This is the beginning of the end for the Pindling-Ingraham-Christie regime that has ruled this country inefficiently and corruptly for the past 44 years, during which crime has risen to unprecedented levels, the cost of food and fuel have become unbearable for the many; and tourism, banking and foreign investment have stagnated.
Never before in the 33-year history of the Workers Party have we heard so many people say, in desperation and frustration, that they are sick and tired of both the Ingraham-led FNM and the Christie led PLP. Never before in Bahamian history have so many people from all walks of life become disenchanted with both the PLP and the FNM.
We started hearing this joint dismissal of the FNM and PLP clearly in the Elizabeth by-election in February 2010, when, for the first time in Bahamian history, a frightening percentage of the voters failed to show up at the polls leaving the hapless and embarrassed PLP and FNM to engage in a virtual dogfight, right down to the last vote.
As we campaigned in Elizabeth, the message that we got from many constituents was that it would be good if all the small parties could form a united group, opposed to both PLP and FNM and with the capacity to form an alternate government.
Up until 1992, the FNM, in an independent Bahamas, had never been tried and tested in Government by the Bahamian people; and the PLP enjoyed overwhelming public support. So it was naturally impossible for any third party that would have been formed during those years to garner the support and build the capacity to challenge both the PLP and the FNM.
By 2002, the Bahamian people had tried the PLP in Government for 25 years and in opposition for 10 years; and similarly the people had experienced the FNM in some form or other in opposition for 25 years and in Government for 10 years.
It was at that point that the serious evaluation of the two parties began to develop; it was at this point that voters for the first time could easily compare the two parties and their styles of governance. It was at this point that Bahamian voters developed a new set of standards for evaluating political leaders; and, when the hapless Perry Christie was weighed in these new balances in 2007, he was found wanting and was rejected unceremoniously as the first one-term Prime Minister in the history of The Bahamas.
Hubert Ingraham, who beguiled many of us into returning him to power on the promise that he would be a changed man, has unwittingly returned to be evaluated by these new standards; and by the time of the by-election in Elizabeth, the verdict had been delivered on him. He is now regarded by many as the greatest political obstacle to the economic and social advancement of the Bahamian people, particularly after the recent shameless and scandalous sale of BTC.
When we weigh each one against the other, we come up with nothing; they are equally balanced because they are actually the two sides of the Pindling coin. Christie is hopelessly indecisive, Ingraham is dangerously rash and impetuous. While Christie claims to be people-oriented and compassionate, Ingraham painfully demonstrates abrasiveness and an utter lack of compassion. Whereas Christie is prone to become bogged down in endless counsels and analyses, Ingraham crawls up high on the rock of stubborn pigheadedness.
Whereas Christie’s Ministers were a wild and uncontrolled bunch, having little respect for him, Ingraham’s Ministers are said to be cowering in fear as he shouts them down and makes them submit to his one-man, iron-hand rule.
We now know, in 2011, that Ingraham is not the medicine to cure the country of Christie; and Christie is not the medicine to cure the country of Ingraham. Both are, in fact, nationally recognized political poisons that have intoxicated this country for too long with idle promises, slick talk, threats, under-hand dealings, double dealings, bribes and other anti-social behaviour.
The FNM and the PLP have jointly alienated so many people over the years by their insensitivity, spitefulness, bad governance and mismanagement that they have both reached a stage were neither one can garner enough votes and enough parliamentary seats to form a majority
4/government in the next Parliament. Not since 1971, when the Free PLP under Whitfield, broke from the PLP, has there been such an upheaval, such a deep-seated rupture in the electorate.
It is in this leadership vacuum that the Bran McCartney phenomenon has emerged as a credible and capable alternative to both Ingraham and Christie. Bran McCartney is the medicine that will cure the country of both Ingraham and Christie. And this is no generic product: this gat bran name.
However, we are saddened, albeit for a fleeting moment, that the two other small parties, the BDM and the NDP, have allowed themselves to be wooed and swallowed up by the old guard, the hapless and hopeless FNM-PLP, instead of joining forces with the DNA.
Many persons, over the course of the past several weeks, have asked us in the Workers Party what our position is. Our answer is simple: the DNA platform, as so far unveiled, is in full congruence with that of the Workers Party. We are in agreement with every goal and every strategy of the DNA. Further, the Workers Party has no choice but to respond to the call of the people of Elizabeth and, indeed, to the cry of voters elsewhere throughout the country for a single, united alternative to this FNM-PLP partnership.
In the Workers Party, there was no acrimonious debate; there was no problem. The way forward, after struggling for 34 years against political foolishness, was quite clear to us: Bran McCartney is THE alternative to the Ingraham-Christie mismanagement team. The DNA stands on the same principles that the Workers Party stands on; their dream of a better Bahamas is our dream of a better Bahamas; and their passion to make this vision a reality is our passion.
So, the Workers Party has disbanded and all its members have joined forces with the Democratic National Alliance and we send a clear message to Ingraham and Christie that, like their mentor, L.O., THEY GAT TO GO.