Party’s leadership present snapshot of campaign platform
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Chester Cooper said yesterday the party will achieve victory at the polls because it will present better candidates and ideas to the Bahamian electorate in 2022.
He was speaking to PLPs at the closing of the fourth Aspirants Module at PLP headquarters.
“I firmly believe that we will win if we put forward the best ideas,” Cooper said.
“I strongly believe that. And then, we will have the best candidates to help us sell those ideas. That’s where you come in. We will win if we present to the Bahamian people that we have a plan to progress our country and we will win if we present a slate of candidates like you who are servant leaders. That’s how we will win…”
Providing an early snapshot of PLP’s campaign platform, Cooper said: “Whether we are talking about financial services; whether we are talking about legalizing cannabis; whether we are talking about changing the age of consent from 16 to 18; whether we are talking about creating gender neutrality and some of the issue that concern our country; whether we are talking about a Ministry of National Resources and a plan as to how we manage our Crown land; whether we are going to be talking about retooling of our sovereign wealth fund; whether we are going to be talking about energy and creating an industry around that — no matter what we are discussing by way of progressive ideas, these ideas must be smart; they must be specific; they must be achievable; our plan must be result oriented; and we want ideas that are relatable, not just for winning an election, but for governing after we are elected.”
He said if elected the PLP must also look at mortgage relief, expanding second home ownership among Family Islanders, and infrastructural developing using public, private partnerships.
He noted that at the end of November, a “cafeteria of reforms” will be presented to the PLP’s leadership council for consideration to develop the PLP’s long-term plan and what “low hanging fruit” can be tackled in a PLP-administration’s first 100 days in office.
According to Cooper, the PLP government will not be “caught off guard” by winning.
“We are going to be ready,” the Exuma and Ragged Island MP said.
“We are going to have a plan. We are going to have strategies. We are going to have a 100-day quick win list of ideas that are achievable and we are going to ensure that there is buy-in from PLP’s across our country.”
The PLP suffered a resounding defeat at the polls on May 10, 2017, winning only four of the 39 seats in the House of Assembly.
Former Prime Minister Perry Christie, who retained his Centreville seat for 40 consecutive years, was among the senior representatives voted out of office.
The party’s post-election report conducted by U.S.-firm, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, found that the PLP was “unattractive” to young Bahamians, it ignored its base and failed to reach swing voters. The report also found that the PLP needs to expand its support.
Last night, Cooper said the PLP must appeal to the young voter, the new voter and the campaign must be won on ideas. He also said the PLP will act based on research and public sentiment and not “gut”.