By PHILIP 'BRAVE' DAVIS
OUR party has entered an era of historic responsibility requiring us to retool, reshape, and transform to preserve the fabric of our democratic tenets. That responsibility begins with renewing our social and economic contract with the Bahamian people, one that ensures all Bahamians have an undeniable access to the economic and social fruits of our country.
The great expectation of the people has caused us to pause to examine the very nature of our party to enable us to fulfil our mission. The concerns of the majority have not fallen on deaf ears, we respond with the first pillar of change, reforming the document that governs our body our constitution. The Progressive Liberal Party prepares itself to take on the important responsibility of our nation by contributing to human progress forging ahead against the odds.
We look forward to new horizons being reminded of our history of diligence, bravery, and, wisdom. The Progressive Liberal Party will not choose the path of being complacent and resting on our laurels. Emerging from the rubbles of defeat is a party burnishing its hooks never to be separated from the people, correcting the errors of our past, and making every effort to uphold the principles that bind us to serve the people.
This chapter will be a journey of strict discipline and conduct as we are mindful of the adage that one bad apple spoils the barrel. Together, as we create modern history, we will endeavour to ensure that our supporters will be the heroes and the source of our strength. Rebuilding is a long road ahead. This process necessitates calling for the whole party to explore and invite all men and women who can help their party construct a system that will pioneer a new era of reform and opening up.
Now more than ever our numerous trials and domestic turmoil must inspire a generation of nation builders, aspirations of patriots, and leadership that encapsulates the struggles and sacrifice of correcting the social ills of its fellowmen. We have full confidence in our path of reform meeting for the first time in the Progressive Liberal Party's history during a constitutional convention.
The very purpose of our party is to serve as an instrument to lead the Bahamian people and to serve the public good, shouldering the revolution of social and economic development. Reform and change are an inevitable prerequisite for the survivability of the Progressive Liberal Party and its great cause. Our party presses ahead with the new task of rebuilding subjecting ourselves to the oversight of the Bahamian people.
Political integrity will be a clear position and the actions of any culprit will not prevail. Our political institution will steer clear of the actions of any individual whose actions will lead to resentment among the people and eventually lead to the irrelevance of our party and the failure of its mission and mandate. Simply put, during this period of reform the Progressive Liberal Party will not be soft in dealing with those who seek power for personal gain or privileges.
The mission of our party will be achieved by men and women who are honest and upright exercising strict self-discipline guided by a code of conduct. The reforms of today will reflect the wishes of the peoples and will meet the developmental needs of our organisation. We are clearly aware that the sole criterion of reform is the courage and capability to address pressing issues and to answer the basic questions of how to rebuild.
To the Bahamian people, especially those who have lost confidence in the political system and their leaders, we endeavour to regain your trust to correct a relationship built on the foundation of rectifying our errors, upholding truth, and learning our lessons.
To the supporters and members of the Progressive Liberal Party, we must all hold hands, looking at what both history and reality have shown us. Together, we must be tenacious in our pursuit of our mission encountering new situations and new problems. We will face our great shares of risk and challenges, and we will be troubled by the unexpected. But together we must prepare ourselves and hold firm against adversity.
As leader of the Progressive Liberal Party, I don't pretend to have the solutions to our every problem, but I do believe we can lead the next chapter of the rejuvenation of our party and our country. After our defeat, we are now undergoing the process of reform, preparing ourselves to serve the hearts and souls of the Bahamian people.
• Mr Davis, QC, is leader of the Progressive Liberal Party