Letter to the Editor: The way forward for the FNM in 2023

Letter to the Editor: The way forward for the FNM in 2023
A Free National Movement (FNM) supporter. [FILE PHOTO]

Dear Editor,

It’s been a while since I was able to write about our dear party, an organization I have been a supporter of my whole life. Ailments stilled me these past few months, but I’m on the mend and feeling even more urgency to wake our party from its sleepwalking.

I fear for our dear country. Crime is a terrible problem. Shootings and thefts and robberies and killings occur far too frequently. Haitians seem to be taking over our commonwealth as their republic collapses into anarchy. There are not enough jobs to employ our people. The PLP is giving away the riches of the country to its cronies, while FNMs and non-aligned Bahamians are denied contracts and opportunities.

All this while we have a do-nothing Prime Minister. He spends more time in airports and at foreign conferences than doing the job we elected him to do. Philip Davis, Brave as we know him, is shaping up to be the biggest disappointment we have ever had as Prime Minister.

The FNM must begin the task of readying itself to return to office in just over three-and-a-half years. To win government again we need to change our leader. We must be clear-eyed about that.

Michael Pintard is a poet-comedian who has not delivered. He is timid; he is afraid to attack the Prime Minister and the PLP aggressively; he is bland and uncharismatic; he has no instincts for leadership.

Bahamians do not see him as a solution to the country’s problems. Bahamians do not know who he is. Bahamians do not believe in him.

When politics is discussed in common circles, people don’t even know his name.

If we stick with Mr. Pintard, we would lose the next election. The PLPs will come out and vote for Brave. FNMs and independents will stay home, feeling uninspired to elect the FNM’s current pretender-king.

We must start brainstorming as to who should be our leader. I have three names to start with. Those of you who love our country and party should also start publicizing those you think could win the next election for us.

The first name is Hubert Ingraham.

Mr. Ingraham has won government three times. He rescued The Bahamas in 1992 from PLP corruption and mismanagement. He restored the country’s reputation, and his policies caused a remarkable decade of prosperity and national development.

Much of the success of The Bahamas of today results from Mr. Ingraham’s work.

The Bahamian people know Papa’s record. They know he cares about them and the country. They know he is a hard worker. He is charismatic and tough.

Mr. Ingraham can raise money and get the FNM back in fighting shape.

The second name is Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Dr. Minnis had one of the hardest five-year terms in our history. The strongest hurricane ever to hit The Bahamas happened under Dr. Minnis. The worst pandemic in 100 years began just six months later.

Dr. Minnis used the resources of the Government to make sure Bahamians had food to eat and unemployment benefits to sustain them during this immense crisis.

He had to make very tough decisions many did not like. But he did so to save lives and to preserve our economy for the long term.

The Covid restrictions Dr. Minnis put in place were unpopular. However, all countries had similar types of restrictions at different times. Such was the nature of the crisis at the time.

When Perry Christie was voted out in 2007, the people were mad at him too. Five years later in 2012, they voted him back in. Dr. Minnis should not be counted out.

He is our party’s leading voice in Parliament. He takes on the PLP with no fear. He speaks up for Bahamians. He exposes the Prime Minister’s disgraceful lack of leadership.

The third name is Branville McCartney.

Bran was a former FNM MP and Cabinet minister. He went on to lead a third party (the DNA) before realizing this is a two-party country.

Bran is on the sidelines now. Many eventful things have happened in his life over the past decade.

He is a successful businessman and attorney. He is very charismatic, well-spoken, and media savvy.

He was known for being tough on the Haitian question during his time as minister of state for immigration. That stance plays well now with the current immigration crisis from Haiti.

For Bran to be our leader he’d need to get into the House of Assembly. The pathway there is Long Island. Our current Long Island MP is under indictment. If he has to resign at some point, Bran could be the man to replace him.

We as FNMs need to start seriously discussing these names, and any other serious contenders that could be thought of.

The person who replaces Mr. Pintard needs to have stature. It needs to be someone the Bahamian people could be inspired by. We need a winner who could take back control of this country from a PLP that is only interested in enriching its supporters.

We have given Mr. Pintard enough time. Lincoln Bain is outshining him. That’s embarrassing. Our party is falling out of mind with the Bahamian people with the poet-comedian as a leader.

The journey to change must start now. We need to find a leader who can win.

Yours truly,

The Mackey Street Man