

  2. Linchh,

    I would certainly agree with you on the need for better stats on the whole. All I’m saying is that in the 1990’s when the BLP voiced it’s doubts about the unemployment stats it was done so quite loudly and regularly. The government seems to have arrived at this new skepticism since January 15th as I don’t recall hearing it before.

    As far as the anecdotal evidence, I guess we could argue about that until the cows come home, (such is the nature of anecdotal evidence 🙂 )

    I do think that both sides could tone things down in Parliament as shouting matches do nothing for the institution.


    Comment by notesfromthemargin — March 19, 2008 @ 8:14 am | Reply

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