Davis: I have no reason to say sorry for 2002 vote

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.

Official Opposition Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis.


Tribune Staff Reporter


DEPUTY Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday said he had no reason to apologise for voting against the 2002 constitutional referendum, saying former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham inspired the results when he “politicised” the vote.

Meanwhile, former PLP Cabinet Minister George Smith became the highest-profile member of his party to apologise for his stance on the failed 2002 referendum yesterday.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” Mr Smith said in a statement. “And so for my part I apologise for the failed effort in 2002.”

The comments of Mr Davis and Mr Smith came after former Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett said during a Rotary club meeting that “some form of contrite admission” may help persuade Bahamians who are bitter about the PLP’s actions in 2002 to vote “yes” to the amendments on June 7.

Though he wasn’t inclined to issue an apology, Mr Davis said he hopes vindictiveness does not influence people’s decision.

“I would hope no ill-effects (take place from that),” he said. “We’re all motivated by any number of things. There is always this element of payback that exists in many of us. I just hope that they will be able to overcome their disappointment over the failure (in 2002).”

Mr Davis said he could not speak on behalf of the PLP but said he has nothing to apologise for with respect to the 2002 referendum.

“A person would only apologise when they accept that they have done something wrong,” he said. “I don’t know that in the context of the last referendum with the Constitution, I voted ‘no’ but I did so not because I did not believe in the rights of the sexes but rather because it was included in a number of other amendments to the Constitution that bred a lot of confusion and (my vote was a message) not to the bills but rather the whole process.”

He added: “If (the citizenship issues was) an amendment on its own I don’t think it would’ve gotten the response that it did back then.”

Mr Davis also blamed the former prime minister for the failed vote in 2002.

“Recall that when that happened, when the issue became political, and when the then prime minister said ‘whoever wins the referendum wins the election’, you then forced people as it were to decide well, ‘I don’t want the FNM to win so I gon’ vote ‘no’ or ‘I don’t want the PLP to win so I gon’ vote yes.’ That’s what happened. The consequences of that statement by the then prime minister himself divided the country.”

When asked about fears from some that the fourth Constitutional Amendment Bill would benefit the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, Mr Davis dismissed the worry.

“If you cut it, it don’t make you a woman. If you slice it or add to it, it don’t make you a man. And that’s the end of it,” he told reporters.

While in opposition, the PLP’s parliamentarians initially supported the amendments in 2002.

PLP members later withdrew their support, expressing concern about poor consultation process.

Mr Ingraham’s statement predicting that the party whose side came out ahead in the referendum would win the next election came less than a week before the vote took place, well after the PLP had already withdrawn its support for the referendum and began campaigning to encourage a “no” vote.

The PLP won the general election a few months later.


sheeprunner12 6 years, 8 months ago

Who can really vote for a party with a person like Brave, BBBrad, Fweddy, Shame, Danny, AllieG, Glenny, Obie, Mikey, Gray, AmericanBoy, BigMellie, Old/Young Gomez, BJ, Persewell, Perry or Fitzgerald or the other "sheep" in leadership ............. they are shameless, bigoted, lousy. uninspiring, ineffective, greedy crooks dressed up in suits and living high off the Bahamian hog


Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years, 8 months ago

Re-post: Bahamians had better mark their "X" on the ballot next to the picture of the gate, as it represents (1) the gate to keep thousands of foreigners (wanting Bahamian status) out of our country and (2) the gate to keep same-sex marriages from happening in our country! The corrupt Ingraham-led FNM and Christie-led PLP governments of the past three decades think we are all fools. Even though many of us are either unemployed or under employed, our corrupt government is now hell bent on granting thousands of foreigners Bahamian status in exchange for their vote down the road. We can't afford to let this happen. Bahamians must show up at the polls on June 7th and vote a resounding "NO!" to all four of the proposed amendments to our constitution. Remember....just mark your "X" next to the picture of the gate on your ballot. You must vote "NO" otherwise you and your family will really be sorry when the wave of foreigners come to our shores to take your job for less pay!


justthefactsplease 6 years, 8 months ago

I won't apologize for voting NO this time around either so we will be even after June 7. Arrogant @$$.


truetruebahamian 6 years, 8 months ago

I want to vote yes, get rid of the entire plp party, get rid of Minnis, I am leaving the dna and will join the fnm if Loretta and other honest people offer their top end candicies.


SP 6 years, 8 months ago

............. 2016 Constitutional Referendum True Unabridged Translation ...................

Bill one would give Haitian Bahamian women who are married to Haitian men the right to pass on their Bahamian citizenship to any number of Haitian children of that union no matter where those children are born.

The Constitution currently says that only Haitian Bahamian male citizens by birth have that right.

Bill two would allow a Haitian Bahamian woman married to a Haitian man the right to secure for her Haitian husband the same access to Bahamian citizenship as a Bahamian male has in relation to his Haitian wife.

Bill three would grant any unmarried Haitian Bahamian man the right to pass on his Bahamian citizenship to any number of Haitian children he claims to have fathered with any Haitian woman claiming to have proof of paternity regardless if the Haitian children are those of relatives, friends or paid guardians.

Bill four addresses deviants based on unnatural sexual appetites, which has been defined as being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

This clearly translates into 100's of 1000's of new Haitian Bahamian citizens with absolutely no love for our people and culture, no respect for our laws and not an iota of care for future generations of indigenous Bahamians!


Liberal 6 years, 8 months ago

Regrettably there are too many Bahamians with no respect for our laws, either! As for blaming all our ills on Haitians (which seems to be the gist of SP's post), immigrants have been shown to enrich a country - it may well be that they are in large part responsible for the relative prosperity of the Bahamas compared with many of the countries in this region. Not that the Bahamas is rich, but you don't see so much of the desperate poverty that is evident elsewhere. As for the ill-informed comments regarding the LGBT community, surely Christianity teaches love and tolerance - didn't Christ take a (despised) tax-collector as a disciple? It may also be news to Brave Davis and his fellow travellers, but sex is not so simple as they believe. Any doctor or midwife with more than a modicum of experience will tell you that some babies are of intermediate sex, and this ambiguity can persist into adulthood. In addition, sex is much more than a physical attribute - the brain has often been described as our biggest sex organ - and so there are some people who feel (deeply) that they were born with the wrong body. That can make them very unhappy, and we should be sympathetic to their predicament. It may surprise some people that being "gay" is another matter entirely, but for most people, at least, sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, any more than being tall or short is. If the equality clause of the referendum leads to gay marriage, isn't this a blow for human rights?
Let's vote yes and loudly affirm that the Bahamas supports the equality of men and women!


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