EDITOR, The Tribune.
In the May 7 General Election, 65,000 Bahamians cast their vote for the Free National Movement. Thousands more either still do, or have at one point supported the FNM or voted for the FNM in previous elections. In short, this 41-year-old political party in The Bahamas is one of our two major parties, having led The Bahamas for 15 of its almost 40 years as an Independent nation.
It is a pivotal organisation. It is Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Healthy democracies must have a strong Opposition, and in the case of The Bahamas where the government currently holds a 30-seat majority of the 38 seats in Parliament, a strong and competent Opposition is not only necessary, it is critical.
This is why as the Opposition Party makes upcoming and future decisions about the way forward for its institution, I as a Bahamian and a voter, trust they will do whatever they justly and circumspectly deem necessary to protect that institution – an institution born out of the stand for political integrity, accountability and the fight against corruption, victimisation and political suppression.
It is against that backdrop that I look forward to seeing the very public personal vendettas being meted out against other FNMs by that Party's leadership be dealt with by the Party for the overall stability and progress of the institution.
In the latest twist, the Leader of the FNM, according to his personal media liaison (who does not have a formal working affiliation with the FNM) has instructed his liaison to pen an op-ed column slated for newspaper print this week that is to discuss the FNM's May 7 general election loss at the polls, with the purpose of stating that the FNM lost the election because its former leader Hubert Ingraham is a "megalomaniac" (a person in delusion about his own power and a person obsessed with power).
Tell me how in the world is the FNM supposed to move forward when its current leader is obsessed with his former leader to this extent? This is not the direction that the Free National Movement as a Party wants to move in or needs to move in, but the Leader of that Party seems disinterested in leading his Party but instead, is consumed with whatever personal insecurities and issues he has with the Party's former leader, who is now in retirement.
The FNM held a closed-door conclave shortly after the May 7 defeat, where the Party as a whole met and hashed out what it felt were the reasons for the May 7 loss, and following that conclave, the Leader of the FNM emerged saying the Party has now put that loss behind them and is seeking to move forward with his vision for a new FNM.
So since the FNM Party has already settled on its reasons for the loss, and declared its desire to move on and move forward, why is its Leader reportedly instructing his personal media liaison to keep adding unnecessary fuel to the fire, enlisting his writing of a national column trashing the Party's former leader? Just who is the focus of the Leader of the FNM at this stage? Is it his Party and his country, or his former leader whose existence on earth (an existence that does not involve his involvement in the affairs of the FNM by the way) appears to be a bizarre trigger of anxiety and self-loathing on his part?
The Bahamas needs a strong Opposition. A 30-seat majority is an incentive for any political party in power to do what it wants to do regardless of the consequences, because their House majority is so wide. We don't need an Opposition whose leadership is driven predominantly by visions of Hubert Ingrahams dancing in his head.
The FNM has decried rampant victimisation it says is being carried out by the government. It has also raised the alarm on other pressing issues in the country. This is what the Opposition Party needs to be focused on. We, the Bahamian people should be the focus, not someone's personal feelings about Hubert Ingraham – personal feelings by the way, that only one person in the entire Party is on the record venting about. And this venting and whining could be something persons may be generally willing to brush off were the person doing it not the Leader of the Party.
The 65,000 Bahamians who voted for the FNM need the FNM. Those who did not vote for the FNM but understand the importance of a healthy democracy need the FNM. And the country at large, whether persons therein voted or not need the FNM, because without a competent, solid Opposition, the government becomes both god and king.
May the FNM do what it deems best to protect this important institution in our democracy.
October 24, 2012.