About 120,000 people will go to the polls in Barbados on Thursday (9 September) for the general elections.
About 120,000 people will go to the polls in Barbados on Thursday (9 September) for the general elections. Prime Minister Errol Barrow's 10-year-old government is fighting for re-election amidst a clamour for change, which has brought the defeat of three out of five long-established Caribbean administrations in elections over the last nine months.
The coming election in Barbados is important not only for the country, but for the whole Caribbean. Some form of political union is being considered to replace the short-lived West Indies Federation, which collapsed in 1962. The major opposition party, the Barbados Labour Party, was one of the founders of that federation, and it is a strong advocate of integration in the Caribbean.
Mr Barrow and his Democratic Labour Party have been in power since 1961. The DLP was returned to power just before independence in November, 1961, winning 14 of the 24 seats in the House of Assembly. Both the DLP and the BLP are basically socialist, but both tend to keep to the middle of the road in practice. There have never been any great difference in their ideologies.