Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ryan Pinder: Money won't determine Elizabeth's victor

By CANDIA DAMES ~ Guardian News Editor ~

While they are playing on the same team, there is one thing that the Progressive Liberal Party's candidate for Elizabeth Ryan Pinder and its chairman Bradley Roberts do not agree on, and that is the extent to which money will determine the outcome of the approaching by-election.

While Roberts predicted recently that the party that pumps the most money into the campaign will emerge victorious, Pinder said yesterday he believes the people of Elizabeth are too intelligent to allow money to influence their votes.

"I think that in any election there is a substantial amount of money that may be spent, although I think we are at a unique point in time in our country and Elizabeth is at a unique point in time, whereas the people really want to understand your policy and your vision, and where you propose to take not only the constituency but also the country to give them sustainable, economic and social growth. And I think that the policies that we speak about and that the candidate speaks about, and lays out in front of the constituents, are really what are going to determine who wins this by-election."

As pointed out by the PLP in a statement Tuesday night, Pinder is rooted in the PLP. He is the son of Marvin Pinder, who was the member of Parliament for the area now known as Elizabeth between 1987 and 1992. He was also a member of the Cabinet of former Prime Minister the late Sir Lynden Pindling.

Ryan Pinder will likely go up against the Free National Movement's Dr. Duane Sands in the by-election. The PLP candidate said he does not expect the support his father may still have in the constituency to give him an edge.

"Certainly, my father does have a lot of support in the constituency, but this is an aggressive campaign, a campaign of a by-election which is unique. This is not going to be a shoo-in by any means," said Pinder, a 35-year-old tax attorney.

"It is going to require hard work, dedication. It's going to require touching the people and as a party we are committed to going in and visiting each person in the constituency to gain an understanding of what is truly affecting the people."

The Elizabeth seat became vacant when Malcolm Adderley resigned from the House of Assembly on January 6. He also resigned from the PLP.

Pinder said Elizabeth constituents are hungry for vision and "hungry to know that there's somebody there who will formulate plans to help them in a sustainable way in the future."

On the issue of his dual citizenship, Pinder said he does not see it as an issue.

"I was born in Nassau to a Bahamian father," he said. "I certainly have genuine Bahamian citizenship."

Pinder is also an American citizen.

He said the campaign is about real issues.

"The people of Elizabeth [want to know] that there is a representative that can connect with them, that can really advocate for their needs and wants in this country and I think that I have the plans, the Progressive Liberal Party has the plans and the vision to really affect the Elizabeth constituency," he said.

"The Progressive Liberal Party was formed and governs itself and governs the people on core philosophies, one of those philosophies being equal opportunities for all people, social, economic and political opportunities. That's a founding principle of the party and I think that is an underlying principle that will benefit the people in Elizabeth as we proceed."

But when he spoke to The Nassau Guardian recently on the Free National Movement's plans for the upcoming by-election, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said the party should be the clear choice for Elizabeth constituents.

"The Free National Movement believes that it has a case to put; it believes that the people of Elizabeth will find that their best interest can be served by the Free National Movement and the best interest of their community can be served by the Free National Movement," Ingraham said.

"And the best interest of their community will be served by the Free National Movement."

January 14, 2010