For those Bahamians who have never heard of a third party that made a difference in Bahamian democratic elections, go read P. Anthony White. To wit:
... perhaps the most celebrated – and most wrenching for many – of all general elections held in the modern Bahamas were the historic polls of 1977, when the electorate was stretched in three political directions. But let us historically backtrack for a spell.via Those Diastrous, Unforgettable Elections of 1977 « P. Anthony White… online.
It's interesting and instructive, specially as I've spent the evening with several Bahamians younger than me who have never heard of the BDP.(What do they teach people in schools these days anyway? To what use is our quarter of a billion education budget put?)White's site is the best one for this subject, and one of the only ones that gives the BDP a fair shake. Now the 1977 elections were the first ones I really remember. (I remember bits and pieces from earlier ones, like the UBP spray-painted in the road of my neighbourhood when I was a very very young child in 1967, and the discussions about Independence in 1972, which bored me to tears, what with the White Papers and the Green Papers and the Referendum yaddaya.) In 1977 I was in high school and old enough to give some thought to who I might vote for when I was eighteen, so I paid attention.And there was lots to pay attention to.Here's the background in a nutshell:
... by about 1975, there came the famous split in the Opposition, and Cecil Wallace-Whitfield was once more at the centre of it all, surrounded by many who had been with him from the days of the Free PLP.The other side was formed into the Bahamian Democratic Party. When the 1977 elections were called, both sides offered complements of candidates, some very familiar political faces.
The result: the opposition was divided and the PLP won the election by a landslide.But go read about it. And take notes. And realize that the elections coming up have every chance of being equally memorable -- not necessarily in the same way as the 1977 elections -- but memorable nevertheless.And go ask yourselves and your teachers and your ministers of education why this historical moment has never come up in all our discussions about third, fourth, fifth and (I hear) sixth parties circling the barrel for the coming elections.