Editorial: Now Is The Time To Put Aside Egos And Unite

TODAY we make no apology for returning once again to the burning political issue facing our country - the alarming prospect that, in the face of a warring and fractured Opposition, a Progressive Liberal Party government may be returned for another five years at the general election which has to be held no later than May.

Publication at last of the delayed Boundaries Commission report and of the Free National Movement’s manifesto has finally concentrated minds in the realisation that the election is barely three months away.

We believe that the prevailing public mood is one of despair, not just that the nation is at such a low ebb in so many ways because of the PLP’s calamitous and discredited performance since coming to power in 2012, but also in the knowledge that another term with the same people at the helm, including Prime Minister Perry Christie himself, will be disastrous for the Bahamas.

The examples under this government of alleged corruption, greed, dishonesty, scandal, victimisation, flawed decision-making and sheer mismanagement on a grand scale are too well known at this late stage of its period of governance to bear reiteration. But, sadly, Mr Christie and his ministerial colleagues seem to be in denial about what is happening as the country continues on a downward path and they do not even listen to people like the ‘We March’ protestors.

He and they appear to be unable or unwilling to face up to major problems like unemployment, the nation’s investment junk status and deteriorating GDP to debt ratio, to name just a few, while Mr Christie’s ‘Wild West’ comparison this week in reaction to the worsening crime situation was politically inept since it showed a government which has lost control. His much criticised mishandling of the Baha Mar debacle will also resonate in voters’ minds as evidence of incompetence while being bamboozled by the Chinese or, at worst, of collusion with them together with the disgraceful treatment of the original developer amidst continuing rumours of money changing hands.

Although he is an experienced politician with solid achievements to his name during the course of a long career and by reputation a decent and caring man, the Prime Minister is surrounded by flawed ministerial colleagues, including one whose self-important attempts at posturing on the international stage do little to enhance the fortunes or reputation of our nation and another who brings into disrepute his position as a member of the Cabinet by refusing to accept a court ruling against him. While the largely unsighted observations of his party chairman, who seems increasingly to be out of touch with reality, may influence him, we also fear that Mr Christie suffers from political hubris and, most recently, could have been lured into complacency by the numerous sycophants and grassroots supporters at the recent PLP convention where, shamefully, the one contender for his job was not even allowed to speak.

To make matters worse for him, not only was the report of the Boundaries Commission delayed and therefore tabled late but it is now being challenged in the courts because of blatant gerrymandering in the PLP’s favour. At the same time, the Interception of Communications Bill which has just been tabled has already been heavily and widely criticised as an assault on the citizenry’s right to privacy and for being rushed through at the last minute without adequate consultation. Then there is the Freedom of Information Bill currently being considered by the Senate which contains so many exemptions as to be largely toothless and not fit for its original purpose.

Despite all this, the PLP can always rely on the votes of its diehard supporters at a general election because their traditional loyalty remains unaffected by the government’s performance in office. So there is a danger that, if the Opposition remains divided between the FNM and the Democratic National Alliance, there could be a repeat of the 2012 election result when the DNA won no seats but did well enough to split the FNM vote which enabled the PLP to secure victory.

The low numbers registering to vote in this general election is surely one measure of the people’s dissatisfaction with the political class. We use this opportunity to appeal yet again to the FNM to put its house in order and re-establish internal party unity. We urge its leaders to seek an accommodation with their DNA counterparts in order to produce a united Opposition with a genuine chance of winning in May. They should all put aside their respective egos and understand that a failure to establish some sort of functioning unity will go down badly with an electorate which is desperate for change and for a new political leadership which can fix the many problems besetting this small nation.

We believe that it is not being unduly alarmist to say that another five years of a failed PLP government could even result in civil unrest - and clearly this is something which above all our traditionally tolerant and peaceful community must seek to avoid. It is not too late for those politicians concerned to take responsibility as patriotic Bahamians and do the right thing for their country.


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 4 months ago

For the Editor to be able to say of Christie, "Although he is an experienced politician with solid achievements to his name during the course of a long career and by reputation a decent and caring man,...." shows that The Tribune (like the FNM under the Dimwitted Doc) lost its way many moons ago.


Honestman 1 year, 4 months ago

Maybe the Tribune could elaborate on these "solid achievements" 'cause we would all sure like to know what they are.


DDK 1 year, 4 months ago

For real! Other than the Editor's apparent misguided need to interject that particular bit of rubbish, her comments are right on.


birdiestrachan 1 year, 3 months ago

The Editor has never had any positive things to say about the PLP government. they according to her have done only wrong. perhaps she has never gotten 0ver the fact that persons from over the hill were able to move to the top of the hill and the children were given free high school education. and the Bahamas have the University of the Bahamas, Just to mention a few.

But Civl unrest which can lead to riots in the streets and even civii war. who knows whoes lives will be lost, Perhaps those who are advocating for Civil unrest?


Alex_Charles 1 year, 3 months ago

The PLP will win again. Mark my words, 2012 will happen again if the opposition remains stupid AF and fractured. They will have no one to blame but themselves


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 3 months ago

Sadly the problem is much deeper than we would like to think, if only from a purely cultural standpoint. Therefore replacing an already well fed and fattened bunch of crooks with a very hungry and malnourished bunch of crooks would likely exacerbate our country's death by a thousand cuts. Like most Bahamians I want to be more optimistic, but unfortunately history shows the single most telling sign of a doomed country is the lack of available political alternatives which usually results in a dictatorship of some kind at the end of the day. Even LBT who already looks well fed is nevertheless hungry and anxious to have access to that shining pot of gold held by our country's government which is filled with our tax dollars!


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