THE GAMING BILL: A BAD BET TO REPAY AN OLD DEBT!
A few days of Parliamentary debate culminated Monday evening, with the passage of the government’s gaming legislation during which time Bahamians watched as some of their elected officials made a mockery of our democratic process by ignoring the results of last year’s gaming referendum, while others failed to show up at all.
In the wake of what is becoming yet another political snowball for the Progressive Liberal Party, the Minister responsible for elections and referenda issued what can only be described as a lackluster apology for the government’s decision to ignore the will of the people. That apology, comes several months too late and reeks of political manipulation. A government truly apologetic about this decision would abide by the results of the referendum as the Prime Minister previously committed to.
During his contribution to the debate, the Prime Minister called the finalized legislation the result of months of effort, and focused dialogue with the relevant stakeholders. He further intimated that the legislation was designed to, as he put it, “engender public confidence” in the gaming sector. Sadly to say, the Prime Minister has failed on both fronts.
Clearly, the response from the church and other sectors of the country disproves the PM’s assertion that he truly listened to the dissenting voice on this issue. Instead, it suggests a desire to repay the web shop owners the reported millions contributed to the PLP’s election campaign and further highlights the utter DISTRUST that Bahamians feel toward this administration.
Even more egregious however, was the posture taken by this PLP government against the Church. After years of courting the country’s religious leaders and their parishioners the PLP’s hostile response to criticisms from the church was not only unnecessary, but also ill advised; particularly during a time where the many social ills facing the nation will require the assistance of ALL NON GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES – especially the church –to help improve the lives of Bahamians.
There is an old proverb which says: “In a Bet, there is a fool and a thief”. The government’s gaming legislation has attempted to make fools of the voting public in this country; and has again shed light on the corruption and dishonesty which have become hallmarks of the PLP’s term in office.
As described by the church, the government’s actions constitute a direct attack on the foundation of this country’s democracy. Their continued disregard for the will of the people is bound to backfire for this Christie administration.
DNA Leader - September 17, 2014