As National Director of the Public Policy Institute (PPI) and Common Cause, it is now almost inevitable that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) will be returned to high office whenever the general elections are held. The Hon. Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, QC, MP (PLP-Cat Island; Rum Cay & San Salvador), God willing, will be appointed Prime Minister by the current Governor-General, the Hon. Cornelius Smith, to his dismay.
The New Deal PLP will do this because there are five clear cut reasons why the FNM, if led by the hapless and totally out of touch Dr. Minnis, will lose and do so very badly.
First and foremost the FNM and it’s leadership cadre lied to the Bahamian people during the campaign in 2017. You are able to do and say all sorts of things to the unwashed masses but do not lie to them. They lied about VAT. They lied about Freedom of Information. They lied about capital punishment.
They lied about National Health Care. They lied about Fiscal Transparency & Accountability. They lied about constitutional reforms and amendments. They are, to put it simply, chronic liars of the highest order. Now they are busy preparing for what looks like a snap election in a bogus attempt to catch the New Deal PLP with it’s pants down below the knees. This cannot and will not happen.
Secondly, the FNM is devoid of a National Development Plan. Christie was the laziest Prime Minister in memory but at least he had the sense to appoint a task force to consider such a plan and to make recommendations. In fact, the task force did submit a cohesive plan just before the 2017 elections. Unfortunately, Minnis, who is equally as lazy, paid that plan no mind and it is gathering dust as you read this.
Thirdly, this regime is tone deaf and does not care or know how to effectively communicate with the average Bahamian. Minnis loves to lecture and talk down to Bahamians. He talks to you all as if he is a school master and we are the dumber than dumb students. He seems to be incapable of respecting you all with a venom.
Fourthly, our infrastructure and upgrades are crumbling right before our collective eyes. You can say whatever you like about former Prime Minister Ingraham but he was a go getter and a man with a strategic master plan. Yes too much money may have been spent on the airport gate way but it was monies well spent.
The current minster with responsibility is useless, in my view, and is merely acting as if he is doing something while the FNM clock ticks towards their unceremonious but expected departure.
New Providence and Grand Bahama are crumbling and exceedingly nasty. Downtown Nassau is a disgraceful looking ghost town. Where is the celebrated Downtown Development Commission headed by my good friend Edward Fields? Freeport has been a ghost town for decades despite it now having all of the parliamentary seats.
Where there is no vision, it has been written, the people will perish. Between Dorian; Covid-19 and the inept performance of this crew, that is just what is happening to the unwashed masses…they are literally perishing and dropping down like flies. You do not believe me?
During the early days of COVID, up to the end of June, we had 11 known recorded deaths related to that dreaded disease. At the stroke of Minnis’ pen, prematurely reopening the borders to allow Bahamians to travel and return without health protocols and quarantine, we now see in excess of 80 deaths.
Imagine this and contrast 11 deaths with 80…an increase of almost 700 percent! Innocent Bahamian blood has been shed due to any number of factors but the buck stops at the desk of the Competent Authority. He elevates a man whom he roundly condemned and cursed out in the House of Assembly when that man was a chameleon of a different kind.
Fifthly, the wide income gaps continue to be too vast. No, I am not advocating income equality or redistribution. No, I am not a socialist/communist. The tax burden on the lower and middle classes are simply too damned high. The FNM has shown it’s true colors under Dr Minnis watch. They are for the elite and upper classes and to hell with the unwashed masses. Income tax should have been introduced years ago.
The New Deal PLP must revisit VAT (reduce it back to 7.5 percent); introduce a flat 10 percent income tax rate across the board; free up Crown Land for development to indigenous Bahamians; usher in a real National Health Initiative; enter into more public/private sector partnerships, especially for the redevelopment of the down town areas of New Providence and Grand Bahama and ensure that Bahamians have access to the covid vaccine whenever it becomes available.
The New Deal PLP under the dynamic leadership of Brave WILL win the next general elections with a minimum of 25 seats. Ten current FNMs will be returned to power. The other three seats, assuming that there is no unnecessary increase in the number of house seats, will go to individuals who will not New Dealers, PLP styled, but who will be elected on Brave’s long coat tails.
This lose coalition will move faster and with better focus. There will be no more time to lose once Brave takes over. The FNM must/will fall on it’s sword come the generals. The above are the five incontrovertible reasons why the FNM will be burnt big time by it’s own torch.
Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.
Business Consultant & Talk Show Host