0

Robinson Vows To Support Fnm

Travis Robinson, former Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and MP for Bain and Grants Town.

Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff

Travis Robinson, former Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and MP for Bain and Grants Town. Photo: Terrel W Carey/Tribune Staff

By KHRISNA RUSSELL

Deputy Chief Reporter

krussell@tribunemedia.net

WHILE declaring unwavering support for the governing Free National Movement despite being fired as parliamentary secretary by Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson said his vote and presence in the House of Assembly are “mortgaged” to his constituents.

Breaking his silence for the first time since Dr Minnis terminated him from the appointment in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Mr Robinson said he held no hatred or anger, but explained his integrity and allegiance to the people of his constituency led to his vote against the value added tax increase to 12 percent last week.

He said no system of governance, position or money will cause him to yield his personal beliefs when his people needed him most.

The MP questioned the relevance of the Westminster system in the modern-day Bahamas and called for a select committee to evaluate this system of governance.

This system, he said, left Dr Minnis no choice but to fire him from the post after his vote, adding no elected member of Parliament should be forced to choose between their party and the people they serve.

When he was fired, Mr Robinson was cited for breaching the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure, which states parliamentary secretaries, like Cabinet ministers, are bound as a condition of their continuance in office to support government’s decisions in public.

After he was fired from the post, many speculated the young parliamentarian would end ties with the FNM to become an independent member.

However, when he stood to make the special communication yesterday, he affirmed his support for the FNM and the leadership of Dr Minnis.

“I wish to emphatically state, that the prime minister did what he thought was required of him and I accept my fate on behalf of the people of Bain and Grants Town,” Mr Robinson said. “Yet like a tree that sways in the wind, it is without hesitation or animosity for this government and for the prime minister that the people of Bain and Grants Town offer our continued support.

“In the days since my termination I have had the opportunity to speak with the prime minister and assured him of the same. He has reassured me of the government’s commitment to the revitalisation and rebirth of the Over-the-Hill communities and the supporting initiatives.

“Since joining the Free National Movement and being welcomed with open arms, the prime minister and I enjoyed and continue to enjoy even to this day a remarkable political relationship. So much so that we are often referred to in our camp as father and son.

“I wish to extend my gratitude to the prime minister for the opportunity to serve in the capacity as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation.”

While he said he understood the need to pay down government debt, Mr Robinson told the House his constituents, who are already living in poverty, would suffer the most.

These people, he said, are angry not only about VAT but for various reasons. The government must not discount them, Mr Robinson said.

“When I said to my constituents on the campaign trail, I will fight for you, I will go to bat for you, I will stand up and speak out for you, I meant what I said and I said what I meant, even if it caused me my livelihood.

“No system of governance, no position or money will cause me to yield my personal belief or conviction especially when my people need me the most.

“For you see, mine is the story of a young black educated male from Bain and Grants Town whose poverty knew no end. I went to school in burst tennis shoes, an oversized short faded pants and a dingy white shirt that only had three buttons. My daily lunch meal was from the school welfare programme – free lunch line. I got a job as a teenager packing bags at the food store. Then became a car washer and later worked as a pump attendant at a gas station.

“My ‘no’ vote in this honourable house was in alignment with a low and meek rise from the dust of poverty.

“Contrary to what some may say, my one vote in this honourable House of Assembly is mortgaged to the people of Bain and Grants Town and to them alone. My integrity is not for sale. Mr conviction is not for sale. My one vote is not for sale,” he added.

Speaking to the Westminster system, Mr Robinson urged Bahamians to research, engage in conversations and explore alternatives to this system of governance.

“Consider its origin, the current function and consequences, and the vulnerability of the government and the governed. Think broadly about democracy, what it means, what we need from it and what it requires of us.

“I wish to evoke the rights, duties and privileges bestowed upon the seat I sit as member of Parliament in this honourable House. As such I beg leave to call for a select committee of the House on the Westminster system to evaluate its relevance, its effectiveness and continued adherence in a 21st century Bahamas.

“It is my fundamental belief that no member should be placed in a position to choose between their party/government and the people they represent in this honourable House. Such a position is to put a stranglehold around the neck of democracy, choking the life out of it.

“In a democracy, power flows from the citizen to the government, but the vote is not the be all and the end all. We cannot be satisfied with participation that is limited to going to the polls every five years. If we are to be a strong, healthy democracy, we must all participate.”

He said many suggest the country abandons the system, however he conceded there are many steps to be taken before the Bahamas can arrive at that point.

Since being terminated as parliamentary secretary, Mr Robinson said he received both locally and internationally, 244 letters of encouragement, 308 phone calls, 905 WhatsApp messages, 1,024 emails, 3,429 Facebook tags, messages and postings and 113,000 views and hits on his Facebook live feed during a community walk.

Comments

TheMadHatter 11 months ago

He is correct. The Westminster system needs adjusting. Our Constitution needs adjusting.

We've had a Commission on that for several years in the early 2000's. They came up with dozens of potential amendments. It was made up of very wise and seasoned persons.

However, every time Govt has brought through a referendum to change our Constitution they INSIST on including several STUPID amendments to get everyone upset - instead of dealing with the obvious no-brainer stuff like an elected Senate, term limits for PM, recall procedure for MPs, reducing our elections from 5 years to 3 years - etc.

It is a plan to ensure that everyone is upset and therefore there be no change. The cigar room at the House of Parliament is a comfy cool A/C place - nobody there wanna mess with dat.

0

tell_it_like_it_is 11 months ago

I totally agree with you MadHatter that the Westminster system needs some rethinking (remnants of colonialism still in place to shackle us). I am also impressed with T. Robinson. I heard him speak on the news this morning. He seems like a young man with good principles.

The ruling government (be it FNM or PLP) will likely never change that rule to always vote in support of whatever they present because it suits their agenda more than the Bahamian people.
Unfortunately, in our system the agenda of the politicians will always trump the needs of the people. Sad!

0

licks2 11 months ago

Do you know that the great USA still use the Westminster system? They have their whips and if any member of their parties ignores the whip usually resigns or is fired!! Travis just shows that he is badly lead or advised and is green. . .still has plenty hope. . .just need to read and reason a little better! Dumb statements from politicians as usual. They are not even aware that the Pelophonician war was fought over the idea of democracy (Athens for and Sparta against). . .by the way which Socrates, Plato and Aristotle called the whole idea "rule by mob" and spend their whole lives fighting against that idea for government!

0

spoitier 11 months ago

A Senator or Representative is a Job on it's own and none of them holds Government post in Departments, so they can vote their conscience without being fired, ask John McCain. Also, Any American can run for a seat in their state or as President, Ask Donald Trump. Now, some of them might be afraid of not being endorsed but not being fired.

0

sangeej 11 months ago

So it is good to move the bar to suit him, some people does see the rules and still go out and break them, then turn around and play the victim, and because they are perceived to be a good person and people love them, they ask for the rules to be change just for them, the same way they want to change God's laws to suit them.

0

TheMadHatter 11 months ago

He did not break any rules. He agrees that the rules mean that Dr. Minnis had to fire him - and he accepted that. He is not asking to be reinstated to his position. He is SUGGESTING to the Bahamian people that they consider a change of the rules so that their "representatives" actually be able to represent them instead of having to be a bunch of suck-ups.

2

licks2 11 months ago

That form of government was in place for thousands of years. . .still used in the USA and all progressive countries. . .yet it must be change for one cry baby MP who played his hand and lost?

1

spoitier 11 months ago

Are you a part of the Government? Not because something been in place for centuries means it shouldn't be challenge, by that thought blacks should've never been freed from slavery after 400 years.

0

licks2 11 months ago

No. . .I am not a part of the governing group. . . and should something be changed just because one persons decided that he/she should not have to carry the consequence of personal actions. I guess the Westminster system idea in politics is one of those timeless ideas that has last for thousands of years and still remain useful. . .like democracy. Other learned persons are opposing your idea of freedom from slavery for blacks. . .the sophisticated opinion in that quarters is that the mental effect of hundred of years in slavery still lingers. Hence, Bob Marley famous song "emancipate yourself from mental slavery" etc.

0

spoitier 11 months ago

You are making my point, and I love how you use a Bob Marley song because I was going to use one in my original post. Now, this system of Government is mental slavery by the way, case and point it tells you not to vote your conscience and be slave to the group think. Also, let me leave you with part of Ambush in the Night By Bob Marley; They say what we know Is just what they teach us And we're so ignorant 'Cause every time they can reach us (shoobe, doowa) Through political strategy (shoobe, doowa) They keep us hungry (shoobe, doowa) And when you gonna get some food (shoobe, doowa) Your brother got to be your enemy, well. What the young man is exemplifying is the second part of the song: Well, what we know Is not what they tell us We're not ignorant, I mean it And they just cannot touch us Through the powers of the most I (shoobe, doowa) We keep on surfacin' (shoobe, doowa) Through the powers of the most I (shoobe, doowa) We keep on survivin', yeah

0

licks2 11 months ago

Are you for real man? You need to learn to read before you open ya mouth. . .you don't even have a clue to what I said to you!!! My my my. . .my head hurting reasoning with you dude!! I suspect that you are not as dense as you let on sometimes!!

0

spoitier 11 months ago

I have an idea what you are saying, I also have an idea of your believe system, which is to don't rock the boat, with that thinking nothing will never change including this dumb system of Government which was build to oppress people. If you are so smart you wouldn't try and discourage someone for trying the system.

0

TalRussell 11 months ago

I keep getting tricked having been early watchful supporter young Comrade Travis... Oh well can always take recluse in ma Home baked Brownies... of which just took delivery yesterday morning my more secure spanking new hand crafted Brownies Box.

0

TalRussell 11 months ago

Oh how 91,409 voting 35 red shirts 10th May, 2017 long for the days of "11months" yesterday in time when promises red candidates - seemed so uncompromisingly promising.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="None">

by TalRussell

0

DDK 11 months ago

Nice brownie box, Comrade!

0

licks2 11 months ago

Yall too blinded by ya hate, party politics or whatever to see that the young man spoke better about doc than any other person!

2

TalRussell 11 months ago

"ACEE'S" Fingerprints uncovered.
I was pulling for Travis show up in House wearing his Comrade Maverick Green Beret - not Red colour of Minnis's and KP's Party.... too much daddy talk my liking - sounding likes may have been written by the Special Speech Writin' Forces - behind walls PMO.

0

Sickened 11 months ago

I would suggest to MP's that in their contributions they state what their constituents feelings are - both sides. If many of his constituents wanted him to vote No then he can clearly say that so that their voices are heard. At the same time, if many also wanted him to vote Yes then he can clearly say that as well. He can then vote based on his belief of what the majority of his constituents want and what he believes is in the best interest of the country as a whole.

0

TalRussell 11 months ago

My somewhat trusted comrades in red shirts know - telling how influential red shirts have been meeting with talk launching new party as sole topic agenda. Seems Papa Hubert and Frankie Watson - be's right up there sittin' front seats?

0

sheeprunner12 11 months ago

What Travis did was political treason ....... why is that so difficult to understand?? .......... Someone please explain that to the young fella.

0

licks2 11 months ago

Some one needs to tell him shut his mouth in the public. . .he is all over the place acting like he "jonesin" for money and attention. . . the press will "tie him up" with so many "slip ups" that he will look like Brave Davis of the FNM and then they will have two persons who make plenty slip-ups in that party. . .doc and TRAVIS! Doc is good at beating-back the press! Travis son. . .take a break and determine who you are. . .where you are and where you want to go. For the sake of your future in politics. . ."NO COMMENTS" is a phrase you need to learn quickly there young man. . .you are being used to get at doc. . .it will only "burn" you. . .they have been "jooking" doc for years. Did you see him fall under their hands? You young man is the only one who will get trumped and left beside the political road. . .mark my word! SHUT UP YA MOUTH. . .

0

spoitier 11 months ago

It was was political treason to his party but time will tell if is constituent remember him come election time.

0

Sign in to comment