NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine yesterday cautioned the government that the electorate remembers its wide range of promises made to secure their votes, and suggested its failure to deliver will cost the Free National Movement (FNM) and its candidates at the polls.
“I’m sorry to tell you, for many of you in here it’s one and done,” he said during debate on an amendment to the Parliamentary Elections Act.
“Many of you have disappointed the Bahamian people, your family and your friends.
“Even some of them have made up their minds not to vote for you next time.
“I can’t tell you who’s winning the next general election, but I can certainly tell you who’s not.
“If you want to find out, come see me.
“I have a proven track record.
“They’ll tell you that from Bimini in the north to Inagua in the south.”
In the campaign ahead of the general election, the FNM promised to introduce a recall system for non-performing MPs, two-term limits for prime ministers and an Independent Electoral Commission and Boundaries Commission.
McAlpine said while he would not have promised a recall system for non-performing MPs, the FNM promised it to the electorate.
But he noted that he understood why it did not introduce the system.
“Had we done so, the entire government would have probably fallen by now; because so many of you sitting up in here would have been recalled,” he said.
“If you wish to challenge me, bring the recall system for MPs next week.”
He continued: “We manifest fixed election dates and the people have not yet seen or heard anything in this regard.”
The MP said he also would not have promised term limits for prime ministers, which would require a referendum, but the FNM promised it.
“If I were leader, I wasn’t going to make such a promise; it would have led to intellectual dishonesty in a Westminster system,” he said.
“However, the leader-that-be promised this and it was a big issue and seller to the Bahamian people.”
McAlpine stressed that the Bahamian people do not forget what parties say or promise, “contrary to the belief of many of you in here”.
As it relates to his political future, the MP made it clear he plans to run in the next general election even without an FNM nomination.
He said no matter what the government does via the constituencies committee, including reconstituting his constituency, he will “follow the people” and not what the area is called.
“If the powers that be seek to be spiteful, while continuing down the road of pettiness, deciding among themselves to remove Pineridge as a constituency, then I will see where the majority of my people are and will run in that constituency,” McAlpine noted.
“Either way, I become a threat to the government’s candidacy.
“You may not give me a nomination, but it will become very difficult for any candidate whom the governing party may nominate, even if they are a present incumbent.
“Removing Pineridge and putting my people into other constituencies from the voter’s registry perspective will not matter.
“I’ve represented Pineridge to the best of my ability, and by extension Grand Bahama, that wherever I run the people of Grand Bahama will remember me as I have remembered them.”