This year will see several general elections in the region, and The Bahamas have kicked off the races. In the Caribbean we put the party feeling into most things, including politics, and it’s good to see people getting out for rallies and “enjoying” their democratic rights. There are no certainties in elections, but opposition supporters are chanting loudly “It ain’ long now!” or “It ova!”, as they expect a massive victory. So far, the debates have been heated and the supporters fervent. We hope that this will continue to be the trend, without any descent into violence against candidates or supporters. However, recent reports of possible arson with the burning down of the constituency office of “Tommy” Turnquest, a very promintent member of opposition party, Free National Movement, indicate that this may be too hopeful.
Jamaica will be heading for the polls and the history of past violence will be fresh in the minds of many voters and politicians. Barbados, too, may head to the polls. Economic issues will again be high on the list of concerns, but recent events also indicate that there are growing concerns about governance and corruption, and how the continued absence of integrity legislation may give the population lower quality leaders than they deserve. At this point, it will be interesting to see how the good and bad sides of the Cricket World Cup are used by politicians and whether we may see some governments falling as a result of the tournament not going as well as many had promised. Let’s keep watching and hoping for the best.