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Bahamas Has Lost A Great Leader

BAHAMIANS went to the polls yesterday and showed the depth of their ingratitude to a man who had dedicated 35 selfless years to their service. Hubert Ingraham was a man who had taken over a country that had become a pariah among nations. A country regarded by the world as a "nation for sale", where drug lords flourished. The public treasury was bankrupt, Bahamians were out of work, the island had fallen to third world status with crumbling infrastructure -- the situation seemed hopeless in 1992.

But that year, as leader of the FNM, Mr Ingraham defeated the late Sir Lynden Pindling's PLP, and started the task of rebuilding a country that had little going for it. His first task was to reinvigorate the tourist industry - all government owned hotels were failing. His first success at restructuring was to attract the Kerzner interests back to the Bahamas - they had earlier taken a look and walked away. This conquest culminated in the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island. Further investment quickly followed. Gradually the "nation for sale" tag appeared less often in newspaper articles about the Bahamas, until it eventually disappeared.

Mr Ingraham served two terms as prime minister (1992-2002) before being defeated by his former law partner, PLP Opposition Leader Perry Christie, who served for one term before being beaten by the FNM. Mr Ingraham was returned to power.

Shocked by the defeat, the PLP commissioned a firm of experts to investigate and try to discover what went wrong. The perception of corruption and weak leadership in the PLP were their conclusions.

Unfortunately for Mr Ingraham, but most fortunately for the Bahamas, it was Mr Ingraham who guided the ship of state when the world economy crashed, sweeping every country before it, including the Bahamas.

It was Mr Ingraham's tenacity, level head, farsight, and hard work that kept the Bahamas' economy from imploding as did the economies of so many other, larger, and more prosperous countries. Certainly times were tough for Bahamians -- loss of jobs and of homes -- but he did his best to cushion the blow. Compared to other countries, which were exploding in civil unrest all around us -- Greece being the prime example -- the Bahamas was weathering the storm. We do not think that a PLP government could have done the job.

One only has to look around the country, now on the verge of an economic comeback, to see the accomplishments of the Ingraham government, which had tremendous plans for the future if given another five years by the Bahamian people. But that was not to be.

There is no wound so painful as man's ingratitude. We fully understand, but deeply regret Mr Ingraham's decision to say to his people -- thank you, but no thank you, I have served you well, I can take no more.

Although his constituents re-elected him yesterday, he not only resigned as leader of his party, but he also decided not to take his seat in the House of Assembly.

Many think this was a grave mistake, but having been through this over 50 years ago with another outstanding man - who sacrificed his life and almost lost his business only to be rejected by the very people for whom he had made the sacrifices - we understand Mr Ingraham's decision.

In 1956, Sir Etienne Dupuch, publisher of this newspaper, standing on the floor of the House, was threatened with arrest for moving a Resolution to end racial discrimination in public places in the Bahamas. By the end of that week hotels announced that discrimination in their establishments was over. Other public places followed. Shortly afterwards Sir Etienne was defeated in a general election as the representative in the House of Assembly for the Eastern district. He was replaced by a plumber.

However, despite yesterday's loss, if one takes time to study the results it is obvious that constituencies were lost by only a few votes.

Yesterday we drove around various constituencies, including Grants Town. The stories we heard of vote buying in various places were mind-boggling. Some were told by the very persons who had been solicited, one of whom had succumbed.

We heard the stories of men who were offered bribes of $5,000, $10,000, as high as $15,000, to take off their red shirts, reject their FNM candidate and convince other FNM supporters to do the same.

We heard of a group of young men, who were only interested in money, not in the good of their country or the future of their families, who told the FNM candidate that they had planned to vote for him, but, so sorry, they could not turn down the substantial bribe. We heard of instances of yellow shirts being presented with money wrapped inside as an inducement to take off the red and put on the yellow. FNM's stood on the sidelines and watched. Names were called of the persons they claim were handing out the money.

We urge FNM's to stand up and - yes, once more for the sake of their country -- expose this evil. If not we shall all be guilty of silently acquiescing in a corrupt society. Are we to return so soon to being a "nation for sale"?

We at The Tribune thank Mr Ingraham for his many years of service to an ungrateful country, whose people we are certain will soon regret their decision.

We hope he will now enjoy his private life with his wife, children and grandchildren - also his favourite pastime -- fishing in this country's beautiful waters.

Comments

Observer 2 years, 7 months ago

The world never regarded the Bahamas as a nation for sale. Unpatriotic Bahamians pasted that label on their country.

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dmbain 2 years, 7 months ago

Wow Bahamians. This nation is bless no matter who in power we are washed by the Red blood of Jesus Christ, our DNA is good people and one day we will walked the streets of GOLD! stop the petty bickering and let us make our country the most properous little country on this side of the world together.

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chuck 2 years, 7 months ago

Actually, it was investigative journalist Brian Ross who first used the label "Nation for Sale" in a story aired on NBC in 1982. Not unpatriotic Bahamians. Let's stick to the facts.

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Just_some_Perspective 2 years, 7 months ago

I love this. Great piece of unbiased writing! Not only does it suck up but it also succeeds in insulting the entire Bahamas for exercising our right to vote.

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lavlee29 2 years, 7 months ago

Awesome piece. Truly a great leader. But like the children of Israel, they begged for a king and God gave them what they asked for. Will it be to the country's betterment? Yet to be seen.

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bahagirl 2 years, 7 months ago

Every Bahamian has made a choice. I completely agree with just_some_perspective's point of view. Yes, Mr. Ingraham has done great things for this nation, we will no doubt forget that. However, to have such a one-sided opinion coming from an entity whose job is to inform the people, make such "curry favoring" remarks is somewhat outlandish.

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concernedcitizen 2 years, 7 months ago

THANK YOU MR INGRAHAM ,YOU ARE LOVED BY MANY AND WILL BE MISSED ..ENJOY YOUR FISHING PAPA !!!!

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notsogullible 2 years, 7 months ago

And the Bahamas will be DONE! DONE! as soon as PGC and PBD and their croonies get settled in and continue on their quest to send this country to the pits of hell. And the ones who will rise to the top will be the FNM's and like kind who are apble to think for themselves and who do not need $$$ in T-shirts to tell them how to vote. The only HORSE POOP here is what all PLP's will have in their face when this country goes to CERTAIN shame over the next five years as it sinks to the pits of the oil and scandal hell..

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Disgusted 2 years, 7 months ago

This is VERY distasteful and biased of the tribune to post. As a Bahamian that didn't vote FNM I am INSULTED by the tone of this article. As journalists you all are to be more responsible and professional. Bahamians displayed their right to vote for their party of choice and they did and it is UNFAIR for them to be labeled UNGRATEFUL because of it. You do NOT know the struggle each Bahamian family went through the last 5 years so for you to deem them ungrateful is DISTASTEFUL. If you benefited from the FNM govt and HAI then your God given RIGHT was to vote for the FNM like wise if you HADN'T it was your God given right to vote PLP. And by election results, more people had NOT. It saddens me that such a what I thought to be decent News Paper would scold Bahamians for doing what they thought The Bahamas needed. Remember, The Bahamas is made up of Bahamians. I wish no man ill but I will say this, I hope this article causes The Tribune customers. As journalist you guys KNOW better. Whether you all are FNMs or PLPs, when it comes to business the professional thing to do is remain NEUTRAL.

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notsogullible 2 years, 7 months ago

The TRUTH ALWAYS HURTS ... OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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chuck 2 years, 7 months ago

Wake up people. This is an Editorial which by definition is the publication of the opinion of the editor of the newspaper. It is not intended to be unbiased. That's the whole point.

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Citizen 2 years, 7 months ago

This is beyond jaw dropping. The last time I checked this was a democracy which translates to me that I have freedom of not only speech but also movement. If you ask me for my opinion and I give it to you when did it become wrong to state how I feel? We as Bahamians were given an opportunity to exercise our rights. We went to the polls made a decision and the majority ruled. How did we ever become ungrateful for having a choice. I find this editorial not only biased but also extremely hurtful. Regardless of what the FNM PLP or DNA has or hasn't done for one or more of us it is completely out of line to say that the entire nation is ungrateful because the FNM was voted out of office. Hubert Ingraham refused his seat by way of choice. He resigned by his own "choice". No one will forget what Mr. Ingraham has done neither the legacy he has left behind, but we have to also embrace the present. Right now isn't the time to point fingers, it's time to come together as a nation and do our part the best way we can to assist in improving our economy. The power of the people is more powerful than the people in power.

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Lerenda 2 years, 7 months ago

who is the tasteless, biased writer of this article? Sir/Madam you are a disgrace and these are the things the Bahamian public are trying to rid this country of. You are obviously one sided. The Tribune is supposed to be a prestigious and respectable paper but you Sir/Madam have made it worst than the Punch. I am a Bahamian who had once voted FNM in 2007 but then voted PLP on May 7th. My reason for voting was not because of bribery, in fact I havent seen any signs of bribery at all. I voted because I Believe in the Bahamas. I got tired of Mr. One Man Band and his dictatorial style of governance. It seems when they hold power for too long they become arrogant and selfish. We are a blessed nation, and God is our co-pilot. You write as if Ingraham was Moses or better yet Christ Jesus. Ingraham was just a mortal man, one who should have humbled himself. He was ruthless and the entire FNM campaign was about Ingraham. But he has gone fishing now, and is now a public disgrace. I am for my people, the Bahamian public and if Christie thinks for one minute he can behave like Ingraham did he will be voted out next time too. My God doesnt sleep. And Ingraham deserved more major punishment than this!

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perspective 2 years, 7 months ago

Your remarks are emotional and ignorant. Mr. Ingraham did not seize power by revolution......when he governed it was because Bahamians chose him to lead at that time....but this time they chose differently....no big deal just democracy at work.

He has done a whole lot for this country and deserved to be praised for it The modern Bahamas today is significantly as a result of Ingraham's hard work..........the man got up everyday and worked for this country. WHO ARE YOU TO SUGGEST THAT HE SHOULD BE PUNISHED.....WHAT IS YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY?? YOU ARE WAY OUT OF ORDER. MOSES LED THE CHILDREN OF ISREAL BUT DID NOT SEE THE PROMISED LAND.......(BUT MOSES WAS A GREAT MAN)

SIMILARLY ...JESUS WAS OUR SAVIOR BUT HE WAS CRUCIFIED.

DON'T BE SO QUICK TO SCORN AND HATE YOUR LEADERS.......ITS THE DEVIL IN YOU!!!

PRAY AND ASK THE HOLY GHOST FOR MORE GUIDANCE

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nassaubeauty 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with your first paragraph, we are a democracy and we exercised our right to vote. So why should the people be called ungrateful? Like you stated Mr. Ingraham worked for OUR country and he got paid! He did not do anything against his will, he chose to run for Prime Minister, he won, he did a job and got PAID. The first commentor is only using Mr. Ingrahams own words. Furthermore if you are advising this person to pray and ask for guidance it leads me to believe that you have an active prayer life, so why are you shouting and comparing any being to Christ Jesus?

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perspective 2 years, 7 months ago

Money cannot compensate Mr. Ingraham for what he did......It was a selfless act of public service. I applaud those who chose this path. It is a very narrow minded view to say that someone got paid and therefore must not receive gratitude for their contribution. Do you think its easy to lead a country as he did in the time of a recession and to manage so many projects simultaneously. I praise him for getting up every day and going to work for the Bahamian people. I had great difficulty with Larenda's comment that Mr. Ingraham deserves a greater punishment. Utter hatefulness while claiming that their God doesn't sleep....classical christian hypocrisy.

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242 2 years, 7 months ago

This is the editorial section...it is an opinion not fact. Why do you all feel insulted?

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Ken 2 years, 7 months ago

People are insulted because it's an opinion expressed on behalf of the Tribune and in essence all of it's employees by extension. To call all Bahamians that didn't vote for HAI ungrateful and then to predict impending doom upon the country that we ALL call home is down right ridiculous,unnecessary and from a journalism stance irresponsible. They should just change the name to the FNM Tribune.

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notsogullible 2 years, 7 months ago

One should educate him/herself to the purpose of editorials before passing judgements on to the writer or the paper in which the article/opinion is written. Maybe those of you who feel insulted should stick to reading papers like the journal and Bahamas Press - they are pro PLP

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Disgusted 2 years, 7 months ago

Further more, there were allegations of bribery on BOTH the FNM and PLP. This article BAFFLES me. For you, the tribune, a national newspaper, to be here BASHING Bahamians because of their choice in Government is APPALLING. And to "242" we are INSULTED because this article is on behalf of the TRIBUNE! A national news paper. The decency is non existent. Had it been an outsider yes we would have still been a bit offended. But for a newspaper that ALL Bahamians support RED GOLD OR GREEN this is a slap in the face and a kick in the ass. This upsets me!

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kjosey 2 years, 7 months ago

What appears to be missing in most of the previous comments made is how truly ungrateful the largest majority of Bahamians are. We are an unfortunate nation whose sense of entitlement remains a resonating and crippling factor in the decsions we make, as well as what we expect from our politcians. The number of self made Bahamian success stories are in the minority in this country. Few and far in between. Maybe it's time for the Good Lord to show us how ungrateful a people we are; and thus gives us exactly what we deserve and not the unfair Favor we have always undeservingly recieved.

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notsogullible 2 years, 7 months ago

GREAT ARTICLE. VERY WELL SAID. I too believe that vast numbers of persons who voted against HAI will soon regret their decision. I believe that intelligent persons who voted PLP are holding their breaths. I had a very good friend (PLP) say to me yesterday that he sure hopes PGC has a way to keep the scandal ridden MP's quiet and in check and that it is hoped that PGC give certain MP's jobs that are less visible and where they do not have access to too much money - that's from a PLP

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concernedcitizen 2 years, 7 months ago

people its an editorial ,,,,that means the editors opinion..it is not a news piece or a weather report ,or the sports section ...use your laptop,or i phone to look up the definition of editorial....

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SS20 2 years, 7 months ago

As a first time voter, I feel extremely insulted by this piece. How could The Tribune write something so bias, and incredibly distasteful?! Not only is this article unprofessional and downright callous, it lacks tact and good judgment of the Bahamian people as a whole. THIS IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY! If The Tribune forgot, I will elaborate on the meaning of democracy. According to the Oxford dictionary, a democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. The key word in this definition is ELECTED. The Bahamian people have spoken, and the Bahamian people (the ones who you called ungrateful and subliminally stupid) ELECTED the PLP as the governing political party for The Bahamas. This article shows the lack of trust you have in the Bahamian people, and moreover, yourself! The ignorance and unprofessional-ism of the Tribune is magnified in this article, and I am no longer a supporter of this newspaper. The Tribune is supposed to be a source for Bahamians to get the facts, which in this case is not shown. This article is filled with OPINIONS, as a journalist one should never be bias, for many rumors have been circulating about the buying of votes, and yet only one party is pointed out. SHAME ON YOU! The writer of this piece completely disregarded the contributions that the PLP did for the Bahamas, and made it seem as if the FNM did everything from the start. The FNM DID NOT get us that lovely stadium you stare at everyday, THE PLP did! Just in case you didn't know, THAT's A FACT. Something this article lacks terribly! I for one am happy Mr. Ingraham has retired. His one-man-band-antics were getting quite tiring, and his "leadership" did NOT scream democracy, it screamed DICTATORSHIP. As a Bahamian citizen, I am not looking forward to having a “Castro” run my country, this is not Cuba, nor will it ever be. It baffles me how this article conveyed a ridiculous point that the Bahamas will be doomed... I have no doubt that Mr. Christie will prove this article wrong. I voted for the PLP because the candidate for my constituency has proven time and time again that she deserved to represent me, and that is what you call GRATITUDE. You talk about the exposing of evil? Well, in my eyes this article is pure evil. It is pronouncing the fact that we are not a whole country, but a country divided. HELLOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! The elections are over, for you to tell the FNMs to stand up shows that this is a competition not a country. We are now and will forever be Bahamians at the end of the day, NOT FNMs, NOT PLPs, and NOT DNAs. We are ONE! Forward upward onward together, does this not ring a bell??? I have nothing more to say on the topic, but I will end on the note that I find this article discouraging and it hinders a united progression of the Bahamian people. SKS, a first time voter.

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krystalclear 2 years, 7 months ago

You are simply the best. You did a lot for the Bahamas. You be encourage and stay strong.Love you

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perspective 2 years, 7 months ago

I feel some of your points........but your attempt to demonize Mr. Ingraham as a menace to the country in unfair and disqualifies your comments......go back to the drawing board and derive a more balanced perspective.

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Bahamianeveryday 2 years, 7 months ago

I find this editorial offensive for many of the reasons that are listed in the comments. Surely we are better than this... Yes, it is an editorial, but that doesn't mean that a national newspaper should endorse such a slap in the face to the Bahamian people. Like it or not, the people chose differently. Buying votes is disgraceful and is actually newsworthy. If there was some REAL journalism in this country, perhaps they would write an unbiased exposé on the problem so that it could be addressed and people would get prosecuted. Unfortunately, this article affirms that the Tribune is NOT that unbiased paper to do such a thing. They are so biased that it would be difficult to believe that what they wrote is fact. C'mon people. Let's think big picture.

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clear_eyed_no_regrets 2 years, 7 months ago

Democracy is the only ungrateful b*tch in this instance. She can't be trusted. She's so unstable and so capricious, like a flirty girl who dances with this guy and then that guy, whichever one she fancies at the time. She stays with you for five years then she jilts you for a new lover. Sure, she loved you and even applauded you, bragged about how good you are. And she loved being with you, so you think she's really yours forever. But she's never had an endless love for anyone and she never will. She loves you, then she loves you not. She drives you nuts as you try to to figure out what she wants. She's broken many hearts and left many good men in her wake, men who have invested many years of their lives and given her all that they had. Does she care? Ha, she laughs at your fallen state and leaves you bleeding on the floor as she rides off to a victory party with her new suitor for another thrilling adventure. She's a whore but you gatta hand it to her - nobody owns this gal.

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perspective 2 years, 7 months ago

BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN AND ALSO VERY POETIC. This is a mature perspective of democracy. Hubert Ingraham a great patriot and leader was a casualty of this process. Democracy is a great concept but over time bears out some short comings in the battle between the best conceptual ideal for society and the actual nature of human beings. Mr. Ingraham trusted that his vision ideals and his sincere aggressive work for a better Bahamas would have been enough......and it should and could have. However, Mr. Ingraham failed to effectively communicate his brilliant macroscopic vision to the average Bahamian and once again he alienated himself from the masses. He deepened democracy and accountability in the Bahamas and was generally a fair and principled leader but over time he unwittingly cast himself as the symbol of an arrogant undemocratic leadership style which began to undermine his great legacy and appeal....he seems to think that he knows whats best for the Bahamas and perhaps he is correct.......but he interprets the correctness of his vision as an endorsement to proceed without the continued engagement of the people.......but democracy the ungrateful b*tch as you put it, kicked her tantrum again and demanded her stature as the object of political courtship.

leaders in every democracy must remain aware of this prerequisite for political success.

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dacy 2 years, 6 months ago

CEAR EYED ON REGRETS, I LOVE YOUR CONTRIBUTION....VERY BAHAMIAN

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C_MonMan 2 years, 7 months ago

@clear_eyed_no_regrets, very provocative yet profoundly interesting, insightful and creative blog. Good job, a true testament to the creative Bahamian spirit. I would add or elaborate on three further traits of our gal Democracy. The first is that she has an insatiable free spirit that pursues only her ideals and no one else's, no matter how powerful they may be. The second is that she always sincerely believes that she is doing the right thing and thirdly, notwithstanding all her faults, of all the other gals in town she is still our best hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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basjazz 2 years, 7 months ago

madam editor,your comments were right on.bahamians were ungrateful to mr.ingraham and the f.n.m.government.the plp led by mr christie from 2002 to 2007 were clueless about good governance.they brought shame and scandal while mr christie stood by and did absolutely nothing.whyshould anyone think it will be different this time.how has he changed?it is my beleif that these will be the most unproductve5 years we will have ever seen.as a matter of fact i see us going backward.

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Observer 2 years, 7 months ago

The ting done done. Men, especially you, please stop the gossiping, for the sake of your own children.

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Observer 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Ross simply repeated what he heard from us, Bahamians. That is the fact. Opportunity was given me to observe the head of the snake in action 1976 -1979.

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clear_eyed_no_regrets 2 years, 7 months ago

@C_MonMan, I'll still choose her; we all love that gal.

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

A NATION FOR SALE? you bet!! Seems all 3 parties had deep, deep pockets in this election. AND while we know persons and companies like Kerzner, Bah Mar, Super Value, Franky Wilson, The Web Shops. Brent Symnonette, Bradley Roberts, just to name a few, contributed to the election, what other special interests bought into the outcome of this so-called democratic process?

Bahamians should know who is influencing the choice of their government..hence the need for campaign contribution reform. Was the outcome of this election the decision and the will of Bahamian people or did money talk? Foreign currency even....

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John 2 years, 7 months ago

And while Mr. Hubert Alexander Ingraham was a very good leader, a person who deserved another five years to finish his work for the Bahamian people do not forget that Mr. Ingraham had a 'fire sale" on FNM t-shirts at the last FNM rally on Fort Charlotte before the election.

"PLP's bring me one PLP t-shirt and we will give you two FNM shirts", he cried over the loudspeaker. And hence the value of FNM shirts decreased by half. Instantly! PLP shirts are more valuable than FNM shirts in any event because most FNM'S put them away and stop wearing them after the election is over. But not PLP'S! They are more of the 'in your face' type crowd and more 'loyal' to their party. Win ,lose or draw, they continue wearing their shirts year round: to national events, to PLP events to work and on the beach. In fact PLP shirts could be seen through the entire 5 years of the FNM term in office and some civil servants had their vehicles draped in PLP parapanila and parked in front of their place of work. government offices..weeks before the election...democracy at work...and Mr. Hubert Ingraham allowed that level of democratic freedom to happen on his first watch as prime minister.

Bahamians love instant gratification and if money was offered for their vote, they took it. Why do you think they collect shirts from each party and stock up on them even..to the winner goes the spoils! But there are still many loyal PLP's in this country who just cannot serve two masters, regardless of how much better or proven one may be over the other. ANd so at the end of the day they will still vote PLP, especially when confusion is in the air.

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dacy 2 years, 6 months ago

I agree with your statement that plps are loyal to the plp, they dont swing, more fnms swing to the dna than plps, plps believes in their party policies even if they dont know them. two things a plp knows 1. pindling is the father of the nation. 2. they are plps. fnms will not vote just to prove a point or to protest or because of some righteous indignation...plps gern vote even if they had to toat water from the road to bath before they go and vote...it does not matter they are proud strong supporters!

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derek 2 years, 7 months ago

Mr Ingraham was the next best Prime Minister we had next to Pindling, it is so sad that some of us thought that 500 hundred or thousand dollar was all we need for a good leader. it also sadden me the the PLP would have gone to the level that they went to by buying votes from some of our people it just show how much they look at the level of intelligence of our people every thing is a price they are saying, that is why we have to day young girls selling their bodies to older men for money they is what they are seeing in our country money buys and thing and any one with no moral standard. Bahamain my prayer for you to is to STAND UP and not be brought out for pennies.

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