Political parties in democracies exist to win elections and form government. Members of those parties should elect leaders who could win.
The last election was in September 2021. My friend Dr. Hubert Minnis was our leader. We lost that election badly. Dr. Minnis suffered the consequences. He lost his leadership of the FNM.
That was then. This is now. Michael Pintard is our leader. His first election is upon us. Obie Wilchcombe died suddenly days ago. There will be a by-election in the West End and Bimini constituency.
Grand Bahama is FNM country and has been for a long time. Though the West End seat leans PLP, the FNM has won it before. We won it with David Wallace under the leadership of Hubert Ingraham. We won it with Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe under the leadership of Dr. Minnis. It is a winnable seat for the FNM.
Mr. Pintard thinks he is a better leader than Dr. Minnis. Mr. Pintard thinks he is the man for these times. Mr. Pintard’s supporters think he is a winner.
I have been skeptical of Mr. Pintard. To me, he is just a talker. He’s just a pretender. I see little substance to his leadership.
It’s now time for Michael Pintard to prove himself to FNMs and the wider Bahamas. He has been the leader of the FNM for nearly two years. He must show us he has what it takes to win a winnable seat against the PLP. He must deliver.
The PLP has not solved the crime problem. The PLP has messed up BPL, causing all of us to pay ridiculous electricity bills. The PLP has no plan for the Grand Bahama Port Authority. There have been scandals in the PLP Cabinet. There is more than enough ammunition to mount a winning campaign against the governing party.
If Mr. Pintard cannot beat the PLP, FNMs must face the reality of the situation: We picked a lame horse to ride after moving on from Dr. Minnis.
This reality should not depress us. It is good to test the poet-comedian leader now. If he fails and embarrasses himself and the party, not being able to deliver West End and Bimini, we have time to find a better leader.
What we must not do is watch him fail in the by-election and stay the course with a leader who cannot win. Politics is about winning. Reform and change can only be implemented if you have power.
The time for talk is over. The time for blaming Dr. Minnis is over. The poet-comedian must prove he could win. If not, the FNM must find someone to lead who can.
The Mackey Street Man