Boundary changes: Do they matter?
Published: Feb 16, 2017
Members and supporters of the assorted so-called opposition forces are up in arms and are suffering convulsions over the boundary cuts which were just revealed in Parliament. Why they are doing so is beyond my pay grade, because no matter how the boundaries would have been realigned, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and our leadership will prevail at the general election. Boundaries do not vote, but rather, actual constituents.
Bahamians are a rare breed of human beings. We may complain daily as is our collective nature, but we who comprise the silent majority do not vote for individuals or doll house styled opposition forces. It is my submission that those who insist on playing the game of juvenile politics and shooting marbles in the dark are in for a rude awakening following the polls.
The mainstream media is bitterly against the gold rush administration and cannot stand the best bone in our beloved Prime Minister Perry Christie (PLP-Centreville). They, of course, march to the beat of a different drummer than the unwashed black and conchy joe masses. You don’t really believe that they care about you or your well-being, do you?
Montagu was the only constituency which would have been radically altered to reflect the data on the ground. It has been opined by some that the PM cut that constituency into pieces so as to deny the FNM a safe seat. What utter nonsense. There are no safe seats anywhere in the nation. It is trite knowledge that all constituencies will be up for grabs this time around. Individuals who are offering themselves must now hit the ground running, if they have not already done so.
Bahamians like the idea of a stable and focused political party. While the person who is leader is important, Bahamians also like to see and feel team efforts. There is no one-man band in the PLP. Take a look, however, at the other political groupings.
The FNM, according to MPs for the same, have publicly accused their leader Dr. Hubert Minnis (FNM-Killarney) of being duplicitous, a fake and worse. A senior member of Parliament, Edison Key (FNM-Central and South Abaco), has labeled “Dr. No” a natural disaster and not to be trusted. Richard Lightbourn (FNM-Montagu) says he is done with “Dr. No”, at least in this lifetime. The dimpled one, allegedly, wants or is demanding (no one is sure what the hell it is) 10 guaranteed constituencies. They must think that Bahamians are to be divided up and served on fine china.
Assorted candidates and supporters of all political factions must take a good look around and determine where their best chances lie. The FNM, alas, is a shadow boxer of the highest order. It is boxing at its own shadow. The doll house styled caucus led by the dimpled one is so full of it that it is no longer funny. He too is simply in pursuit of political power and seeks the trappings that come with the same. It is my submission that the FNM and this doll house entity will never be able to come together because of selfish egos and conflicting agendas.
I see the real possibility of three members of the DNA making it into Parliament via elections and not fake appointments. Michael Halkitis will be heavily challenged to regain his credibility in Golden Isles against Stephen Greenslade, who has mounted an aggressive, focused and energetic campaign.
In Garden Hills, where the speaker by his own admission is a part of a damaged brand, he will go down in flames of his own making. He is simply too laid back and cannot be believed.
The Boundaries Commission did a wonderful job even if it took too long to wrap up its work. A general election must be held within the next few short weeks. I would encourage all Bahamians to please go out and register to vote. Do not, under any circumstances, listen to stupid and foolish people (some of whom are actually educating our children) who are advocating the spoiling of ballots as a cock-eyed means of protest.
In some parts of the world, people have actually gone to war and lost their lives to secure the right to vote. Now, some silly people here in our wonderful nation have the coconuts to suggest spoiling your ballot. Dionisio, despite the boundary changes up in Montagu, has an excellent opportunity to win the renamed Free Town. I concede that the term Free Town, while legitimate, could incite racial connotations. It must also be kept in mind, however, that in politics it is all about winning.
The PLP will lose at least six constituencies that our incumbents currently hold. If the MPs therein had actually served their constituents the way Leslie Miller (PLP-Tall Pines) does, they would enjoy smooth sailing getting back into the House. We will sweep the inner city areas of New Providence and we will carry all of the constituencies in the south, in the west, three up in the east and 10 in the Family Islands. That will translate into 26 solid constituencies for the PLP.
In our next term, however, the party and the leadership must clearly understand that this is the last chance for us to get it right. The noise in the market is deafening about crime and unemployment. The delusional FNM candidate for Mount Moriah, a former long-term serving officer of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, has proposed several new initiatives to combat crime. Mind you, he was creased right up there on East Street when the crime trends became visible to the naked eye.
Unemployment is too high due to two simple reasons. One, many of our graduates are functionally illiterate. If a student does not wish to learn whose fault is that? The government of the day? The other reason is that too many of you are not trained or are not seeking training for specialized jobs. There are thousands of available jobs right here and now, but if one is not qualified due to his/her own choices, who do you blame? The government, again?
Boundary changes and the creation of St. Barnabas really offer the opposition groupings excellent chances of picking up one or two extra seats. If Loretta wants to come home, we might nominate her for Free Town. St. Barnabas, despite my misgivings, will go to Attorney Wayne Munroe. The PLP is ready now to be re-elected and in the next few weeks the nation will come to see, feel and realize that we are still the best choice.
To God then, in all things, be the glory.
– Ortland H. Bodie Jr.