Oswald Brown Writes-
The people have spoken resoundingly on the matter or whether webshops should be regularized and we should have a national lottery. They have said “NO” on both questions, and clearly the Government must now find a way to enforce the will of the people.
It would unquestionably be a difficult task to “shut down” the numbers houses, but whatever police manpower is required, no matter that this exercise may be at the expense of monitoring and supervising serious crime, the Government must carry out the wishes of the electorate.
Personally, I think it is extremely unfortunate that the referendum was turned into a political issue, especially after former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham came out strongly opposed to both questions at the last minute. Indeed, I watched the results coming in on ZNS and as it became evident that the “no vote” had won, an obvious FNM supporter said that even though he played the numbers daily, he voted “no” on both questions because “Papa said we should vote no.” In fact, he said he had not played his numbers for the night and left to do so.
Without question, this should be a matter of concern for Dr. Hubert Minnis, the current leader of the FNM, for it is now clear that Ingraham has made up his mind to make a comeback and the role he played in this supposedly “victory” in engineering the defeat of the gaming referendum will embolden him into thinking that the Bahamian people have forgotten that he had embarked on establishing a Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier form of dictatorship in The Bahamas and will give him another chance to complete his agenda.
There’s no way that this will happen. I think that the Bahamas Christian Council, with tremendous funding from unknown sources, ran a very good campaign and was successful in organizing an effective “get out the vote” initiative among the members of the various churches.
It will be interesting to see what the overall turnout for the referendum initiative was because I’m convinced that far too many voters who would have voted in favour of both questions put forth by the referendum decided that it would pass no matter what and did not turn out to vote. Be that as it may, the people have spoken, and Prime Minister Perry Christie must find a way to positively respond to their decision, albeit at the expense of other far more serious areas of crime.
But if Hubert Ingraham thinks that the defeat of this referendum is an indication that he can start dusting off his master plan to establish a dictatorship in The Bahamas, he is wrong, dead wrong, and should reconsider his efforts to make a comeback and continue his pastime of fishing whenever he wants to