Arthur has always been described as a grassroots leader because of the close relationship that he has with people of all levels of society. He has strong socialist ideals, having been influenced by the Michael Manley administration during the 1970s. He is the first and only professional economist to become prime minister in the English-speaking Caribbean, and he continues to approach economic matters with much caution.
Arthur promotes "the politics of inclusion" that encourage nation building by the entire population. This has been a major factor in Arthur's success as a political leader. He has argued that no one in society should be excluded from the development process.
Arthur's administration brought growth to the Barbados economy. During the run up to the general elections of 1999, he successfully attracted politicians from the opposition DLP to his party. He also received the endorsement of Richie Haynes, leader of the NDP.
Arthur emphasizes cultural emancipation and economic development; he has promised to transform Barbados into the smallest developed country.