In the Tribune today, Adrian Gibson comments on the Elizabeth by-election:
With no easily certifiable winner and throngs of voters who shunned the polls, the Elizabeth by-election has revealed voter discontent and, at this juncture, shown-up both the FNM and the PLP as poor political salesmen.The Elizabeth by-election, featuring a virtual tie, ensuing recounts, hordes of lawyers and the possibility of an election court challenge, appears to have been the most contentious by-election campaign in recent history and has caused a political circus in that constituency.The by-election was a nail-biter, initially yielding a razor-thin margin of victory for the FNM's candidate and a thoroughly inconclusive outcome.via The Tribune.
No offense, Adrian, but "poor political salesmen"? I don't think so. More like irrelevant, condescending, cowardly, and out of touch. How can you sell the vision you don't have? How can you represent a people you don't respect? How can you expect greatness out of a people when your supporters behave like hooligans and you are too afraid to correct them?Neither major party has outlined any clear position on governance and their concepts of the Bahamian future are mired firmly in the past. Neither major party seems to think enough of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and its citizenry to demand standards of behaviour that showcase the parties and the nation at their best, preferring apparently to reinforce and reward our worst. Neither major party has shown the courage it needs to correct the clear failures inherent in our system (like our outdated, bloated, inefficient and misnamed "civil service", our overreliance on tourism and foreign investment at the expense of real investment in the Bahamian citizenry, or our crucial need to address and rethink the question of (im)migration in The Bahamas, or the overpopulation and underrepresentation of our capital city at the expense of the entire country). Both seem to believe that ad hominem attacks on their rivals, bombast and one-upmanship will satisfy the people they are sworn to serve. Neither seems to have cottoned on to the fact that Bahamian people want, and expect, far more.The BDM has gained some loyalty but is not much better when it comes to vision. Rodney Moncur for the Workers Party is as he always was: radical, irreverent, interesting, but ultimately divisive. The NDP may prove to be an exciting new force, especially with its bid for more direct democracy with regard to parliamentary representation, but cautious (or jaded) voters will demand more before they throw their full support behind them.What the by-election suggests to me is that the time is ripe for people of conscience and conviction to take a chance and stand up as true representatives of the Bahamian people -- that committed independents and new parties may well be a force to reckon with in the coming General Election, that anything is possible in this post-Obama world, that yes, we can reaches beyond the US borders.