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Vaughn Miller Goes All In And Joins Plp

GOLDEN Isles MP Vaughn Miller.

GOLDEN Isles MP Vaughn Miller.

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune News Editor

tmthompson@tribunemedia.net

GOLDEN Isles MP Vaughn Miller has joined the Progressive Liberal Party, nine months after quitting the Free National Movement to become an independent representative.

He made the revelation while giving a contribution in the House of Assembly last night on a resolution to extend the country’s state of emergency to October 31, a move Mr Miller said he does not support.

He said he decided to join the official opposition after much personal reflection and consultation with family and advisors.

“It has always been, Mr Speaker, my desire, my dream... to serve our great country and to make life better for other people, particularly the poor, the indigent, the marginalised, the disenfranchised, the downtrodden,” Mr Miller said.

“Mr Speaker, the people of the great constituency of Golden Isles have given me that opportunity.”

He referenced his decision in 2018 to vote against the government’s value added tax increase, which led to him being fired as a parliamentary secretary. He revealed that he is a cancer survivor, saying the disease took a financial toll on him. He said when he thought about voting against the VAT increase, he knew it would not be a financially wise decision because of the inevitable fallout. Still he said he made the decision based on his conviction.

Speaking about the move to join the PLP, he said: “I have been in constant conversation with my wife, I’ve spoken, Mr Speaker, to members of my family, constituents, church leaders, religious leaders and others.

“I’ve also thought and prayed long and hard. It has become extremely clear to me what I must do. It is time for me to do what I believe is best for me. Mr Speaker, I’ve been in conversation with the leader of the opposition and after careful reflection, I have decided, Mr Speaker, to join the Progressive Liberal Party.

“I spoke to the leader of the opposition about joining the PLP and sitting with his parliamentary caucus from now until the general election, offering to be the next representative of the great Golden Isles constituency as a Progressive Liberal Party member of Parliament. He assured Mr Speaker that he would welcome me into the party and into his caucus.”

In a statement released after Mr Miller’s announcement, PLP leader Philip Davis revealed the decision had only been formalised yesterday morning after previous discussions.

“I received a call this morning (Wednesday) from Vaughn Miller, the member of Parliament for Golden Isles,” Mr Davis noted. “He indicated to me that after months of reflection and prayer, and following extensive consultations with his wife, family members and his constituents, he had decided to join the Progressive Liberal Party.

“I have been speaking to him for some time. I think his experience mirrors that of many Bahamians, who wanted to believe the promises made by the Free National Movement in 2017, but who came to realise that this government has neither the intention nor the capacity to keep those promises.

“For many Bahamians, things have never been harder. We are a nation in crisis. Vaughn Miller could have chosen to leave public service, but instead he wants to work for change, and hope, and relief. As a young man in Green Castle, Eleuthera, he dreamed of helping people and building a stronger nation. We share the belief that when things get hard, you work even harder. I welcome him to the Progressive Liberal Party. There is a lot of work ahead. It’s an all hands on deck moment.

“On behalf of all of my colleagues in the parliamentary team, I welcome Vaughn Miller to sit with us in our caucus and to become a member of the party. I look forward to the work we will do together for the people of Golden Isles,” Mr Davis said.

Mr Miller quit the Free National Movement in December 2019, moments after he lambasted the Minnis administration for entering into a lease agreement with Town Centre Mall to house the General Post Office. The mall is partly owned by St Anne’s MP Brent Symonette. Mr Symonette was a sitting Cabinet minister at the time the lease was entered into.

At the time, Mr Miller was making a contribution during debate on a confidence resolution in Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis in the House of Assembly. The debate started as a vote of no confidence in Dr Minnis brought by Mr Davis, however it was amended to a confidence vote by the governing side.

Mr Miller was fired from his post as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social Services in June 2018 for what the government said was breach of the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure.

Bain and Grants Town MP Travis Robinson was also fired as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine from his post as chairman of the Hotel Corporation for the same reason after they, along with Centreville MP Reece Chipman, voted against the VAT increase.

Mr Miller and Mr Chipman later became independent MPs. Mr Robinson remains in the FNM and was recently reappointed as parliamentary secretary. Mr McAlpine also remains in the party, despite his frequent criticism of the current administration.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 3 weeks, 4 days ago

This makes no sense. Not after what happened in the last administration. I dont think anyone could join the PLP and claim they wanted to help the disenfranchised. You could do it as an independent....but there may be no money in that.. not judging

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themessenger 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Mr. Miller was fired from his post as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Social Services in June 2018 for what the government said was a breach of the Manual of Cabinet and Ministry Procedure. after months of reflection and prayer, and following extensive consultations with his wife, family members, and his constituents, he had decided to join the Progressive Liberal Party.

Translate as after months of eating sour grapes I have decided to get in line early for a seat on the next gravy train.

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FrustratedBusinessman 3 weeks, 4 days ago

There is a chance he may not even get the PLP nomination for the constituency, but there is more than likely an agreement in place for him to suddenly decide to tag along after all this time as an independent.

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joeblow 3 weeks, 4 days ago

What is laughable is that he doesn't realize he was elected in an anti-PLP wave. It had nothing to do with what he as a person had to offer. A mangy dog could have won that seat. In other words, his political career is over!!

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Socrates 3 weeks, 4 days ago

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system where you get elected by voters from one party then as a personal decision, betray that vote by joining another party that those voters did not support. Its time for some kind of constitutional amendment where if a member wants to switch, you vacate the seat and hold a bye-election.

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trueBahamian 3 weeks, 4 days ago

The change can be a matter if certain fundamental principles that ine believes in. So, I can respect that. However, I don't buy that from this guy. What has he really done? He doesn't appear to be some great champion of the people. This country is so sad with the people we choose to elect to office.

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FrustratedBusinessman 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Important to remember that you are voting for the candidate, not the party, in our electoral system. That being said, I agree with you 100% in principle. No reason that you should be able to get elected under one party and cross the floor with out hearing from the people that put you there first. Whether we like it or not, most people are voting for the party logo (and their platform/agenda) on their ballot, they don't care whose name is next to it.

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tribanon 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Minnis may as well join the PLP too.

Can anyone think of a single significant positive thing that Minnis has accomplished for the Bahamian people since May 2017? A thick book will some day be written about all the significant negative things attributable to Minnis's incompetency, stupidity and many other serious shortcomings.

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trueBahamian 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Well, he came in as a move to remove the PLP. So, he was a symbol. Lol. For the last few decades, we have had deficiencies in leadership. We had some bright spots in the Ingraham administration but also a bunch of issues as well. The last vision at the PM level that we had was th e beginning of the Pindling administration. That administration had some positives but also negatives. If we go back prior to Independence to the UBP, we get positives and some real bad negatives.

We're a country starving for a real.posiitve change. We're small enough to easily become a beacon of hope for the entire global community. Why do our leaders make it look so hard to run such a small country?

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FrustratedBusinessman 3 weeks, 4 days ago

"Well, he came in as a move to remove the PLP."

This mentality right here is why the Bahamas will never improve until Bahamians take a good hard look in the mirror to realize why this country is truly in trouble. As the old saying goes, Bahamians vote governments out, not in, which is exactly why this country is screwed up today.

No government is ever going to please us 100%, so what do we do every time an FNM/PLP administration does something we don't like, send them out of office in an electoral landslide (which, mind you, some administrations have deserved it). Instead of looking at platforms/policies, Bahamians vote out of anger and frustration, which is why there are hardly any leaders with vision for the country today. They don't even have to provide a vision, only wait for the electorate to get sick and tired of the current government so they can cruise into power without ever actually having a plan.

Stupid is as stupid does.

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SP 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Wow...So he jumps out of the frying pan....And dives into the volcano!

@FrustratedBusinessman......What you're saying is only partially true. Bahamians unquestionably do vote parties out, and not in, however, there was always only one substantial alternative.

Unfortunately, even now the other fringe parties are not smart enough to form a unified coalition in opposition to the PLP and FNM.

If they did, AND were able to assure the electorate that they too have not been compromised by the usual corrupt special interest groups, Bahamians would flock to them like flies to honey.

Stupid is as stupid does. Indeed!

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FrustratedBusinessman 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I hear your point, but one must look closely at the viability of third parties in our electoral system as well : for all of the foolishness that the Christie administration did in the time period of 2012-2017, a touch short of 60,000 Bahamians still voted for the PLP during the last election. If the FNM were to call a general election today, they would more than likely be able to pull in a similar number.

Those 60,000 voters were nothing but grassroots supporters for the PLP, the kind who will vote nothing but PLP for their entire lives. When you take into consideration that the PLP was able to pull in 60,000 votes without appealing to swing voters at all, it puts into perspective how hard third parties have it in our country. The FNM's grassroots turnout is probably a bit lower, but would still be similar nonetheless. The last third party to win a seat in a Bahamian election would be the BDM from the 70s if my memory is correct (not counting independent candidates). Even if all of the minor/fringe parties were to coalesce as one, their road to victory would still be going up a very steep hill.

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TalRussell 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Tribune reporter might've thought telephoned the PLP's 2017 defeated Golden Isles Constituency's PLP MP Comrade Michael Halkitis for his intent run comment?

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