EDITOR, The Tribune
We all remember those old days when the then Christie led Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and its political and economic allies were caught in the cross fire of what was termed illegal gambling through the facilitation of unlicensed and unregulated web shops. The government wanted, as it should have, a slice of the multi-million dollar industry. The operators wanted the legality of the law and compliance and regulatory cover.
Christie was a good man, I am sure, but as a leader he had a tendency, just like Minnis, to shoot from the hip and to speak with loose lips which sank SS PLP and will, as sure as night follows, SS FNM. Christie thought up the grand idea of taking the issue of gaming to the people via untested referendum which he never said in advance would be unbinding. Almost all Bahamians love wagering a little bit. I personally enjoy this game of chance within recreational confines. Yes, I win all the time with the three and four balls.
Anyway, the people in their collective wisdom voted against the “yes” portion of the referendum and it was assumed by all, me too, that that was the end of that and that the police would crack down hard on the operators. Lo and behold Christie ‘the magician’ was able to pull a big red and hairy black rabbit out of the square and compass! The web industry got what it wanted and the government started to swell at the pig trough. Plenty money was spent during the “yes” campaign. Yes, I was a paid consultant and collected my stipend in the West.
If Brother Christie had the decency to consult the people via referendum on the issue of gaming why can’t Most Hon Minnis do the same thing relative to marijuana? Gaming, like marijuana, has serious societal; cultural; political and spiritual potential negative repercussions. Let the people decide Brother Minnis via a referendum, if you all dare.
There was no need for a gaming referendum, but Brother Christie being the smarty pants, politically, that he would have been, he took a gamble and lost never mind that he did a duce, legally, on the majority who voted against gaming becoming legal. Anyway, I call for a referendum on this critical issue of marijuana. I note where the Hon. Jeffrey ‘Moon Beam’ Lloyd, FNM-South Beach, my good friend and mentor, is calling for us becoming a Republic and getting rid of Her Majesty the Queen!? This is yet another demonic, possibly, detraction concocted within the belly of the beast. Why now with all of the critical issues confronting the nation?
ORTLAND H. BODIE, Jr.
January 10, 2020