By DANA SMITH
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Perry Christie has questioned why the vote-no campaign is taking issue with the first referendum question when, they had opportunity to personally speak with him on the question, prior to its release.
The Bahamas Christian Council and the Save Our Bahamas Vote No Campaign sent a letter to Minister of National Security Bernard Nottage objecting to the wording of the referendum question: “Do you support the regulation and taxation of Web Shop gaming?”
They believe “regulation” should not be used, as this implies gambling is already legal; rather, they said, the “correct and transparent word” that should be used in its stead is ‘legalisation’.
Outside Cabinet yesterday morning, Mr Christie acknowledged the Council’s letter and said the government is currently communicating with them.
“I have put Dr Nottage in charge of that,” he said. “All communications are between the church and the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’ people are now with Dr Nottage who has the charge of the referendum and as far as I’m aware, they wrote him, he has replied to them.”
But, the prime minister continued: “The great difficulty about all of these things is I met with the church. I gave the church ample opportunity to look at the questions, to ask me any questions they wish to ask me. I answered all questions forthrightly, in a very candid way.
“I think we all agreed that was a very good meeting for its kind and it was only after the regulations had been promulgated – it had been, so to speak, institutionalized – that this has come up.”
Mr Christie did not say if the question would be changed but noted that a reply has been sent back to the Council and added: “It is what it is.”