Monday, January 25, 2010

National Development Party (NDP) threatens legal action against the Parliamentary Registration Department over rejection of party 'thumbs up' symbol


THE NATIONAL Development Party is threatening legal action against the Parliamentary Registration Department if it continues to reject its application for its party's symbol.

According to party leaders, Parliamentary Commissioner Errol Bethel has repeatedly denied the NDP permission to register the "Thumbs Up" symbol as the party's official logo.

The "thumbs up" was first rejected in October 2008 because it was thought to be too similar to the Progressive Liberal Party's three fingered "crab" symbol and could lead to possible voter confusion.

The NDP hoped it would be able to use the symbol in the Elizabeth by-election and met with the Commissioner earlier this month anticipating that he would reconsider the party's application.

In a hand-delivered letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner on Saturday, Chairman of the NDP Executive Steering Committee Andre Rollins said that the party feels that there was "no similarity between a hand showing three fingers and a hand showing a single thumb."

"Any suggestion to the contrary indicated that the intelligence of the Bahamian voter is held in extremely low regard," he said.

Mr Rollins argued that in order to function, the political system ideally requires voters to comprehend and remain current with relevant issues; and be also knowledgeable of respective party positions on these issues.

He further stated that the critical analysis skills needed to address certain issues far surpasses competency needed to differentiate between party symbols.

"If we do not believe that voters can comprehend the various party positions on issues, are we then suggesting that we do not expect voters to vote on the issues? If we are to maximize the potential of our nation -- socially, culturally, economically and politically -- we must first raise our expectations of our people," he said.

January 25, 2010