Thursday, December 15, 2011 thoughts on the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) and Branville McCartney, Kendal Wright, the boundary cuts, the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP’s) nomination process and that party’s future leadership

A Bran-less Bamboo Town?


I am presently sitting exams which will conclude on December 20th. However, due to this being a pivotal time in our national/political development, I’ve already pre-written columns prior to my examinations period since I anticipated that my studies would likely prohibit me from doing so. These upcoming columns will be submitted to The Tribune. To those loyal readers of YMV, who always express to me how they miss the column during such absences, the beat will go on.


Over the last few weeks, feedback to my columns has been tremendous and so today I’ve decided to answer a few of the public’s questions related to my thoughts on the DNA and Branville McCartney, Kendal Wright, the boundary cuts, the PLP’s nomination process and that party’s future leadership.

The other day, as usual, I was chatting with a good friend/political sage when he cracked a hilarious joke about Bran McCartney’s political fortunes relative to the boundary cuts.

According my friend, he could almost envisage a fictional scene of Bran McCartney in Rawson Square, stopping a Haitian—“perhaps one who is (naturalised) and voting for the first time”—and having to ask the Haitian where he was on the political map as he himself would be befuddled since the recent cuts.

My friend, whose humourous telling of the imaginary story had me in stitches, said that he imagines that the Haitian responds (using his best impersonation of a Creole speaker): “I see Bamboo Town, I see South Beach, I see Golden Gates. But, I see no Bran on the map!”

Based upon recent reports, the DNA seems to be imploding.

It appears that the recent rescission of Sammie “Starr” Poitier’s nomination, which was done under the pretext of him not working in the constituency—an account that Mr Poitier has emphatically denied—was a ruse for Bran McCartney to switch from his current Bamboo Town seat to South Beach. Frankly, since the recent boundary cuts, such a move makes political sense as the new Bamboo is in reality Kennedy and merely Bamboo Town in name as opposed to the new South Beach which can be more likened to the old Bamboo Town, where many of McCartney’s current constituents are situated. Noticeably, seven of Kennedy’s polling divisions were repositioned into the new Bamboo Town.

If McCartney stays in the new, reconfigured Bamboo Town—which I doubt—he will have an even tougher race since that seat will be contested by PLP candidate Renward Wells, likely FNM nominee Cassius Stuart and independent candidate Craig Butler, who will purportedly run in that constituency as opposed to the new Nassau Village seat.

What’s more, I’ve been reliably informed that the FNM is actively engaging DNA South Abaco candidate Roscoe Thompson, who, I’m told, will likely abandon the DNA and return to the FNM fold to run as its standard bearer in the same constituency. I’m told that current MP Edison Key will likely retire to facilitate this move. If this happens, the FNM will have stripped the DNA of its strongest candidate and scored a coup. So, will it be “bush crack, man gone” for Roscoe Thompson and the DNA?

Relative to the boundary cuts, Dr Hubert Minnis has been such a superb MP that his seat has been dissected to save Mount Moriah MP Tommy Turnquest and assist likely Fort Charlotte (expanded to include West Grove) nominee Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.

Both Turnquest and Vanderpool-Wallace will have a chance to reap the dividends of Minnis’ political investment, whilst increasing the likelihood of winning their respective seats. Although the old names for both seats remain the same, one could just as well see the redrawn districts as Killarney East, 1 and 2, while Dr Minnis, who has taken on several polling divisions in the abolished Clifton seat, will now be running in Killarney West.

That said, in an act of political wizardry, incumbent Clifton MP Kendal Wright is seemingly at a crossroad as his seat—which has been eliminated—must now be in the deep blue seas, with polling divisions in the waters off of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force base. As it stands, it appears that Mr Wright doesn’t need to worry about anyone challenging him as he has been written “Wright” off the political map!

I’ve also been told that, in the wake of the boundary cuts, Elizabeth MP Ryan Pinder is actively lobbying to become the PLP’s nominee for the South Eleuthera seat. Moreover, I’m told that PLP leader Perry Christie himself might be interested in that seat, particularly since his forbears hail from South Eleuthera. Undoubtedly, whether he goes or stays in the Farm Road constituency is of no consequence, since Mr Christie is expected to politically annihilate any challenger vying for either seat.

Relative to the PLP’s nomination process, I think it was a fundamental misjudgment on the part of the party to have not nominated Dr Michael Darville to contest the Marco City seat against Zhivargo Laing. Undoubtedly, Dr Darville would politically annihilate Mr Laing in a head-to-head matchup. Both Dr Darville and Kwasi Thompson appear to be five-star candidates who must now cancel out the other. In our political culture, with a drought of new first-rate candidates coming to the fore, the race for Pineridge would be a political tragedy because regardless of who wins, the country/people could lose.

As I stated in my last two columns, in the era post PM Hubert Ingraham and Opposition Leader Perry Christie, the evolution of the major parties will be prime time drama with the country hopefully benefiting in the end.

Last weekend, it was brought to my attention that I did not mention some of the other outstanding young turks in the PLP who may have leadership interest and are anxiously awaiting their turns to vie for the top spot. So, here goes…

Ryan Pinder is an affable chap whose energetic, take-no-prisoners oratorical delivery has reinvigorated Parliamentary debates. Pinder has political appeal and, even I, can attest to dropping what I’m doing to listen to him speak in Parliament. The PLP with Ryan Pinder as leader. Imagine that! If Pinder ascends to the leadership of the PLP, it certainly would represent much growth within the PLP and of that party’s consciousness, whilst broadening its voting bloc and perhaps attracting some of the white supporters of the FNM with a more racially inclusive stance.

Perhaps, it’s all a dream. Dream over! In the long run, Pinder should not be coy or bashful about any future leadership aspirations particularly since he seems to have good potential.

Michael Halkitis is a one-term MP who is a rising star in the party. Halkitis also should be on the PLP’s watch list as a potential leadership challenger.

Andre Rollins, at this juncture, is a nondescript political journeyman who is discounted by some within the PLP as merely a political lightweight. However, his passionate take on the country’s affairs is appreciable and he could be one to watch in years to come.

That said, the next leader of both the PLP and the FNM could be a dark horse candidate or one who has yet to grace the political scene. As far as the PLP goes, perhaps such a dark horse candidate could be someone like my esteemed former law lecturer Keith Bell.

Published on Saturday, December 10, 2011 in the column Young Man's View, appearing in The Tribune's 'The Big T'

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