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Editorial: What One Proposes, The Other Opposes

IT’S amazing the different views people can have when in Opposition as compared to when one’s party is in office.

When the Office of the Spouse was formed under the Minnis administration, doubts were quickly cast from the other side of the political fence.

However, Ann Marie Davis is “eager” to use the office now that she is its occupant.

Press Secretary Clint Watson suggested that at the time of her criticism, “a lot of the comments that were attributed to Mrs Davis obviously Mrs Davis made when she had just seen this office formed so the question was what is the purpose of this office.”

Let’s revisit those comments. Back in 2018, Mrs Davis told The Nassau Guardian: “I have been very involved in charities, and the extent of the involvement is very far-reaching, and I haven’t yet seen the need to have an office to carry out those functions. Having said that, I don’t know… how the role of that office that Mrs Minnis is referring to, how that role would be defined [and] whether it will be a crossover to social services because some of what Mrs Minnis said is what I know social services to be involved with.”

Surely the sensible thing to have done then would have been to find out rather than make public statements questioning its usefulness.

Indeed, given the silence between raising the questions and yesterday getting the answer that oh, actually this office is fine and we’ll use it too, shouldn’t there have been a public comment correcting any doubts previously raised?

As it is, Mr Watson yesterday said that “when you have an opportunity to see what this office does and see what it’s doing around the region because there are spouses around the region who have all joined arms and said ‘let’s make sure these offices are actually in place’. It serves a purpose”. That comes awfully close to saying it was a good idea all along.

We do not say this to criticise Mrs Davis, but rather to highlight a habit in Opposition of taking that word too literally, and opposing everything. Not everything the FNM administration did was awful. Not everything the new PLP administration does will be awful. Yet for those across the political lane, you would think that everything was terrible, that it shouldn’t be done at all or it’s not doing nearly enough. It’s a habit that has everything to do with partisan behaviour and nothing at all to do with moving the country forward.

A good idea can be a good idea regardless of who thinks of it, and the knee jerk reaction should not always be to criticise it if it didn’t come from your side.

Interestingly, the former Prime Minister, Dr Hubert Minnis, claimed that the proposals outlined in the Speech from the Throne were just a “rehash” of his plans from the election trail – so can we expect him to be supportive of such plans when they come to Parliament? We doubt it.

We do not expect much to change in the tribal nature of politics – it’s the same around the world, after all. When one side proposes, the other opposes. It was ever this way. It doesn’t have to be, though. That’s a choice.

Photo finish

When Jobeth Coleby-Davis was asked yesterday about how much work had been done on the Prospect Ridge development – a signature scheme under Dr Minnis – she said a lot of work had still to be done, and the same cost benefits might not be available.

During her press briefing, she said: “The fact that you (had) a billboard that has a photo but you have no master plan, one wants to know where that photo came from, so did they grab it off of Google, I don’t know. We don’t know where the numbers came from for the land costs and where the pictures come from.”

Well, we can assure Mrs Coleby-Davis that one quick Google quickly shows where the picture came from, and it’s a commonly used stock photograph around the world, from the US to China and all parts east and west.

The numbers, we’ll leave up to you to find.

Comments

birdiestrachan 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I disagree with the office of the spouse. if it was not good when it was FNM it can not be good when it is PLP. There are lots of charities that she can work in.

The prospect ridge development discriminates. only a real fool will believe that Mr Minnis meant hairdressers. he meant doctors and lawyers. They do call it upscale.

The poor will pay so the upper class can live better. The old masterful liar who loves to talk about 'He was a poor boy: when it is convenient has shown himself for who he is.

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BONEFISH 1 month, 1 week ago

Both major political parties do this in the Bahamas Oppose an idea in opposition and then turn around and support it once you are in government. The FNM under Dr.Minnis did it with the spy bill and also the vat tax.

Opposing sensible progressive ideas is deeply engrained in the Bahamian mentality. That is one of the things causing the undercurrent of disaffection in this country.

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