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'Decision Of The Fnm's New Leader Was Made In My Absence.' Loretta Butler-Turner On Leadership, Hubert Ingraham And A Female Pm

Loretta Butler-Turner in the House of Assembly.

Loretta Butler-Turner in the House of Assembly.

By Rupert Missick Jr

FNM Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner spoke to The Tribune about the future of a post-Hubert Ingraham FNM, the role of women in politics, the possibility of a female Prime Minister, the legacy of her grandfather and how she felt shut out of the decision to choose Hubert Minnis as FNM leader.

While she believes the Bahamas is ready for a woman prime minister, Mrs Butler-Turner is adamant that the question should be whether or not the Bahamas is ready for the most competent individual of the day to run the affairs of the country.

“If a woman is confident and capable and enjoys the support of the Bahamian people, there is no reason she should allow anything to prevent her from offering herself up for service,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

She said that Bahamian society must evolve to a place where men and women realise that it is impossible to build a country for 100 per cent of the people using only 50 per cent of the nation’s brain trust.

“If you are talking about a representation of the society itself, our numbers are way off in terms of what we have representing us in parliament today. There is one female out of eight on the opposite side. On the governing side, they account for less than 1/10.

“The representation of the people should be a microcosm of what makes up the society. That doesn’t mean that we have to introduce quotas, but political parties have to have the political will to put forward more competent persons – male or female – and they have to make a concerted effort to bring into the mix a larger reflection of our society,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

The regard women receive when it comes to their participation in the political process she said was highlighted on the day the FNM chose a leader of the opposition.

After the results of the last general election came in and Mr Ingraham announced his retirement from politics and the House of Assembly, the FNM deputy said that the party decided to hold a meeting to select a new leader the day following the recount at 10am.

Mrs Butler-Turner said that she would not have been able to arrive at the meeting at 10am because of the logistical problems getting to Nassau from her constituency in Long Island where she spent election night and the day of the recount.

These issues, she said, were discussed with the organisers beforehand, but a decision was made not to adjust the time.

She said that one of the disappointing things about that situation was that as a woman, and the only woman elected out of nine, the decision of the party’s new leader was made in her absence.

“When I walked in at a quarter to 11, they already selected the leader of the party, not that I would have had a problem with it. I just felt that with such small numbers I certainly should have been a part of that selection process to say, ‘Yes, I agree with the majority of my colleagues’,” the FNM Deputy said.

However, she moved on knowing the urgency for the party to regroup. “I think that was a grave mistake in not waiting to be inclusive of all those who were elected. I felt almost like my vote didn’t matter. I wasn’t able to be a part of that.

“Today, I look on that and say it was one of those things, but in building

again we have determined that we must be inclusive of everyone,” she said.

Following that, Dr Minnis held a conference for all officers of the party and Mrs Butler-Turner had the opportunity to bring the welcome address.

“Because of the feelings I had or the thoughts that I had, my approach to the opening remarks was to go back to the origins of the FNM and I picked up on one of their very first slogans “All Together.”

“I still feel today that for us to be strong we must be all together again. Whenever I have an opportunity to rise on a political platform to rally the troops of the FNM, I harken back to the origins of our party the ‘all together team’,” she said.

But what about a post-Hubert Ingraham FNM? Some feel that the last election was a referendum on the former Prime Minister’s leadership.

This fact seems to have left many in the party unsure as to whether or not they should embrace the former leader’s legacy.

But for Mrs Butler-Turner, the choice is clear. She said that Mr Ingraham has transformed and shaped the modern Bahamas and it would be foolish for the party to be dismissive of its history or forget why it exists.

“We can’t forget those of us who made great sacrifices and brought great change to the Bahamas post 1992. I think the fact that we have in our midst a living iconic Hubert Alexander Ingraham is no small thing.

“I think we as a party can tap into his huge reservoir of, not just intellect, but institutional knowledge,” she said.

Mrs Butler-Turner said that she first came into contact with Mr Ingraham when he was an independent candidate through her family’s funeral business.

“He was a regular customer to our establishment and he was close to my parents who did a lot of burials in North Abaco. In addition to building a business relationship with him, I started to admire him.

“It was in 1991 I remember him sitting in our old funeral home throwing a challenge out to my dad saying, ‘Now is the time because I am going to win this election’.

“ I sat there wide eyed and said wow this guy is really dynamic. He said to my mother I know I got her (meaning Loretta). Do I have you?”

However, Mr Ingraham’s relationship with the Butler family goes further back than that. Mrs Butler-Turner said that she later discovered that in the late ’50s, Mr Ingraham’s family had a relationship with her uncle.

“When he was just a little boy, Joseph Butler standard bearer for the PLP in Abaco and Hubert ingraham’s family took him in. The story is told that at nine years old Mr Ingraham went campaigning with my uncle with no shoes going door to door, even though they were in a predominantly UBP area. So I grew with this admiration for Hubert Ingraham,” Mrs Butler-Turner said.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 6 years, 10 months ago

She'd make an excellent prime minister. I'd vote for her in a heart beat. God knows we need leadership and he also knows all the PLP deserve to be slapped down..

Wassup sicko? You still chillin on ya mama's couch I see.....

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TalRussell 6 years, 10 months ago

Oh dear, sounds as if someone really close to the red shirts has now revealed that all along she has not really been a happy red shirts deputy leader? This go'in be fun for me. Thanks a million for your "truthful" story this morning Comrade Madame Editor/Publisher. OK I'm waiting to see IF my Comrade bloggers will now accuse The Tribune of me actually being the ghost writer of this Loretta wasn't (isn't happy) with the ways of her leader Minnis story? Better still, can she ever be happy under Minnis? After all they have accused me of being many different people, anyone from minister Freddy to the former ZNS talk show host Lady Russell, even that I was actually that other fired ZNS talk show host Steve Mckinney? I can't wait to see how aggressively the Hubert loyalists will respond to one of their their own enemies, within? You see it's OK for me to dare invoke use Hubert's name on this story. Right, my dear Comrades?

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

Tals i know your waters runnin , Butler - Turner talking bout HAI on the front page of the tribune ,breath deep comrade ,sip a warm ginger ale and try to get your pressure down ..

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proudloudandfnm 6 years, 10 months ago

Tal, You aint sharp enough to be mistaken for those folks. Sorry to burst your bubble, your basically thought of nothing more than a moron with a pen.....

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

I still admire that crazy a## tough as nails Hai , no every decision he made wasn,t perfect but like Churchill he didn,t back down from the tough ones . All those projects during the recession were jobs to put money in the "lil mans " homes .Way back when who did Ping pick to set up NIB ,that same crazy Hubert Ingraham

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banker 6 years, 10 months ago

Go nuts Russell, this puff piece was made for you. You have a free pass on this one. Start your typing and keep it coming.

Personally, in my humble opinion as an FNM supporter, I think that LBT has a place in politics as a parliamentary pit bull. The Westminster System thrives on the adversarial nature of partisanship, and every party needs an attack dog. LBT is such. However that does not make her a good leader. She is an effective Opposition parliamentarian, but she would not be the thinking person's choice for leader. Having said that, she has an order of magnitude of more brain power than Perry Christie, who is the Bahamas only living brain donor.

Bahamians respect a powerful leader if and only if he carries a big stick to regularly beat them. It is the only language they understand. If you have a strong leader with a strong ego like HAI, who has a modicum of respect for Bahamians, then he is seen as biggety and as a tyrant. Minnis is smart and not respected because of his lack of a brutish or even a facile nature. Bahamians enjoy the girly man PGC and his band of merry thieves, because they know they can run ragged over him and face nothing more than a loquacious tongue lashing from a mewling quim.

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

Mewling quim ?? good words Banker i,m going to look them up to add to my vocabulary. just finished looking it up , oh no @Rorys parents are going to have a hard time w/ his acting out tonight if he reads this and Tals will no doubt call you comrade multiple times ,,..lol

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TalRussell 6 years, 10 months ago

Want me tell you the truth. I read this front page story, all about how Loretta ain't no happy red shirt and the first thing i did was to check my calender to see if The Tribune hadn't played an April Fool's joke on this Comrade? Loretta is the political gift, that just keeps on giving excellent copy to have fun with. Move over leader Minnis your own deputy leader has replaced you for The Tribune's top front page billing. I bet Bran is watching, if and how her leader Minnis will respond? Watching what Hubert will do, or not do? Not that Minnis had the bullocks to discipline Marsh Harbour's Edision? How many important press conferences has it been now, that the only elected/appointed red shirt missing, has been the newest Comrade Senator Bostwick? Why so? But there is no way in hell that John B. 11, would ever join forces with the likes of a Hubert ...but politicians can make for stranger bedfellows than these two working together?

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by TalRussell

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

LTB talkin bout HAI on the front page ,Tals you must feel like you hit the four ball straight and box ,,even though the numbers is the only thing you gave PGC a bit of heat about ,,

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getrightbahamas 6 years, 10 months ago

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!! The War Has begun! When Hubert Minnis was "Selected" as leader of the FNM and of H.M. official Opposition the late Chuck Maynard made a prediction. He said that Minnis had 18 months to 2 years to "prove himself". Now it seems the dead can speak from the grave and predict the present. In the article posted in this link we see the first public effort by the FNM's propaganda machine to overturn the party leaders..............

Read the full response at

https://www.facebook.com/grbnews">https://www.facebook.com/grbnews

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JohnDoes 6 years, 10 months ago

This woman has too much money to be so obese. Seems to me like she got fatter. Anyway, I dont know why this Turner woman dont step down from politics. She should have continued to run and keep that Funeral Home. That was the best position for her and she was doing well, but now her presence in the FNM alongside Mr. Minnis does not seem to be too convincing that the FNM will change anything in the future. For too long the Bahamas has been too tit for tat with this PLP and FNM. If the PLP wins, they try to change and/or remove anything the FNM did and vice versa. We hardly see any effective agreements between these two Parties that advances the Bahamas. Its been 40 years too long for the same ole B.S that challenges us everyday, from jobs, to foreigners, and the high cost of living to name a few. We all know how her late father despised her for even getting involved in politics and of course being apart of the FNM coming from a big 'die hard' PLP family.

-Just read between the lines, and you'll see.

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nationbuilder 6 years, 10 months ago

what is the point of this story? the public is supposed to care why?

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

what does this have to do w/ the story ,and the politcians ,PLP or FNM can only build something nice ,they can,t make people less "nasty" . Thats called personal responsibility .As much as you bring up montagu , you got to be one of those "whiteys" from blair whos parents never liked "natives " selling fish there ,or you have asperation of belonging to the sailing club ,,geez and i thought you were the white MLK ....as muck as you posted about the cuban protesters hating black Bahamians .

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

I haven,t seen the movie Space balls in awhile , could you do me a favor and wear your lil darth vader helmit when we meet ...

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

No dude you got to show up at starbucks in the lil darth vader helmit w/ a plastic light saber , if you do this and refrain from profanity while in my presence for 1/2 hour i may let you have some of your dignity back .

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SP 6 years, 10 months ago

SHUT THE HELL UP LORETTA! No one in their right mind is going to vote for this person as Prime Minister.....NO ONE!

She is the splitting image of Hubert Ingraham...Crass, uncouth and brimming over with poop!

Let's not forget her statement while Minister that Bahamians were a bunch of drunks and drug addicts, unemployable.

If we have to listen to her lament one more time about her superior education which didn't help her one once as Minister of Social Services where she TOTALLY FAILED IN GIVING AWAY assistance to the needy, I will reconsider entering politics myself.

Go back to hell LORETTA!.....SHUT THE HELL UP!!

If

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concernedcitizen 6 years, 10 months ago

Gee you told her , and sending her to hell ,whoa nelly were you finger wagging while typing .I,m sure Ms Butler will read your post and never utter another word ..wink wink sarcasm...

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SP 6 years, 10 months ago

@ rory.....Yeah, she should be the Health Minister, or Minister of Sports.

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