By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA
THIS week, we welcomed the first whole week of Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) governance, once again.
Along with it came the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let’s begin.
For the first time in Bahamian history, five women have a seat at the table as ministers.
Glenys Hanna-Martin, Ginger Moxey, and Jobeth Coleby-Davis run their ministries. Additionally, Pia Glover-Rolle and Lisa Rahming have been named ministers of state.
One of the outcries of (half) the electorate during the last government is how few women were represented in the highest level of power in the past administration. The new prime minister, Philip “Brave” Davis, has sought to correct this.
Even if some of these persons were appointed for appearance’s sake, good job on that.
Also in the good category was the new PM’s placing of certain ministers to specific ministries.
Who can argue that Glenys Hanna-Martin isn’t the perfect person the country needs right now in education? Alfred Sears for public works (he could have filled any position, honestly) is a good call, as is Obie Wilchcombe for social services.
Personally, I would have liked to have seen more ‘new blood’ get higher positions across the board, but if you have to recycle yesterday’s politicos, you can’t go wrong with this batch.
Chester Cooper for tourism is also a good call, as is Mario Bowleg for youth, sports, and culture.
Three words: Gussie Mae Cabinet
So even before the election, the “word on the street” was that “Brave” would have many mouths to feed.
The reality of that became clear this week when PM Davis decided to swell his cabinet to include 27 of the 32 members of parliament elected for his party.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know Bahamian men love “solid tings,” but, honestly, this is ridiculous.
A fat, swollen cabinet of this proportion hasn’t been seen for a while. Brave is our own version of Oprah: You get a cabinet job! And you get a cabinet job! And you get a cabinet job! And, yes, you get a cabinet job!
I know the PM wants us to believe this will translate into more benefits and productivity for the Bahamian people, but I’m not convinced.
Like my old boss, the late Bryan Aranha taught me, a word to the wise: piggies get nice and fat, but hogs go straight to the slaughter.
Sometimes, less is more, especially when we are having money problems. You may have a lot of bellies to keep full, but in the end, it is Bahamian taxpayers footing the food bill.
Also in the “bad” category is the absence of Leslia Miller-Brice named to a ministry.
Up to deadline time, I’m hearing rumours of her being named as Speaker.
Were she to get (at least) that, some voters would be partially relieved.
There was also talk that her husband’s business (in the gaming industry) may have prohibited her from being a part of the cabinet.
I find this line of thinking strange.
For one, the PLP was the party that regularised gaming, against the wishes of the Bahamian public, mind you.
So now gaming is as legitimate a business as any.
Additionally, it can be argued that Leslia’s foray into politics engendered many Bahamians to view the PLP as viable in this election. She’s more well-liked and more well-known than 95 percent of the PLP candidates who skated into office.
Why punish her when her constituents in SeaBreeze reposed faith in her to the degree of 65 percent of their votes?
In any event, if these are the rules for the road, there should be a particular (appointed) Bahamian ambassador to South Africa handing in his resignation right about now.
Fair is fair, right?
The past four and a half years have been relatively peaceful on these here roads.
I remember (and wrote about) the days when former Prime Minister Christie’s motorcade spelled doom for Bahamian drivers’ gearbox, transmission, and tyres.
His entourage would come roaring through traffic, sirens blazing and horns honking to run unsuspecting motorists into the bushes to “make way”.
Now, because I also happen to live in the west, as does our new PM, I’ve been run off the road to “make way” four times already in two days. All for our new, harried PM and his entourage.
This time, the only difference is that instead of running into the bushes, I have found myself up close and personal with the sidewalks that “Doc” them left behind!
I guess that’s progress, right?
Where Ya Put Me
Only two fundamental questions remain post-election.
The first is, what will become of the Free National Movement (FNM)?
It’s only been a few days, but already the rows have started.
Please get rid of him now, some say.
Let him remain, for now, more say.
Honestly, I’m beginning to think that the only things certain in this life are death, taxes, and FNM in-fighting.
My advice to the party leaders is that they should tread carefully and allow for more time to make sensible decisions.
But when have they ever listened?
The second question – and I admit this may only be me – is “who would have thunk” the kid from MAD magazine, aka Alfred E Neuman, would grow up to be the representative for Central and South Abaco?
Not me. That was definitely not on my bingo card.