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EDITORIAL: Now that celebrations are over, what’s next?

The celebrations are done. The nation is 50. The road to 50 has at times seemed as if it has been long. The flag has been carried from island to island. Our anthem has been sung – though never too often. We have certainly worn our laurels this golden jubilee year, now we must make sure we do not rest on them.

Just as we have come this far, now we must make sure we continue onwards. Our Olympic runners have shown their talent at passing the baton over the years – well, so must we in terms of building our nation.

In today’s Tribune, you will find a long list of those honoured this year in the Independence announcements. Who will be the reader who will join those names in years to come? Who will be the person to follow in those footsteps?

There remains much to be done. For all the talk of transparency and accountability, as pointed out in our business section today by the chief executive of ORG, it is now seven years and still we do not have Freedom of Information. Indeed, Matt Aubry goes on to point out that in some ways we have gone backwards – with the level of reporting in terms of fiscal responsibility having been lessened by the current administration.

When it comes to equality, a Privy Council removed one inequality in terms of passing on citizenship, but only one for Bahamian men. Women still wait to see what will be done in terms of remaining inequalities.

Some speeches at the Clifford Park celebration hinted that there may be challenges ahead in passing legislation to deal with another inequality – the passing of laws outlawing marital rape. As it stands, an unmarried woman has greater protection from rape than a married one. The same action, carried out against one, might see the attacker in court – while the other might walk away. It should not be safer to be unmarried than married.

Ahead lies a great fight in terms of climate change. If we think we are in a fight now, it has barely begun. It is predicted that significant amounts of Bahamian land will be under water as a result of climate change as the years progress.

In his speech marking the 50th anniversary of our nation, King Charles III called out the names of pioneering climate scientists from The Bahamas – Alannah Velacott, Marjean Finlayson and Charles Hamilton – who we will look to as that fight becomes more crucial still. That could be a fight for our very survival. As waters rise, where will our people go? How will our nation’s future look in the face of such a threat?

A common thread through the changes that lie ahead of us are those things that will improve the lives of all of our people. Together. Not some. Not an elite few. But to lift us all as one. Transparency so we can all see the actions of our governments and hold them to account. Equality – so no one Bahamian has greater rights than another. Fighting to protect our country as a whole – not just leaving those people in areas that might flood to fend for themselves.

There are many more challenges than these, but if we hold true to the principle that what we choose to do is elevate all Bahamians and not just the fortunate and favoured, we will not go far wrong.

The celebrations are done. What’s next?

Comments

JokeyJack 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Now that celebrations are over we can all go back to our lives sucking really bad. I had the good sense not to come out and celebrate my poverty and slavery. Apparently 50 years is not long enough to suffer for some people, so they came out and danced to the massa's drums.

TalRussell 11 months, 2 weeks ago

...Editorial, dares asks.--- What's still to make of, --- 'The now, --- What's next' --- For we Colony of 1200 Out Islands, Cays, Towns and Settlements. ---- Answer: --- We await the --- 'ronounced innocents or guilts' of --- The entrusted. --- And, as to, --- What still is to comes out from the fallout of SBF's FTX Bahamas. ---- Well, yes, --- Tis a aplenty, must awaits.

Sickened 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What next after such a large celebration??? Cleaning up all the trash that our nasty undereducated citizens leave everywhere they go. Why turn everything nice into the ghetto that you supposedly want to move out of????

stillwaters 11 months, 2 weeks ago

What next? Dealing with Cornish and with the shanty towns.Every update on the shanty towns is the same crap repeated over and over.

JokeyJack 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Just like every election result is the same over and over - so the people get what they want - the same, over and over. I believe that is called democracy. I support democracy where people get exactly what they want. Want garbage? My cousin is run da truck, I gah send him to your house when he full up. No problem.

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