Let us not make idle distinctions between PLP and FNM; we the voters, having tried both parties for long periods of time in the past, have come to the conclusion that they are one and the same. They are a narrow class of relatives, friends, school-mates, business partners and professionals who have dominated Bahamian politics for a whole generation.
If we just take a snapshot of the recent political history of Elizabeth we will see where Elma Campbell, Ambassador in China, who ran against her cousin Malcolm Adderley, a lawyer, and was beaten by him, is the first cousin of Dwayne Sands who now wishes to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Malcolm Adderley from the House of Assembly to become a Judge of the Supreme Court.
We leave it to the good doctor to tell the people of Elizabeth whether or not he too is the cousin of Malcolm Adderley and if so, solemnly affirm that he never had any conversation with Adderley before his resignation regarding how the seat would be passed from one cousin to another.
Before Elizabeth came into existence, another constituency, called Malcolm Creek, included parts of Elizabeth and was represented for a significant period of time by one Marvin Pinder, a prime PLP operative.
This same Marvin Pinder, who was a PLP Minister, is the father of Ryan Pinder, the PLP candidate for Elizabeth in the up-coming bye-election. In this case, power over the people is being passed, not from cousin to cousin, but from father to son.
And then, there is the classic connection between former law partners Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and opposition leader Perry Christie, which smacks of the enigmatic relationship that existed for years between Lynden Pindling of the PLP and his schoolmate, Cecil Wallace Whitfield of the FNM.
And while we are looking at the illustrious personalities that have dominated Bahamian politics for a generation, we cannot forget the venerable patriarch of the FNM, Sir Orville Turnquest, former Governor-General, father of Tommy Turnquest, the hapless Minister of National Security and uncle of Dwayne Sands.
And the record shows that this Dwayne Sands is the son of Basil Sands, who served diligently, for a significant period of time, under the PLP regime as the Chairman of Bahamasair and, therefore, featured prominently in the Commission of Enquiry which Hubert Ingraham appointed in the early 90s, as a smoke-screen to fool voters that Pindling was being punished for his misdeeds.
Now we are only looking here at Elizabeth; but if we look at all the other 41 constituencies we will find strong, convincing evidence of the existence of this closed, tight-knit, narrow class of, relatives, friends, school-mates, business partners and professionals who have dominated Bahamian politics for a whole generation.
Of course, like every other Bahamian, they have the constitutional and moral right to offer themselves for election to public office; and we, the voters, election after election, have historically
delegated public authority to them in good faith, sincerely believing and hoping that they would use the high office, not for personal gain, but to manage the affairs of the nation honorably and efficiently, bringing peace, security and prosperity to all.
If, in our opinion, they had done a good job of governing over the past 43 years, we would not be declaring today our intention to field a candidate in the up-coming bye-election in Elizabeth.
But both parties, the PLP and the FNM, have taken turns in making false promises and declarations to the Bahamian voters to seize and hold on to power for personal gain and, in the process, they have mismanaged the economy, they have corrupted the public institutions and they have done gross damage to the delicate social fabric of the country.
Even before the global economic downturn, the level of joblessness had been too high for too many years. Too many qualified people, especially young have had to wait and search diligently for months and months, and sometimes even years, for a job, simply because there are not enough jobs being created on a consistent basis.
The PLP and FNM governments from 1967 to 2010, all failed to plan for economic development and the consistent creation of jobs. Not one of them ever produced a National Development Plan for this country. They have all played government-by-ear and have played it badly. Consequently, the economy has been stagnant for years, with tourism not increasing substantially for almost twenty years.
The PLP-FNM government have failed so miserably from the early 90s to now to monitor the international climate in which our financial services sector must operate, that The Bahamas has been named and shamed over and over by the industrialized countries for running a sub-standard, almost shady, jurisdiction; and they are now forced into a humiliating situation of signing dozens of treaties in a few months time to save the industry from international sanctions and to try to stop major off-shore banks from closing down and leaving the country.
We charge that one of the major public institutions that have been corrupted by the PLP-FNM is the public education system. Over the years, the PLP-FNM class has provided segregated education for their children in private schools, using a substantial amount of funds from the Government, of course; and when the cost of educating their children abroad became too high, they created a scholarship fund with Government money, which was abused so much by them that poor people never got a chance to benefit from it and now it has been discontinued because of the abuse and corruption.
While all of this has been going on, the physical infrastructure of the public school system has being deprived of financial support and administrative attention, so much so that CC Sweeting High School students in 1983 would have burned down their dilapidated school, if it had not been for the Workers Party who taught the young people that public protest was the legal and much more productive reaction than arson.
Because of gross neglect and abuse, the public school system under the PLP-FNM government over the past 53 years eventually deteriorated into a breeding ground for gangs and other anti-social groups and today crime, perpetrated by a generation of thugs that have grown up under this corrupt and inefficient PLP-FNM coalition of selfish and narrow interests, is our number one problem.
Despite his promises late last year, the Prime Minister Ingraham, in our opinion, has not yet given the nation any definitive statement on the initiatives that his lost and confused Government will adopt to prevent the spread and increase in crime in this country. The Leader of the Opposition, in his inimitable style, has made no statement on crime and is not expected to do so.
The Workers Party believes that punishment for heinous crime such as murder, rape armed robbery and so on should be swift, severe and certain. In light of this philosophy we view most of the efforts discharged by the FNM Government so far as being limp-wristed and not having the virility that is needed in this time of social crisis.
The Ingraham Government has adopted a soft approach in this matter for too long; and now it has exploded and is beyond control. Limp-wristed activities such as electronic monitoring bands around criminals’ ankles while they are out on bail are ludicrous.
Young men have already been heard laughing and joking at how they will inactivate those gadgets in short order and how, given the fact that the Government can not keep simple traffic lights working all the time, it is certain that they will not be able to keep such a complex high-tech system working all the time.
The Workers Party’s position is that we do not need bracelets on murderers’ ankles; we need ropes around their necks, as is mandated by the age-old laws of this country. We need firm-wristed and hard-fisted strategies to wrestle this crime monster. Nothing else will do.
But the legal and judicial process has been corrupted by political malpractice; and the cold, clear truth is that the PLP-FNM cabal of lawyer-politicians makes a lot of money negotiating bail for their murderer clients, who, upon being released into this peaceful community, wreak tremendous havoc of revenge, intimidation and more murder.
So, we have come to challenge you, the voters in Elizabeth to make a historic step and vote against both the PLP and the FNM in the upcoming bye-election. Send a clear message to these covenant-breakers that they have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.
We have come to you with a challenge to invest in a promising political future by casting your votes for Rodney Moncur, Leader of the Workers Party and sending to Parliament for the first time, a representative who is bold and energetic, who has surrounded himself with good sense and who is saturated with love of God, family and you.
CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF
THE WORKERS PARTY