22 July 2021
In politics the answer to the most complex situations can be found by correctly answering the question “who benefits?”. So, although Bahamians want to see the backs of this cruel, incompetent and lying FNM government there is really no way to force an early election legally. Furthermore, under our constitution the PM can set an election date at any time within a five-year period. So, the government is in full control of election dates.
And to confirm that he has control of the only thing he still has control of the PM had this to say in the Guardian. “The prime minister speaks, not the leader of the opposition. The leader of the opposition said there will be dissolution. The prime minister did not say that.”
Therefore, the answer to the question, “Why would a government delay an election even when they will clearly lose whenever it is called” should always begin with “Because they believe that delay in calling an election will benefit themselves or people they care about.” We can then ask about specifics such as exactly who the person thinks will benefit, precisely how they or others are expected to benefit. Well, we know who will benefit; the same ones who have been benefitting from day one of this FNM administration; friends, lovers, cronies, family members, campaign contributors, recipients of no-bid contracts i.e., everyone but the Bahamian taxpayers who will be stuck with a national debt approaching $11 Billion.
In my opinion, the opposition forces would be ill advised to follow the Prime Minister down this rabbit hole he has created. To do that will not only dissipate their financial resources but forget the lessons of history. Specifically, we should not forget that through playing personality politics the PM now finds himself in the same political strait jacket as the PLP prior to the 2017 general elections.
The 2017 elections were all about Prime Minister Christie who became a lightning rod for all the dissatisfaction, anger and ill temper of the Bahamian voters thus imperiling the seats of perfectly sound PLP representatives. The rejection of the 2013 gaming referendum results certainly did not help and the opposition used this dissatisfaction to good effect as was seen in the 2017 election results. Fast forward to 2021 and we see the same scenario being played out as the PM struggles to rally
his flagging support despite having made a pig’s breakfast out of an overwhelming house majority and branding himself as the all-powerful, all knowing face of the FNM. But there is a subtle difference between the PLP 2017 dilemma and the snake pit that the PM and by extension every FNM representative must now navigate.
The difference is that the PM is despised and distrusted not only by the voters but also by a powerful cabal within the FNM ranks, dropped MP, s and the monied backroom shot callers who need the FNM to stay in power. They need them to complete their acquisitive agenda of enlarging their ownership of every national asset and treasure that they do not presently control.
But now that it is accepted that the FNM will lose heavily under Hubert Minnis there has been a massive recalculation by his detractors and foes. They know that there is a better chance of victory if for instance Duane Sands was the leader so, this rebel group benefits from an election delay. They need time to buy the support required to oust Minnis as leader just like the last time. At least that is the talk in the clubs, bars and private homes by disgruntled FNM, s who having enjoyed the land of milk and
honey have no intention of ever being poor again.
The PM should heed these rumors because he was ousted once before and there is gathering momentum to remove him again time permitting. Indeed, it appears that his heir apparent has already been selected. Like the ghost of Christmas past Dr. Duane Sands is being touted by the eastern road money boys as their best chance for the FNM to retain power. And Sands is eager. As far back as June 2020 it was reported. “Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands acknowledged that he aspires to one day become leader of the Free National Movement. Asked by the host if he has leadership aspirations, Dr Sands said “yes.” That question is asked whether I have aspirations to
become Prime Minister, so on and so forth,” Dr Sands said. “I answer this question this way.
Any of us and all of us involved in politics see ourselves ultimately one day calling the shots, but there is only one leader at a time. And you cannot lead if you cannot follow. It is yes. Yes, I do.”
So, once more the PM faces an existential challenge of his own creation. He faces being rejected by his party because he is perceived as an inept, incompetent leader who will destroy the ambitions of the FNM. But he has choices. He can delay calling an election date in the vain hope that his party’s popularity returns, and he somehow retains leadership, or he can delay and allow his political enemies to get their ducks in a row and oust him again.
So, make a choice. Let the Bahamians voters decide your fate by setting an early election date or get stabbed in the back and removed from power by your political enemies
Michael J. Brown