DNA Chairman Calls December 3rd Referendum Christie Administration’s Attempt to “Payback” for Numbers’ Support
To reasonably thinking Bahamians who are taking note of the vamped up public relations campaign now underway by Mr. Christie and the numbers’ businesses whose cause he seems to be championing, it is obvious that they are betting on the ignorance and desperation of poor, downtrodden black Bahamians to get their “snake oil” remedy for our pressing social ills made legal. It is the DNA’s hope that Bahamians will not buy what they are selling.
This administration gave the Bahamian people a “snake oil” sales job during the election campaign, and for what they have gotten thus far, Bahamians are now having buyer’s remorse. It would be a shame if they fall for the same old fool talk coming from this administration on this issue as well.
If the choice is ours and Bahamians are supposed to be considering the legalization of “gambling” in the country, a national lottery should also be put on the table next to these illegal numbers operations for consideration as well. It is ridiculous to think that the numbers racket can rake up money enough to be a financially successful operation here in the Bahamas but a national lottery cannot. If Bahamians were to fall for this, the DNA wonders what other kinds of crazy Houdini act and ponzi schemes they would be willing to have this Prime Minister and his administration run on them again.
If the government says it stands to make upwards of $20 million in taxes annually, then that would mean that the take home profits for these numbers businesses can potentially run somewhere in the vicinity of $200 to $350 million a year. How is $20 million more beneficial to social development than $200 million? And if these numbers’ businesses can generate those kinds of revenue, then why can’t the government with its own National Lottery for education, sports, and social programs? Why should the government have it hands out waiting for proceeds when it can make its own proceeds?
It does not make sense that the government should only be concerned with getting proceeds from taxes to take care of social programming when it could control all the proceeds by simply enacting a national lottery – if it is going to make chance gaming legal. Again, for the most part, it does not make sense, and the Bahamian people should demand their government take its time and make sense out of this seeming idiocy.
This administration used taxpayers’ dollars to have their British consultants come here to tell us a national lottery will not work “at this time;” now Bahamian people should demand that the Prime Minister’s office release the whole report so that we can all see how this hired group arrived at their conclusion - because the math just does not add up. It is time that we not allow our choices to be limited based on someone else’s reporting, unless we are privy to the report and can verify it as such. So we are calling on the Prime Minister to make the report public.
In their times of hardship and woe, the Bahamian people are looking to their government to come up with real and lasting solutions to their social pains. They no longer want governments who use their bully pulpit to continually shove choices on them that have no meaningful impact on their lives and their upward mobility.
More importantly, they are growing wearisome of this administration as it continues attempting to make a mockery of the system, them, and their constitutional rights as citizens of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The DNA suggests that if this administration seriously cares about Bahamians it should demonstrate it by protecting their constitution right to free choice in their own country by offering them “free” choice.
If this Christie administration seeks to put to the Bahamian people any referendum on gambling that does not include a Bahamian’s right to gamble in the local casinos, any question that does not include a Bahamian National Lottery, as well as a question of whether they can own interest in chance gaming, then it continues to show its cowardice to do what is truly in the best interest of Bahamians. The DNA hopes that this second-chance Christie administration owns up and does bolster its reputation as a “sell-out/bought out” administration.
British physicist Stephen Hawking says that, as a people, “We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.” With each passing day leading to what has now gone from a proposed referendum on gambling to a referendum on legalizing the numbers business, we in the DNA hope that the Bahamian people will not become consumed – nor allow their government to have them become sufficiently consumed - by either greed or stupidity to prove Hawking’s theory correct. The future of a whole society is dependent on it.
We challenge Prime Minister Christie to reconsider his recent unashamed tactic to lead this cause for the legalization of the numbers business by playing on the nation’s emotional ignorance and fears of Bahamians. It not only comes across as unbecoming of a Prime Minister, but it also illuminates what most have come to fear - that this administration is indeed in bed with the persons who now run these illegal operations.
This administration can expect that, until such time as it puts to the Bahamian people a referendum that is reflective of real choice, it will continue to hear the DNA speak out and challenge them on this matter - right up to December 3rd.
Tuesday November 06, 2012 - via e-mail
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