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'It's Number Of Delegates, Not Crowd Size That Counts'

Loretta Butler-Turner at the launch of her leadership campaign last night.

Loretta Butler-Turner at the launch of her leadership campaign last night.

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Deputy Chief Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

LONG Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday said the number of those attending the two Free National Movement leadership campaign launches does not matter because the decision of who will ascend to the party’s top post comes down to its 410 delegates.

The MP, who is rivaling FNM leader Dr

Hubert Minnis for the second time, went on to defend the format of her “Forward-Together” launch insisting that in planning she was keen on refusing to take a page from the Progressive Liberal Party’s book, with its reputation of giving voters a party.

She explained that her Rawson Square rally was heavy on ideas and facts to deliver a “sobering” view of the state of the nation and to raise the standards of events of this kind.

The event did not capitalise on complimentary refreshments or live entertainment. In contrast, Dr Minnis’ “Roc wit Doc” event followed the status quo regarding rallies with a live performance and Junkanoo rush out.

The day after both she and Dr Minnis kicked off their separate campaigns, discussions were centred on which event attracted more of a crowd.

The Tribune estimated that at least 400 people flocked to “Roc wit Doc” at Christie Park, however organisers of that event have claimed it was more like 1,000. Pundits have attempted to tie the crowd size at both events to the outcome of the FNM’s convention at the end of the month.

To do this is premature, insisted deputy leader hopeful Senator Dr Duane Sands, who is Mrs Butler-Turner’s running mate.

“Bear in mind that this is really about the delegates,” he said yesterday.

“What we have learned is that numbers don’t tell the full story. If you remember Red Splash we almost sunk Montagu Beach but yet we didn’t win the 2012 general election.

“So if you are trying to determine based on the number of people standing you do that at your own peril. We were gratified by the support and numbers of people out there.”

Mrs Butler-Turner added: “I don’t think either events had overwhelming delegate numbers.”

“One must realise that I am the contender and I think the leader is the one who has to prove that he has sway and is able to maintain it. Hence why there was the Junkanoo and party atmosphere.

“I didn’t think we needed to do that. I wanted to tackle the serious issues. It clearly speaks to where we are right now. I think we need to look at the message and the dissemination of the message. That is why I employed 21st century media.”

“Forward-Together” was streamed live on Facebook.

Mrs Butler-Turner said analytical data gathered by Facebook recorded more than 1,000 views and 892 comments.

In addition, taking into account users who shared, commented, liked and watched the event, there was a total reach of 226,000 people, she said.

She called this the achievement of something unprecedented in the country.

“In terms of the physical presence that is one thing, but we had hundreds locked in. Beyond the physical presence we needed to reach people virtually. I had a sober message that tackled the hot button topics. That is the way of things of this nature.”

During his rally, Dr Minnis made a plea for party unity.

The Over-the-Hill event saw his team emphasise his “rags to riches” biography, the centrepiece of his pitch to Bahamians and FNM delegates as he seeks to defeat Mrs Butler-Turner at the party’s convention on July 27 to 29 and gather momentum ahead of the next general election.

His campaign slogan that appeared on posters bearing Dr Minnis’ name was, accordingly, “The people’s time.”

“This is the time for me to give the power back to the people,” Dr Minnis said to cheers from the crowd. “This campaign is all about you.”

In a speech frequently interrupted with songs designed to emphasise his statements, Dr Minnis listed a litany of proposals he would implement if elected prime minister.

These included such vague proposals as “land reform to ensure Bahamians have an opportunity to own land in this country” to more explicit ones like the alleviation of value added tax (VAT) on a variety of goods and services.

He said he would introduce a national “solarisation programme that would result in decreasing electricity costs and increasing your disposable income.”

Absent from his speech, however, were any cutting remarks about his rival, Mrs Butler-Turner, and the FNM officials who have been critical of his leadership.

Some notable people who supported Dr Minnis at his campaign launch included FNM Senator Carl Bethel and the party’s Secretary General Michael Foulkes. Progressive Liberal Party MP for Tall Pines Leslie Miller also attended the event and was greeted by loud cheers as he made his way to the front of the rally area.

Mrs Butler-Turner was supported by several current FNM members of Parliament as well as former Cabinet ministers, including former FNM Leader Tommy Turnquest, Central Grand Bahama MP Neko Grant, St Anne’s MP Hubert Chipman, former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson, former House Speaker Alvin Smith, former FNM Chairman Darron Cash, Senator Monique Gomez, former Senator Heather Hunt, former Senate President Lynn Holowesko and former Garden Hills MP Brensil Rolle.

Comments

proudloudandfnm 4 years, 4 months ago

Minnis had about 400 there plus 240 watching online.

LBT had about 300 plus 1000 watching online.

Thank you..

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licks2 4 years, 4 months ago

I SAY SHE HAD 50,000 IN THE SQUAR AND 20,000,000 ONLINE. . .HA HA HA HA HA HA HA AH MY! Why stop since we talking fool.

Now here is what the police estimated. . .200 in the square and 1,800 on the park!! The tribune says 200 in the square and 400 in the park. . .Guardian says 200 in the square and 500 to 600 in the park! The rest is history. . .how is the weather in lala land where you live?

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jackbnimble 4 years, 4 months ago

You are both missing the point. They could have had 4 million people out at each rally. It's only the 410 DELEGATES that can vote. I don't know why they keep making this about the numbers at each rally. If the majority of the 410 DELEGATES vote for Doc then the crowd at Butler's rally can't do squat about it and vice versa.

The focus of both campaigns should be INTERNAL towards the delegates who CAN vote not this game they keep playing like the public has any say in the FNM's affairs. It's a stupid pitch and we are equally as stupid if we fall for it.

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licks2 4 years, 4 months ago

I do agree with you there. . .we the public did not take part. . .at least not yet. . .I thought it was just about them FNM peoples them. . .they were "showing " the public who had the "mostest" FNM peoples. . .not we public people them! So who gets the most delegates will be the "biggest" man on the block. . .but they want to do that fight in the public!

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrades, a lot rides on your campaign slogan, so you’d be left thinks Loretta and Dr. Duane, had to have chosen theirs after having been influenced carefully by the reds most well heeled organ grinders?
Since this may have been the case behind their leadership's slogan's choosing, readers must not allow The Tribune to attempt to hide the real organizing political faces behind Wednesday night’s campaign slogan?
Is it really that difficult to see who were the financiers behind Rawson Square’s 100 curiosity seekers having been ushered together?
A night brought together under the darken skies, may just turn out to have been more symbolic of the dark times that points to the uncertainty ahead for all six power hungry red movement’s House MP’s to even retain their red party’s active memberships, after July27–29, 2016?
Good God, did they really lunch their party’s leadership run, under the blaring campaign slogan – “Once Elected, We Goin Crack Da Bush, Using Our Red Swords, To Slay Higher Taxes For The Privilege Business Classes?"
Are they really going to campaign against Comrades Minnis and Peter, on vote us in to use taxing, the most powerful instruments of government, to decide who among the peoples will gets taxed the mostest and the leastest?
Who are these six and what was it that first brought them together? This is the same six MP's, who first got joined at the hips to draft a letter to Her Excellency, lead by Loretta, Chippie and Montagu’s Richard.
Are they not the expression pictures perfect of the collective consciousness of former deputy Prime ministers Brent and Frankie, along with Grand Bahama's Maurice and the former minister, responsible for the people's security Tommy?
Comrades, need I even have to remind you of the “Pancake Face” Darron, who if you remembers had resigned as red party chairman, but not before publicly declaring how he had lost all faith in Minnis’s leadership – then quickly sought Minnis’s forgiveness, only to as quickly return to serve as chairman under Minnis? Seems likes Darren and Senator Duane, does read from the same damn script?
The six are lead by Long Island's Loretta and the other Doc, who shouldn't have lobbied then, accepted his senate appointment from Minnis. Comrades, examine who these reds real intentions really closer, and if not smiling at their campaign's slogan, then you must ask yourselves, are they not all a clear and collective expression of returning the red party movement, back into the hands of Bay Street’s old and tired and much despised mentality? Somebody’s is going be on the receiving end of a serious July 27 – 29, 2016 whacking, and if it ain’t Minnis and Peter, you tell me who is in for one effective long lasting of an ass whacking?
Amen!

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by TalRussell

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 4 months ago

Minnis chose not to stream. He had 400 there and 200 on BN.

LBT chose to stream. She had 300 there and 1000 online watching.

Who cares about the numbers?

She made a smarter choice. She made a 21st century choice.

And as a result she got more exposure.

That is good sense. Something I'd like in a leader...

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Publius 4 years, 4 months ago

Minnis chose not to stream.

He did stream, albeit very poorly done.

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licks2 4 years, 4 months ago

Can you find Brent survey for us as well. . .hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. . .now you saying 300 hundred was in the square! Now I wonder how many of the 1000 who was watching were in China, Japan. . .or in Alaska? WWW streaming for a party convention. . .in the Bahamas? Lol! Child you can't tell where them "streamers" them were "streamering". . .hehehehehehehehehehehehehe! What a big set of jokey people this group is!

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proudloudandfnm 4 years, 4 months ago

Also Minnis had plenty PLPs there... lol...

Some were posting on their FB page from there.

PLP wanted the delegates to see more people at Minnis' rally.

Minnis as leader of the FNM is the PLP's easiest path to victory....

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Economist 4 years, 4 months ago

When the only argument a person can find is to say he is not for intelligent and more wealthy people means that he has no plan because they will see through it.

He will rely on the grade"D's" to vote him in because they won't ask any questions and don't know enough to query anything.

Now there is a nation builder for you.

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licks2 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't call people foolish. . .but you sound really dumb ya know! In case you don't understand. . .the Bahamas has one of the highest national averages in this region! Now I know you will challenge me about this statement. . .so bring it on. . .let me school you about this subject. . .something you know little about!

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrade Economist did you not read sufficiently to digest what red shirts movement's deputy leader hopeful "Senator" Dr Duane, who is Loretta's sidekick running mate, had to say about why Papa Hubert just did get it back during the 2012 General? Although, I don't think even Duane fully understood the negative far reaching damage it continues to inflict upon the red shirts movement's failings to move beyond Papa Hubert and his deputy Brent's too close of an connection mentality to the Bay Street Boys?
Just maybe and the deputy leader hopeful continues to demonstrate his disconnect with voters he has before faced - unsuccessfully - and will again face come the July 27-29,2916 convention. That numbers have and will again tell his story come July.

  • Bear in mind that this is really about the delegates,” Duane said at the Rawson Square rally:
    “What we have learned is that numbers don’t tell the full story. If you remember Red Splash we almost sunk Montagu Beach but yet we didn’t win the 2012 general election.
    Comrade Economist, truth be told, the Eastern District of Montagu, has and will be a red shirts movement's election case study come the 2017 General?
    That is unless you know of a sure way for the party to hide the Montagu's, Richard? Then again, won't you still have Loretta, Duane, Chippie, Brent, Frankie W and Tommy T, remaining so visible to voters in the campaign's picture?
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John 4 years, 4 months ago

Well if you know history of politics on the Bahamas, you would know that when the PLP is in power, very few persons participate in opposition politics until the silly season because of the fear of victimization. Unfortunately the threat is real and in these tough economic times, persons cannot risk losing their jobs, having their electricity turned off, their loans called in and even their children fired. But as election draws closer more people will come out and support their parties. Also some don't want to be drawn into this leadership issue again because they thought it was settled. And some media are reporting that one faction of the FNM is willing to victimize other FNM's to gain or maintain control of leadership of the party. So many FNM's choose to remain neutral or absent at this juncture.

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrade John someone has break the bad Loretta news to you, so might as well be me. Loretta's now joined at the hip by her sidekick Duane, only further places on display, her lack of leadership which has been a long time in the coming, even before the July 27-29th, 2016's Red Movemnt's leadership convention was announced. Since taking the junior job in Papa Hubert's regime as the junior minister for social services under the substantive minister....Loretta has had trouble convincing anyone to take her seriously. I don't think Loretta helped her leadership chances once the red delegates got a chance to see firsthand, who really are the elitists reds behind her running twice before for party leader. I see no evidence she will prevail any better with the voting delegates on what is now her third attempt to unseat Minnis.
I know of no other political party's aspiring leadership candidate who will have stuck around for not one, not two, but "three" clear and resounding rejections by her own party's membership.
For all we know, Loretta is already planning a "fourth" leadership run against Minnis, anytime before the 2017 General's bell does get's rungs by the prime minister? Comrade John, neither you, nor, I could have made-up the story of Loretta, on we owns.

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John 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrade John someone has break the bad Loretta news to you, so might as well be me. L

Tal I know your posts are most difficult to read and mostly confusing, but how can you ever deduce that I am a supporter of Loretta Butler or even the FNM party? The ballot is still secret as far as I know. Stop painting other people with your political brush(es).

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrade John, while I admire your commitment to Loretta and Duane, even if its somewhat closeted, were we not taught from childhood to beware of false red prophets. They come to you in red sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their ceaseless Tribune blog posts you will recognize them. Are sour red grapes not gathered from thornbushes?
You do acknowledge that this is Loretta's 'third" attempt to unseat Minnis, not even including the drafted letter intended for Her Excellency?
I see still a "fourth' Loretta run for leadership even before the PM does rungs the General's 2017 bell. There can be no stopping the power hungry one's lust.

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John 4 years, 4 months ago

obviously you have a mental problem. And i never argue with the deranged!

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killemwitdakno 4 years, 4 months ago

She needs to stop sounding snobby.

"Now is the time for wise and competent Bahamians of the highest moral and ethical caliber to come together for the good of the country"

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killemwitdakno 4 years, 4 months ago

Official crowd counter business for someone? Sound like I just created a job.

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licks2 4 years, 4 months ago

Sore loser. . .in the mind of the average Bahamian. . .crowd counts. . .that's what yinna FNM showed us the other night. . .doc got the plenty peoples from yall party. . .still looks 3 to 1 in favor. . .so it don't matter what foolishness yinna come around here talking. . .in the minds of the public. . .LBT crew got whopped in yinna "war" of the convention parties! So yinna pick up yall self and act like yinna got some dignity left. . .stop yall talking "fool" . . . yinna pick the fight and now yall getting punched all about in yall eyes and thing. . .this little childish nit picking foolishness don't say much about yall ability to run a news paper stand. . .STOP AND GET THE HECK OUT THE GUTTER AND FIGHT LIKE CHAMPIONS. . .BECAUSE RIGHT NOW YINNA LOOKING REAL BAD TO THE PUBLIC!

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