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View From Afar: We Can Find Concensus To Drive Nation Forward

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John Issa

By JOHN ISSA

IT HAS been some time since I have written this column, which had always tried to focus on matters of national, social, cultural, economic and enviromental concern.

However, in the last few years almost every matter of interest has evolved into a partisan political debate. A situation such as this cannot be in the interest of the people of The Bahamas.

It is also important to point out to readers that this situation appears to exist regardless of which party is in office. Maybe we have caught the same virus that has infected the system of government in the United States for some time.

Our multi-party system of democracy guarantees our freedoms and we must defend freedom of expression. It goes without saying that this is a good thing. Despite this reality, there have to be a number of developments and concerns about which we can have substantial consensus.

I would like to list a few for consideration: the redevelopment of Bay Street, the changes at BEC to reduce the cost of electricity, the encouraging of business formation and competition in order to increase employment and reduce the cost of living, just to mention some obvious ones.

The problem of gender inequality also needs to be addressed if we are all to be equal under the law. The same can be said for the restraint of trade perpetuated by the business licencing laws. These are issues that transcend party politics.

I hope that these columns will encourage public discussion. Civil society needs to get involved in the debate and not just leave the discussion to partisan political arguments. The best future will result from pooling all our best ideas.

• John Issa is executive chairman of SuperClubs. He will be writing monthly.

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