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16 March

Dear Readers,

Its been almost a year since the Free National Movement rode a wave of promises, into victory in the May 7th general elections. Bahamians across the archipelago turned out en masse to register their displeasure with the then PLP administration and did so in a resounding vote against the former PM and his team.

In the days following the election, things were generally as one would expect, the new Minnis led administration began to unearth what many persons felt were the secrets and lies left behind by the PLP. In its very first budget communication, the government lamented how bare the country’s proverbial cupboards actually were and continued to point to the reckless spending habits of the former administration. At the time Bahamians were outraged, and rightfully so. Bahamians welcomed what was viewed as a new era of transparency, a peek behind the veil of political influence which also seemed to lend credence to the suspicions of the voting public.

What began as an attempt at transparency, however, has devolved into a trend of finger pointing, name calling, complaining, and deflection. Now ten months into their 5-year term, and smack dab in the middle of its first midyear budget debate, the FNM is still complaining about what the former government did or didn’t do. Why is that problematic? Because unlike the government of today, the Bahamian people have moved on from the PLP. Since sending such a strong message at the polls, the electorate has become generally uninterested in the actions of those who have dismissed from political office. Now, the voting public expects to see and feel the fulfillment of the many promises by the FNM made on the campaign trail; mortgage relief, a reduction in crime, lowered unemployment and financial stability. The question is have they gotten it? The short answer is NO!

While the FNM has become particularly adept at finding and pointing out the flaws of the PLP they seem to be floundering on the issue of governance. Where are the detailed plans geared at moving us forward? We’re no longer concerned about what was done in the past, we’re all more concerned about what, if anything, is happening now, and how future generations will be impacted.

There is a great quote by a man named William A Ward that says: “The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails.”

I think what Bahamians want now, more than ever, is a government that takes into account the realities of our 21st century Bahamas and rather than simply whining and complaining about what wasn’t done or who didn’t meet their obligations, they adjust the sails and chart a new course! That’s what Bahamians voted for, and that’s what we want to see happen!