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Pm Christie Faces A Daunting Task

RETURNING TO the helm of state after five years to ponder what went wrong in his first five years in office, Prime Minister Perry Christie has promised to do his “very best.”

No more can be asked of any man, but Mr Christie has inflicted upon himself a heavy burden of promises of what he plans to deliver in his first 100 days in office. To do this he cannot spend weeks consulting before a decision is made. Once made, efficient execution must follow and the train of cause and effect must keep moving to a satisfactory conclusion.

No longer should Bahamians have to read a letter from an investor that ends with the words… “If we cannot achieve the early February timeframe for accomplishing the above, I will have to inform (the principals) that, despite my best efforts these past three odd years, the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas has failed me. I certainly do not want to be known as the developer (and I’m certain you don’t want to be known as the Prime Minister) that lost (the investment). Today more than ever before, I need your unambiguous support, Mr. Prime Minister.”

This letter referred to a large investment that was being negotiated for much of Mr Christie’s five-year term in office – right up to two days before the 2007 election, which he lost. Negotiations for this development were eventually completed by the Ingraham government and it is now well on its way to completion.

The loss of the government in 2007 so shocked the dismissed Christie government that the PLP commissioned a firm of experts to find out what went wrong.

Their report advised the PLP to cleanse itself of its scandal-ridden reputation. It had to take, said the report, “concrete actions that convey its seriousness about purging corruption from the party and state.” The perception among voters, it said, was that the PLP was “more focused on doing things that benefit its own politicians than for people.”

Mr Christie’s misfortune on this, his second chance, is that he enters his new term with much the same baggage that he had in his first. This is where he has to work hard on his leadership style, which the report found was perceived as “weakness.”

To succeed, said the Greenberg Quinlan Rosher report, Mr Christie has to be seen as “a forceful, decisive leader.”

A pleasant man, who wants to be liked, Mr Christie was considered a push over by a headstrong cabinet, members of which acted as though they were mini-governments unto themselves. They were like a handful of pint-sized Sputniks firing off in every direction on their own little missions, ostensibly on behalf of the Bahamas government. Mr Christie can start by cutting their travel, and as a consequence their travel expenses.

Mr Christie has to be seen as leading from the front, not being pushed from behind. And when his ministers do wrong, let God deal with forgiveness. It is Mr Christie’s duty, in an effort to raise the integrity and moral standards of this country, to administer punishment. Punishment should be swift and decisive and administered in such a way that there is no mistaking who is in charge. Mr Christie has to remember, it is more important to be respected than to be loved. If he can get over this desire to be popular, he might eventually change his profile.

With at least 14 projects to accomplish in the next 100 days, Mr Christie has no time for long, drawn out talk sessions that deteriorate into social chat-room banter. Business is business and it must get done efficiently. He should keep his 100-day calendar on his wall and follow it diligently.

In his 200-page “Vision 2030” Mr Christie said he plans to conduct a referendum on gambling. His much talked-about Urban Renewal programme, which to hear him and his supporters tell it is the panacea to all the country’s problems – especially crime — will be relaunched. He plans to double the budget for education.

Here we caution that he should concentrate on quality education, for no matter how much money he throws at the shy beast, it will not budge unless there is an incentive to move forward. He has promised to lower the cost of electricity. He has also promised to better control our borders. The Ingraham government has invested much in this, all that is left for Mr Christie’s government is to ensure that there is no backsliding by whatever minister he appoints as the overseer. And, of course, he promises to speedily get crime under control. This we shall watch — as with all his other promises — very closely. In fact we shall also have his 100-day commitments on our wall to see if his government, this time around, picks up its snail’s pace.

Yes, Mr Christie has promised the Bahamian people much. If he is to deliver on those promises he needs the support of the nation. For the sake of the Bahamas he deserves that support.

For all of our sakes, we wish him and his government well.

Comments

ancientwoman 2 years, 4 months ago

As usual the Tribune's editor 'hits the nail on the head' with her excellent diplomatic editorial. Mother Superior has spoken ....lets hope the new PM will take heed, and gather his energy to become a strong leader of his cabinet and our country.... everyone, should become involved and help him along his way.

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Arob 2 years, 4 months ago

"Ancientwoman" my duty as a citizen is not to help Mr. Christie do his job. He presented himself as a man capable of running this country. He bragged that he has experience as a PM (even though he was incapacitated for a part of the time). Mr. Christie needs to sell his vision of The Bahamas to me and other Bahamians. I need to believe what he believes in order to do my part as a Bahamian. Unfortunately, statements he ridiculed has the leader of the opposition and on the campaign trail are now statements he espouse". I will judge Mr. Christie by his performance. He needs to stop the campaigning and begin selling his vision.

In the world of business, a person presents his/her resume and is expected to be both efficient and effective. Exaggeration of capacity to perform affects organizational performance and if left unchecked can destroy the organization. The PLP presented a cadre of individuals whom it claims are highly qualified, "the best of the best", and a Charter that will transform The Bahamas. I am not interested in Mr. Christie "very best". I want the job done effectively and efficiently. So far, efficiently has gone out of the window -- Cabinet too expensive. The Charter will be used to measure the performance. (Unfortunately, the Charter is imperfect. Some items were to titillate and are not based on reality.)

LEADERSHIP. We know from the past that decision making is not Mr. Christie's forte. And judging Mr. Christie's recent performance-- the size of the Cabinet and the appointment of his Senators and boards suggest that decision making is a challenge. (It reminds me of today's primary school sports day -- everybody gets a prize.) Are there no other Bahamians who can contribute to the development The Bahamas under the PLP? Can't Mr. Christie sell his vision (this is what real leaders do) to Bahamians who did not run on the PLP ticket or are not members of the PLP party? When will Mr. Christie place The Bahamas before the PLP party or place The Bahamas before his friends?

URBAN RENEWAL. The PLP should publish the evaluation report of the first Urban Renewal 2002-2005. The police received rewards... but was Urban Renewal effective.... did it improve the living environment and behavior of the residents in the area?

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