ACCORDING to the talk, the PLP are now busy making promises to the unions of how much better off their members will be under a Christie government. However, wise citizens should understand that it is the Public Treasury that will be the final arbiter. They will quickly discover that the Treasury will be unable to honour much of what the PLP is now promising. The biggest laugh of all is that the PLP expect Bahamians to believe that they will be able to deliver on many of their promises in their first 100 days if given a second chance — something they couldn’t do in five years when the people gave them their first chance.
It is believed that is why certain union leaders — especially in Customs — are pushing for firm commitments in the PLP’s Vision 2030 before the elections, not after.
The PLP have promised, if elected, to allocate an unrealistic amount of money to education to graduate better qualified students. At present failure is the norm. But more alarming is the attitude of parents, who, instead of demanding more of their children, get angry at the school when it refuses to let unqualified students join the graduation line for a certificate. It is a position that encourages the already too prevalent attitude of entitlement to something that has not been earned. This is one of this country’s major problems — expecting something for nothing.
It doesn’t matter how much money is spent on education unless the whole system is revised and improved. Large sums of money will not help a child who doesn’t want to learn, or parents who are ready to beat up a teacher who disciplines their child for breaking the rules. It’s not money, its quality of teachers, attitude of parents, and discovering a child’s ability so that after grasping the basics, his interests can be developed in the direction in which he is best able to achieve. What good is it to teach him science, if he would rather build a house or plant a tree?
And so money is not the answer. It alone will not guarantee success.
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It looks as though the PLP think that giving out yellow T-shirts will win an election.
“What dey t’ink dis is,” laughed a Fox Hill lady yesterday. “My house is just filled up with PLP tee-shirts and only one person in dis house can vote!”
She says that anyone can go to Fred Mitchell’s Fox Hill headquarters and get a tee-shirt — a choice of three or four different styles – a case for a cell phone, a shopping bag, hats and scarfs. And anytime a PLP worker stops at her house, one of the children is given a tee-shirt. She’s now at her wits end as to how to get rid of them.
And yesterday outside the Royal Bank of Canada, Paradise Island, a bus was parked with a man doling out the tee-shirts to hotel workers.
We wonder how many of these tee-shirts will translate into a vote, or how many who are receiving them are even registered to vote.
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“The approval of drilling for oil in the pristine waters of The Bahamas is among the most momentous decisions that any Government of The Bahamas will ever have to make,” Prime Minister Ingraham told Grand Bahamians at a rally last night.
“This decision by your Government should never be influenced by any financial relationship that exists between the company seeking the permit and its paid consultants and attorneys.
“It is a decision with wide ramifications that will affect the very nature and essence of who we are as a country,” he said.
This is why we were shocked to learn that Opposition Leader Perry Christie is an adviser to the law firm that represents the Bahamas Petroleum Company that expects to receive licences shortly to start drilling for oil in our waters. This is probably one of the most important decisions that the next administration will have to make.
The law firm of Philip “Brave” Davis is listed as BPC’s lawyers with Mr Davis, deputy leader of the PLP, having retained Mr Christie as a BPC adviser.
“If there is an issue they need advice on,” said Mr Christie, “whether or not they need someone to speak to the issue of environmental impact (studies), the issue of whether or not in my judgment a matter is worthy for the government to approve, whether or not an application is ready, whether or not they should employ and who go on the board of directors, whatever views they ask of the firm regards it as necessary, they would consult me on it. Those are the services I provide.”
No matter how much these men might assure Bahamians that the best interests of the country will come first should they become the next government, which one of you would trust such an important decision to them? Wasn’t it Mr Christie who found every excuse in the book to absolve his ministers of their transgressions when they should have been fired? The Greenberg, Quinlan, and Rosner report attributed the PLP loss of the 2007 election to Mr Christie’s perceived weakness and scandal-ridden government.
These are not qualifications for a second chance.