Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner (FP)

An appeal is being made to young Barbadians to see politics as a viable career opportunity to serve the public, rather than a last resort profession.

This message comes from Parliamentary Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner who urged young Barbadians not to subscribe to the stereotypical view of politics as a "dirty business", but to use that career as a tool for change and progress.

She was speaking during the official opening of the Team Action International Parliamentary Assembly Session and Inauguration Ceremony last Friday, at Harrison College.

Senator Sandiford-Garner said a significant number of Barbadians including young people avoided getting involved in the political process, and this went against the efforts of Barbadian forefathers.

"If you ask the average youth on the street, whether or not he or she will be attending political meetings, discussing the different manifestos and voting on issues in the next general election, the response is more often than not negative and dismissive," she remarked.

The Parliamentary Secretary reminded the audience that historically, the oppressed masses were barred from taking part in key social, political and economic institutions and it was only since the 1950s that black Barbadians were allowed to enter mainstream politics.

In addition, Senator Sandiford-Garner urged those persons who do get involved in the political process not to be blinded by political propaganda and miss the essence of politics, which is, to serve.

"You must enter politics for the right reasons. Dismiss any preconceived notions of gaining wealth and popularity. If you start with the premise that politics is service to the people, then you should be bringing all these attributes with you.

"…the essence of political leadership is the commitment to leaving your community, your society, your nation, a better place than you found it. I reiterate, it is all about service to the people who elected you," Senator Sandiford-Garner concluded.

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