So the long-awaited date for the 2013 Barbados elections has been announced – it’s February 21st. Barbados has a long, long history (more than 350 years) of Parliamentary democracy. While what’s now the USA was largely frontierland (with the exception of Virginia), Barbadian politicians were making their own laws as part of the Barbados Assembly, which held its first meeting in 1639.
That long history shows through in the conduct of elections. Sure there’s some name-calling and haranguing from the hustings. There may even be a couple of ads that would fall foul of Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, but by and large, it’s a civilized business, with none of the dirty tricks we have seen in other places. (Remember Al Gore?). This is true of the electorate too. They may get heated about their party and may even have tiffs with those on the other side, but there’s none of the violence we see in places like Jamaica.
And there’s one more good thing about elections in Barbados – the election period is short and sweet. The date was announced yesterday and in four weeks’ time it will all be over and back to business as usual. That’s good news for those of us who are not politically inclined.
Want to know what to do in Barbados? I give some tips on some of the best Barbados experiences in my guest
post on Sharing Travel Experiences. It’s called Barbados: Behind the Scenes and includes tips on beaches, rum shops, food, sports and favorite local activities. Head over to Sharing Travel Experiences and add your 2c worth on what to do in Barbados.
Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, is the best place to do duty-free shopping, see
the bridges after which it’s named, visit the Parliament Museum and National Heroes Square, catch a catamaran ride and more.
Though the Queen is the official head of state and the island remains part of the Commonwealth, Barbados has a long history of self-government. It boasts the third
oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth, dating back more than 350 years. The history of Parliament mirrors the island’s history and is beautifully explained in a self-guided tour. The tour also includes the National Heroes Gallery.