Sunday, April 1, 2012

It is likely that Mr. Branville McCartney’s electoral prospects will be doused at the polls... and, following the 2012 general election, he would be relegated to the political dustbin... having been set on the treadmill to political oblivion

The Enigma of Branville McCartney


 OVER time, my outlook on Branville McCartney has evolved from being particularly enthusiastic about his youthful vigour and gravitas to a diverse perspective where one appreciates his outspokenness and ability to organize, to an opinion that his apparent arrogance, messianic deportment and smug giddiness has created a seemingly enigmatic figure.

 A one-time blue-eyed boy of the local media, Bran McCartney is today a hyperactive populist who leads a fledgling third political party—the Democratic National Alliance (DNA).  Undoubtedly, Mr McCartney ignited the political flames leading up to this election year, flicking lit firecrackers into the core of the political establishment. Bran McCartney—regardless of his razor thin political résumé now the centrepiece of the DNA, whilst the other DNA candidates appear to be mere space-filling, political accessories. Having heard Mr. McCartney’s hot political rhetoric of late, one can conclude that he has seemingly become a mealy-mouthed, one man news cycle. Even more, recently there seems to have been more political departures and drama within the DNA than is on an episode of the Oxygen Network’s TV show “Girls Behaving Badly.” Certainly, it makes for great theatre.

 Politically standing between PLP leader Perry Christie and Prime Minister/FNM leader Hubert Ingraham, Bran McCartney has now forayed into the land of giants where he hopes to out-manoeuvre PM Ingraham and outfox Mr. Christie at the polls.

 That said, the DNA leader has shown himself to be a flip-flopper over the years. Whilst his opinion about PM Ingraham may now differ due to politically expedient motives, in a story published in The Tribune on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 he said:

 “The Prime Minister is also a person who I have learnt a lot from as well. I think he has the best interest of the country at heart. He makes decisions and he is very direct.”

 In another Tribune story, published on the aforementioned date and entitled “I want to run for FNM in Bamboo Town at next election”, Mr. McCartney asserted that he was hopeful that the Prime Minister (PM) would not seek to “punish” him, noting that he hadn’t decided if he would again contest the Bamboo Town seat.

However, he went on to say:

 “I had five years to serve. Right now I have two more years. If I don’t get a nomination from the party I doubt I will run as an Independent—or anything else for that matter. I would have done my time and I would have done my time well. I guarantee you that. I would have done my time well and I will move on.”

 What?! In the wake of this statement, Mr McCartney waffled and not only decided to run—he even formed an entire political party in the process.

 In the earlier report, Mr McCartney maintained that he came into Bamboo Town as an FNM and would leave Bamboo Town as an FNM. Of course, the evidence clearly contradicts that statement.

 In a Tribune article published on Monday, October 4, 2010 and entitled “McCartney predicts tough 2012 general election fight for FNM,” Mr. McCartney declared that the FNM was still the best choice for the country although the party would have to go in overdrive to win over disgruntled voters.

According to the Bamboo Town MP:

 “And I think the FNM, it’s a party of doing things but we’ve not promoted what we’ve done, public relations is not good with the FNM. There have been things done and statements made that perhaps turned off a lot of people, I think showing a lack of compassion. The party will also have to win over young ‘swing’ voters who were not old enough to cast a vote in 2007.”
 Mr McCartney added:

 “It places us to a certain extent at a disadvantage but I have no doubt in my mind that the FNM is the best party (to lead the country).” He then referred to the FNM as an “awesome political machinery.”

 Wow! I wonder if Mr. McCartney still feels that the FNM—and not the DNA—is the best party to lead the country. Such a statement makes one wonder about the real reason behind the formation of the DNA and why Mr McCartney had a sudden change of heart just seven months later (the DNA was launched in May 2011). Could it be that Mr McCartney was upset that the FNM did not hold a convention, one where it was speculated that he had plans to challenge Mr Ingraham for party’s leadership? Was he angry that the PM had not yielded the reigns of the FNM/government when he (McCartney) stated that the time had come for Mr Ingraham to “pass the baton” of party leadership to the next generation?

 When Mr. McCartney resigned from the Cabinet in 2010, he commended Prime Minister Ingraham in his resignation statement and showered praise upon the FNM.

 At that time, Mr. McCartney said:

 “Subsequently, I have been the benefactor of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham’s political precision and decisiveness. One need to look no further than his decision to introduce me to citizens of the constituency of Bamboo Town as evidence of his unique ability to think, reflect, consider and make the right decision.”

 “We are facing tough times, but I confidently believe that the nation has been mobilized by Mr Ingraham and the FNM and rallied for a great national effort. I have learned why this Prime Minister and leader of the FNM is the most successful leader of our party. And it is because of this that I say, I have no sympathy with and will give no credence or comfort to those who would want to use this resignation to undermine his leadership of the FNM and/or the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” he then said.
 Say what?! I’m thunderstruck. Is the current incarnation of Bran McCartney the same person who said the abovementioned? What changed Mr. McCartney, what changed?

 In his 2010 resignation statement, Mr. McCartney also said:

 “That the Free National Movement has achieved since its election to a third non-consecutive term as the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas gives me hope for what we can and must achieve in the future and I am humbled to have participated so instrumentally to this end. I am indeed proud to be FNM.”

 Wow. I’m speechless. So, why is this proud FNM now running away from the FNM’s record, one that he admitted that he was an instrumental participant in?

 In the concluding paragraph of his statement relinquishing his seat around the Cabinet table, Branville McCartney stated:
 “Bamboo Town will be ready and the FNM party will continue to lead this great national effort to a fourth election victory with my full, unwavering and steadfast loyalty and support.”

Well blow me down! A fourth election victory and with his “full, unwavering and steadfast loyalty and support!”

 Was the formation of the DNA an example of Mr McCartney’s steadfast loyalty and support? Was it an indication of his lust for power? Mr. McCartney, in the face of your own words, why should Bahamians trust you?

 In February/March 2010, Mr. McCartney pledged his “full, unwavering and steadfast loyalty and support” for the FNM and by mid-March, 2011, Bran McCartney had flip-flopped, broke ranks with the FNM and was on a platform telling people about his dreams and encouraging them to imagine this and that.

 In the announcement of his divorce from the FNM, Mr. McCartney said:

 “It has been difficult, to say the least, facing challenges, which contradicted my philosophy, convictions and values. I have prayed constantly for an answer to solve this dilemma and my prayers have been answered. I have made a conscience decision to severe my relationship with the Free National Movement.”

 As my grandparents on Long Island say, “these are the last days” and, unquestionably, hypocrisy reigns supreme!

 Now leader of the DNA, Bran McCartney is not Barack Obama (circa 2008)—regardless of the fanatical support of a few obsessive supporters who see him as the second coming of Obama.

 Indeed, the race in Bamboo Town will be the hottest electoral contest in 2012. There will be political bloodletting in Bamboo Town, with Cassius Stuart (FNM), Renward Wells (PLP) and Craig Butler (Independent) all running and plotting to ambush McCartney at the polls. The contest for the Bamboo Town seat is a highly contentious matter, leaving McCartney to combat the massive electoral machinery of both major parties. Indeed, it appears that the DNA leader will suffer a political death, even though he has demonstrated an ideal work ethic within his constituency and is heralded as a hard worker, as a young man who understands the true purpose of parliamentary representation of his constituents.

 Perhaps, Mr. McCartney should’ve switched to the South Beach seat or, even more, postponed his plans for the DNA’s launch to focus on winning his own seat as an Independent.

 It is likely that Mr. McCartney’s electoral prospects will be doused at the polls and, following the elections, he would be relegated to the political dustbin— having been set on the treadmill to political oblivion.