So much passion about Branville McCartney
It is always interesting reading your letters and commentary – especially the pieces written on politics. Lately much has been sent in about Branville McCartney, the Member of Parliament for Bamboo Town and leader of the Democratic National Alliance. Some of it has been published; some will be published.
The common theme from the well-written pieces, to the average pieces is that there is great passion about McCartney. Some argue aggressively that he is ‘the One’ who will lead The Bahamas to prosperity; some argue that he is an arrogant upstart, who is not prepared to be prime minister.
Two of our columnists of late have dedicated significant space to McCartney. Dr. Ian Strachan, an English professor and political commentator, dissected McCartney and the DNA in recent pieces in our National Review section. Simon, the writer of the Tuesday column Front Porch, who defends Hubert Ingraham and all things FNM all the time, waged war against the green party in successive columns in recent months.
Beyond those who send thoughts, or publish in the paper, there is obvious interest in the community about this politician. People always ask our reporters and editors, “What do you think about Bran? You think he has a chance?”
The attack on McCartney in the House of Assembly last week by South Abaco MP (FNM) Edison Key helped lift McCartney’s profile as much as it raised questions about his conduct as a minister in Ingraham’s Cabinet. Key alleged that McCartney petitioned him for work for his law firm while he was a minister. McCartney rejected the allegation.
What was most interesting is that McCartney was quite aggressive as he argued his innocence in the House. A longtime political observer, who was there during the incident, said McCartney said at one point, “Old man, sit down.”
Whether he said this or not, is beside the point. That comment, perfectly, encapsulates the fascination with McCartney.
Bahamians want change to a political order that no longer inspires them. Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Opposition Leader Perry Christie are historic figures. Few men going forward will ever hold elected seats in Parliament for more than 30 years and be prime minister. Both men have done so.
The problem is that at the latter part of your career, when you have served for so long, people have already seen the best of you. And in times of crisis or malaise, those same people wonder if someone else, someone younger, someone with new and different ideas, might not be better suited to take a try at fixing common problems.
We are not arguing that McCartney is ‘the One’. He has much to prove in the months to come. It would be a major achievement if his party wins a few seats.
But, we must acknowledge that many Bahamians have not been satisfied with the direction the country has been heading in for many years, spanning PLP and FNM administrations.
McCartney and the DNA are really creations of the PLP and FNM. If the PLP and FNM had offerings that wowed the people, McCartney would never have created his party. But because he senses a national dissatisfaction, he pushes forward.
What he should not be attacked for is offering for higher public service. More young Bahamians, educated and trained, need to step forward to help their country. The tone of some of McCartney’s critics is excessive. To sum it up, they appear angry that he would dare challenge the established order.
We live in a democracy – the more choice for the electorate the better. Competition should help refine the two older parties. The green party is no threat to our country. Whether it survives or not after the general election, it is just another part of our political evolution.
Oct 26, 2011