BRIAN SEYMOUR WRITES FROM FREEPORT ABOUT THE PLP
“WHAT HAS THE PLP BECOME”
“Cut your coat according to your cloth” is a proverb associated with a book called A Student’s Companion which most students used in the late 60’s and early 70’s. This expression seems very applicable to the present state the Christie administration finds itself in. Just months prior to a general election having to be called no later than May 2017 when the present five-year mandate comes to an end. Unfortunately for the government having to deal with the aftermath of a category 4 hurricane (Matthew) striking its two major population centers, viagra buy New Providence and Grand Bahama along with Andros. In its wake, it left untold millions of dollars of damage and a trail of destruction of infrastructure public and private inclusive of personal property damage. In the case of Grand Bahama, not only property damage but an economic setback for the Island’s economy that was in the doldrums for the past decade because of Hurricanes Francis and Jean. This time Matthew’s hit was more destructive. Scores of workers were laid off in the Lucaya area, and the hotel sector was damaged. The civil industrial sector of Freeport saw extensive damages because of tornadic activities hitting the business community. Large and small businesses sustained damage; power lines and poles snapped like toothpicks, again leaving scores of persons unemployed for an indefinite period. The power company is in the process of rebuilding the system in this area. The Island was just beginning to rebound; it is against this backdrop that the PLP must fight the upcoming general election.
The PLP is a liberal party; it is a party that has not met in convention in at least seven (7) years which is inexcusable. It is not a SOCIALIST PARTY. It is not a party where “if you vote for me, I will give you something for nothing.” It does not encourage “begging.” The PLP is an organization that provides a safety net for the least of these among us. If a community finds itself in distress sound public policy decisions are employed for the public good. It is a party that has a conscience. It is a party which believes that if a man does not work, he should not eat. The party believes that a good basic education is the key to success of the individual and by extension our country. The party further believes that Bahamians, given a chance, can achieve great things. Our people are our most precious resource, and as such, should give an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. It encourages our people to be industrious. It used to believe that the TRADE UNIONS are necessary in the work place for the protection of the worker against big business. It is not a body that encourages laziness and slothfulness. It is not about giving a home free of charge to any singled-out individual paid for from the public purse. This will open a Pandora’s box of issues. This is just WRONG to the psyche and development of the Bahamian people and, it is bad public policy. It is a sure way to kill the work ethic and the can do spirit of our people. Furthermore, it will bankrupt our country because the level of destruction in this instance is too widespread. The government must cut its coat according to its cloth.
The PLP constitution mandates that the party meet once a year in national convention. This becomes necessary to benchmark itself against the performance as a party, and to reaffirm its commitments to its core values. It also gives delegates the opportunity to meet face to face with the party officers and on the government side, face down government ministers in closed sessions on an even footing, and hold their feet to the fire. This will cause them to give an account of their stewardship. This is the primary reason for meeting in convention. It is not about frolicking and partying. It is about the serious business of governance. To assert that because of Hurricane Matthew, the party should not meet in full convention is to say that we cannot walk and chew gum, that is tommy rot.
If the party is to survive at the polls, and to be taken seriously, the PlP must see these circumstances as an opportunity to prove to the Bahamian population that the party has the best and smartest team to govern. A competent team of ministers firing on all cylinders should always be able to overcome adversities. The Christie administration must multitask implementing policies on parallel tracks while at the same time moving the country forward without skipping a beat. Anything short of this standard is mediocrity and low energy. Should the party choose the path of low energy, stall, delay, or defer, turn yourselves in, now. As they say in Cat Island, piss or get of the pot.
Prime Minister Chrisite, for the past two years, has sounded the alarm eloquently around the world that global warning and climate change is real. Given this fact, should we not factor this into governance of our archipelago nation which experiences adverse weather conditions from June to November each year? Let us show to our people, and the world, that this team is up to the challenge and did not falter in the time of great challenges. To retreat to the safety of not meeting in convention is to cower in the face of adversity. The party must act decisively. It was the Emperor Napolean who said “he who retreats to his fortification is beaten already.” Let this not be the fate of the PLP.