LONG TIME FRIENDS joined ‘Brave’ Davis as he accentuated his plans for change and plans for the Progressive Liberal Party to again be the sober, thoughtful alternative to the FNM as they continue to promote the ideas that solve the problems of day. Pictured from left to right are Attorneys Rufus Allen and former Senator Norris Carroll; Davis; friends George Curtis and PLP Stalwart Councilor, Arlington ‘Spike’ Mackey.
FREEPORT, GRAND BAHAMA – ‘Be Brave’ was the theme ringing in the Foster B. Pestina Auditorium in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Friday night when Attorney Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, the Member of Parliament for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador, continued his campaign to become the next Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party.
Mr. Davis told the standing room only crowd: “I have come tonight to encourage you to ‘Be Brave’ and join me in my quest to change The Bahamas and to restore our Party to its original philosophy.”
No stranger to Grand Bahama having begun his legal career here in the early 70s, the noted attorney expressed his “good feeling about being back on the island among many friends, supporters, well wishers”, and Stalwart Councilors and members of PLP branches on the island.
“The Progressive Liberal Party was borne out of the need for change in this country, and as we look at the state of our country – ‘17% unemployment and rising here on Grand Bahama’ – there is a dire need for change here, and in the PLP.
“Since 2007 pundits and naysayers thought the PLP would die and go quietly into the night, relegated to a dust-bin of history,” said Mr. Davis as he told his audience that PLPs must be the sober, thoughtful alternative to the FNM and continue to promote the ideas that solve the problems of day.
“We must ensure that our conversation with the Bahamian people is not simply a celebration of our history. We must use our history to develop and communicate a road may of policies and programmes that assists them in realizing their hopes and dreams; we must realize that we are a Party of the people and as such we must adapt and change and reconnect to ensure that our policies and our decisions as the dominant political force throughout the modern history of The Bahamas, reflect the diversity, many interest, feelings, beliefs, dreams, and aspirations of our people.”
Mr. Davis told old friends from his days as an officer of the Marco City PLP Branch, and other who have joined the Party during the past 35 years that he is strengthened in his resolve not to sit idly by and witness opportunities being snatched away from the next generation.
“This is why I have decided that now is the time to step out from beyond the shadows to play a more impactful role in bringing the dream of change to fruition; the dream of a new Bahamas filled with equal opportunities for all our citizens. From my teenage years assisting the Party where ever possible to serving as a candidate and Member of Parliament, I have always been a faithful and loyal PLP, and stood with our Party through tick and thin, never wavering, always committed and ready to play my part.
“I believe in the philosophy of the PLP – a philosophy built on wiping every tear away, providing comfort for those in need and recognizing it is the needs of the people that is most important, said Mr. Davis.
Mr. Davis described this philosophy as being a part of an old dream which seems to have gone awry.
“The time I speak of was when it really took a community to raise a child; when we were our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers; when a child was educated, disciplined, fed and loved by the people in the community; when neighbours knew each other by name and looked out for each other; a time when a ‘D’ average was not the national grade average; a time when some people held down two jobs; a time when one could sleep at night without having to worry about being robbed or hurt; a time when it didn’t matter what time we were on the road and where we were going; a time when people dared not raise a hand and definitely not a gun to a man for $10; a time when young people joined Scouts, Brownies, Pathfinders, Boys Brigade and other clubs and not gangs; a time when it was not cool to be a ‘gangsta’,” said the MP.
Mr. Davis told his audience that a part of the change to come is a part of the his dream; implementing new methods to keep us safe and reduce crime; finding new areas to provide employment – Green jobs, recycling solar and wind, etc. while ensuring that we treasure our God given beautiful country, preserve its beauty, and do nothing to adversely affect the environment.
Mr. Davis was supported at the meeting by several of his Parliamentary colleagues, namely, Senator Michael Darville, who credited Mr. Davis with stirring up his national interest as a youngster in a speech given in the late 1970s; Member of Parliament Frank Smith, who spoke about the early philosophy of the PLP and the need to return the Party to those days; and former PLP National Chairman, Raynard Rigby who spoke on the process of reforming this Party and taking hold of the country.
Also accompanying Mr. Davis was the Member of Parliament for Fox Hill, Fred Mitchell, who spoke about the internal democracy of the PLP, describing it as a good and healthy thing to be encouraged.
“The principle of internal party democracy; the principle of the fight for new ideas and for what I call an agenda for change, those like Philip Davis who support that agenda for change, have my support.
“The battle within the PLP must be more about ideas for the future and the political battles to come with the FNM, and less about personalities. You who are voters in this exercise of democracy in the Party must know what are the plans for the financial soundness of the Progressive Liberal Party; what are the plans for our Party’s consultative mechanisms, for its decision making process; for the timeliness of the party to respond to the modern Bahamas?
Mr. Mitchell told Party supporters present that they should know what are the plans for restructuring the Party to make us relevant to the times; what are the plans to make the Party forward thinking and not backward sinking; and that: “We have to stop singing ‘Abide With Me’ and start singing ‘Let’s go out to the ball game’”.
Mitchell called on all present to: “Stop giving a thousand reasons why we cannot change and think of the thousand reasons why we should and we will change; let us not simply talk the language of change, let us change; we have resisted the structural involvement of young people in the party”.
The Fox Hill Member of Parliament expressed his support in favour of mandatory set asides to force this change, and called for a constitutional requirement of the Party that 50 percent of the delegates at the convention and in the National General Council should be below the age of 40 and at least 33 per cent ought to be women.
Mr. Mitchell said the change cannot be done on the votes of Grand Bahama alone, although Grand Bahama is an important component of the changes that are needed.
“Indeed, this is where revolutions begin and I would expect no less of you”, he said.