EDITOR, The Tribune.
THE general elections of 2012 in the Bahamas are now history and for the second time in five years, the Bahamian people have changed governments. They rejected Perry Christie in 2007 and now they have soundly rejected Hubert Ingraham in 2012.
Most Bahamians don't remember the real story of 2007. The electorate voted against the Free National Movement (FNM), who did not receive the majority vote. Independents played a major part in probably helping the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) loose the 2007 general elections.
In 2012, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) probably played a major role in eliminating a lot of PLP votes, but when we look at this more closely, these votes were actually against the governing FNM party.
For two consecutive elections, the Bahamian people voted against Mr Ingraham and the FNM.
The political strategists in the FNM missed the ball and the strategy that they employed about "tried and proven leadership" and "we deliver" did not sit well with the Bahamian electorate.
Their deployment of hundreds of posters of Hubert Ingraham all around New Providence did not work this time around.
I can safely say that the electorate if asked to name all FNM candidates could hardly name 15 of them. This election was about the pockets of Bahamian families and their daily struggles to find a decent meal to eat.
The PLP's campaigns about "We believe in Bahamians" resonated more with the Bahamian people because although the FNM said that they delivered, the big question to ask was what had they delivered.
The FNM in fact governed the country that had seen four murder records in five years, record unemployment, record home foreclosures and record business closures.
The FNM government contributed to the many businesses that closed as a result of the mismanaged New Providence Road Improvement Project (NPRIP).
No man is an island and no man is greater than the Creator.
The former prime minister said that the FNM did not need a deputy leader going into an election and that he was sufficient to lead the party.
So now look at the position that the FNM now find themselves. They have a leader who intends to resign at the earliest opportunity and many of the prominent potential leaders of the FNM have lost their seats in parliament.
I hope that this is a lesson for all parties to learn from in the future. Men just shouldn't stand by and allow what they know not to be right to continue.
In the game of basketball, five players are required to be on the court at all times. Politics also requires a team effort.
Carl Bethel, Zhivargo Laing, Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes were all defeated for at least the second time at the polls.
Will one of them get a shot in North Abaco when Hubert Ingraham vacates his seat? Are their dreams of grandeur over or will the new FNM leader give them one more shot in 2017? Time will tell.
The FNM made a mistake this time around by making this an election about leadership and a one man team. A deputy leader could have possibly raised the profile of a Zhivargo Laing or a Tommy Turnquest and this might have propelled one of these men to victory. These men will now have to think about "what if" for the next five years.
As a Bahamian citizen, I encourage the PLP to deliver on its mandate and bring economic restoration and reduced crime levels to the Bahamian people.
Sir Lynden Pindling once said that the voice of the people is the voice of God. The people have spoken and it is now time for all to lick their battle wounds and work toward One Bahamas.
May 10, 2011.
May 9, 2012.