Monday, April 21, 2014

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is doubtful that this Perry Christie led Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration capable ...or interested in keeping any of its promises to the Bahamian electorate

DNA says: PLP Late Again!

Branville McCartney - Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader
DNA Leader - Branville McCartney
The PLP’s approach to governance since taking office in 2012 has left much to be desired. In what has seemingly become their modus operandi, this government has proven time and time again that it is unfit to oversee the affairs of the nation. Despite numerous public assurances that they would aggressively tackle the country’s many pressing issues, this PLP administration has proven itself dysfunctional, unfocused and incompetent; failing to meet their own legislative deadlines on issues relative to tax reform, a Freedom of Information Act, gaming, crime and countless other policy initiatives such as job creation, all while reneging on the countless promises made while in opposition.

Most recently, the Minister responsible for referendums Bernard Nottage admitted the government’s failure to set a definitive date for the proposed constitutional referendum. Shortly after taking office, the Prime Minister offered grand pronouncements of the government’s plans in this regard in which he set a November 2013 date.

The Constitutional Commission headed by renowned local Attorney Sean McWeeny did an excellent job in securing public feedback and reviewing the various aspects of the constitution which deserved attention; eventually compiling an impressive and comprehensive report which was presented to the government well in advance of its initial target date. Their work is certainly to be commended. True to form however, Mr. Christie showed no follow through and was forced to push the date to June of 2014.

How disappointing! Rather than use the additional planning time wisely however, this administration has again squandered the better part of this year focusing on trivial and insignificant matters and will by all indications, be forced to postpone the vote for a second time. While these revelations are certainly disappointing, they are far from surprising, particularly considering the ineffective nature of this administration.

Would the additional time not been ideal to launch the promised education campaign on the issue? Where is the so called commitment which the Prime Minister pledged to removing all vestiges of discrimination against women from the country’s constitution? This apparent lack of focus and political will is only further evidence of the careless and flippant disregard the PLP and members of this administration have shown and continue to show for the contributions of Bahamian women in this country.

Further, the Bahamian public ought to be reminded that the former PLP Administration commissioned a constitutional Commission to review the Constitution headed by the late Paul Adderley. Recommendations were made and true to form NOTHING HAPPENED!

Even more disappointing, is the fact that this is not the first time that a Christie led government has floundered on the planning and execution of a referendum. One need only think back to the disastrous January 28, 2013 referendum on Gaming which was also delayed as a result of the government’s failure to plan appropriately. First, this administration failed to properly educate the voting public on the impact of a legalized web shop industry, while refusing to consider addressing existing laws which discriminate against Bahamians in their own country. Then, rather than respecting the wishes of the Bahamians who voted, this administration has shown a deep disrespect for the democratic process and has chosen to proceed with the legalization and regulation of the industry anyway.

The Democratic National Alliance is doubtful that this administration is capable or interested in keeping any of its promises to the electorate. It appears that the Prime Minister and his band of merry men have stopped caring about their duties for the betterment and advancement of the country. The government must get serious about its responsibilities and abandon this LATE AGAIN and less than mediocre style of governance. The Bahamian people must demand and expect good governance from the party they elected.

Branville McCartney
DNA Leader

April 21, 2014