VERY often in public life, we see our leaders take the politically expedient option.
Politicians go along with the decision of the day rather than stand by the opinions they previously expressed.
It would have been simple enough for Glenys Hanna Martin when asked yesterday about the Royal Caribbean project set for Paradise Island to say that she was now fully supportive of the approval of the deal.
But she did not.
In opposition, Mrs Hanna Martin was critical of the project, saying it was “hare-brained”. She criticised the Minnis administration for “kicking a Bahamian developer to the curb” in favour of the cruise line.
However, she told The Tribune yesterday that her “views have not changed”.
She was forthright in saying that the cruise industry does not need such an island space, and said “what we should be developing… is the cultural and entrepreneurial opportunities for the cruise ship visitors when they disembark. They keep saying there’s nothing to do, well let’s get something done”.
Her position may cause her some complications – as a Cabinet minister, speaking out in criticism of a deal approved by the government may be a political conundrum.
The question of collective Cabinet responsibility is sure to be raised.
But there is credit to be given for Mrs Hanna Martin being so consistent in her views.
She said: “I did not support it then, my views have not changed.”
The RCI deal is not the first case this government has encountered of something that was opposed when not in power gaining favour when in office – that even extended to the Office of the Spouse, whose current occupant found it to her liking when not on the campaign trail.
Mrs Hanna Martin’s stance will surely lead to questions for the Prime Minister, who changed his own mind, apparently because he felt the new deal solved the concerns he himself had in opposition.
Now he will need to answer why the new deal he has agreed cannot convince a member of his own Cabinet.
For Mrs Hanna Martin, though, there are clearly points of principle at stake.
What the next step in this saga is, we shall have to wait and see.
But the politics of our nation needs more leaders who stick to their guns rather than changing with the political tides of the day.
It has now been two weeks since the March 1 deadline by which Parliamentarians were required to file their public disclosures.
The chairman of the Public Disclosure Commission yesterday said that some of those still have not completed their filings.
After the deadline, he reported that “about ten percent” missed the deadline.
Just for clarity, that deadline is provided in law. That means they broke the law.
It remains unclear whether the Prime Minister himself met the deadline. We know he did disclose – but not whether he met the deadline. The commission chairman was not forthcoming yesterday on that fact.
There is no reason we should not know if Mr Davis met the deadline. There is no reason why we should not know who did or did not disclose. There is no reason for Parliamentarians not to have known what they are required to do by law.
The details of the disclosures are to be provided to both the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition.
We challenge both of them to reveal those findings – and tell the public which of our representatives abided by the law, and which did not.
Even the chairman of the commission deemed it “unacceptable” that people did not file appropriately.
So what will we do? Will we enforce the matter as the law provides? Or will we continue to pay lip service to a law that holds our representatives to account?
And if we do not enforce the law, our leaders should explain to the Bahamian people why they don’t have to abide by the rules, when everyone else does.
birdiestrachan 2 weeks ago
Ms Hanna Martin did not change her mind others changed theirs , so she should continue to be a huge asset to the party , her Fathers DNA runs deep, a great part of her
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