IN OUR March 13 editorial we made an error that our readers – always on the ball– were quick to let us know about!
In that article, headed: ”Brent Symonette will serve for sake of country” we noted, in discussing the depth of administrative experience now needed to pull this country back from its cliff-hanging position, that DNA Leader Branville McCartney, although the only member of his party to have had any experience in government, that that experience was not only minimal, but short-lived. We then observed: “There is no question that although his DNA won no seats in parliament in the 2012 election, it was his party as spoiler that gave the government to the PLP. In that election although the FNM won the popular vote, the PLP won the majority of seats in the House.”
The FNM did not win the popular vote. This was our error. However, although the FNM alone did not win the popular vote, the FNM and DNA together did win that vote, which was the point of the article. In fact, if there had been cooperation at that time between the two parties, this country would not have had to suffer this five-year downward spiral that is nearing an end with many unfulfilled promises.
In the 2012 election, the PLP won 75,815 (48.62%) of the votes; the FNM 66,633 (42.097%), the DNA 13,225 (8.48%); Bahamas Constitution Party 96 (0.06%) and Independent 1,177 (0.75%). The total votes cast were 155,946,
And so the error in the March 13 editorial did not change the conclusion, which was that there had to be cooperation between the two main parties to block the PLP becoming the government. And history, by the end of the month, will have repeated itself if Opposition parties fail to grasp reality and – if only for a short moment in time – decide not to work together.
On this page today we publish a letter from pastor Jeremiah Duncombe, Leader of the Gatekeepers. In it he says that the Lord has led him to “endorse Branville McCartney.” Inundated with calls for an explanation of his decision, his reply was: “I was God directed.”
We respect Pastor Duncombe’s decision, but we think it almost blasphemous to drag God into such an unholy, man-made mess. After all God gave man the greatest gift of all — free will coupled with an intellect to guide it. You can pray to God to help you in your decision making, but once that decision is made you have to own it — don’t go blaming God. God gave man free will and for those interested in the burden of that freedom we suggest you read the soliloquy of the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov”.
Will that freedom be too much for Bahamians to responsibly exercise on election day? We shall see.
But don’t forget former Transport Minister Philip Bethel, who has in recent years become a minister of the Gospel, ascending a public platform several years ago to announce to the Bahamian people that God had given this country to the PLP. And the callous dismissive comment of the late former PLP Deputy Prime Minister Sir Clement Maynard who declared that he was only “checking for PLPs”.
No one should forget the “all for me baby years that followed”.
And so come election day say your prayers for guidance, but remember the decision is yours as to what kind of a country you want for yourself and your family.
God gave you free will, he gave you an intellect to guide you intelligently and he gave you a hand to mark your “X”. If you fail to do so, or do so for a paltry bribe that will not sustain you for five years, then don’t go weeping and wailing and looking for a scapegoat to blame. Remember that minister of religion who in an unthinking moment made that shameful remark that “principles don’t put food on the table”? This is the very thinking that has killed this country — a lack of national principles, and corruption at almost every level.
The decision is yours. Make a poor judgment then you have only yourself to blame — don’t yammer about God. He had nothing to do with it, particularly as He has given you the tools with which to make an intelligent decision.
The pitfalls of welcoming
We haven’t been to Freeport since it lost its glory days. Recently, however, the constant complaint of Freeporters is that Freeport’s problem is that too much land was sold to the Chinese. One Bahamian recently went so far as to say — and say with sad conviction — that he does not expect Freeport to ever recover. Hanging in the balance for him was a weighty decision — should he pack and leave?
To give our readers a better understanding of Freeport’s problems, we publish the first in a series of articles — to appear every Monday in The Tribune’s Insight section. Today’s article discuses “The pitfalls of welcoming Chinese investment”. It is written by Mr Cary Leonard, a commercial attorney in the chambers of Callenders & Co, Freeport.