PLP leader and leader of the Opposition Philip ‘Brave’ Davis pictured during the gathering on Saturday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff
By John Richards
WHO does the Progressive Liberal Party think we are?
It seems the party, after a hurtful election rejection in 2017 developed an obsession with image and an affinity with appearing to know what to do and how to do it the right way. Where were these things during its last term in office?
On Saturday, scores of PLPs gathered to deliberate over and vote on portions of the party’s constitution.
In an interview with reporters following the event, constitution committee chairman Raynard Rigby said the creation of a code of conduct, changes when it comes to receiving campaign finances and the appointment and handling of stalwarts were part of the constitution overhaul.
He said even the process by which candidates were chosen would be changed.
He told reporters: “There are a number of big things that we are doing now. We expand the party base, make the party larger more open and inviting for members join for supporters to join.
“We have democratised the party in a sense that there is a balance in our party with respect to those voting from constituencies and other bodies in our organisation. We’ve given a structured seat, a confirmed seat for your people and women on all standing committees and commissions in our party. We have adopted in principle a kind of code of conduct for our members.
“We have looked at our constituency operation and give our branches the flexibility to determine how they will be structured, how is best to bring in new members and by and large we have opened the party tent to be more inviting to members to join and to have a seat of the table.”
“Think about it this way, the party is 64 years old and the constitution has served us well over these past 64 years. This is the beginning of really a transition into a reformed party. The constitution is essentially a new document.
“We have taken from the existing constitution those provisions which work. We have looked at the customs of our party and we have brought them into the constitution because we believe that some of them work well.”
Dear PLP, Bahamians want more than just a new party constitution.
Voters still remember former Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald and the infamous Baha Mar emails.
They still remember value added tax implementation and how the millions collected for the tax was not used for its purpose.
They still remember how one contractor received more than $8m in 46 payments to clean up the capital after Hurricane Matthew, including one hefty checque the day before the general election.
Bahamians still remember when a dorm at BAMSI burned to the ground and its contractor had no “all risk” insurance.
We remember it all.
New rules on new paper mean nothing and will not be enough to win the trust of a people easily offended and angered by those in government, but it is a start.
The PLP stand a better chance free of its present leader Philip “Brave” Davis.
The party was on to something when it accepted young Exuma and Ragged Island MP Chester Cooper as its leader. Do us a favour too and lose the old guard chairman Fred Mitchell.
A party free of those who helped to land it in the political garbage can of voters along with innovation will do the lion share of the job if the PLP wants to return to office.