When a young Lynden Oscar Pindling returned from London in 1953, having been called to the English Bar in February of that year and later to become a member of The Bahamas Bar, he quickly got into the mix as a significant player on the political landscape.
He joined the Progressive Liberal Party as legal advisor and subsequently was elected treasurer. In short order, relatively speaking, he surged ahead of stalwarts like Henry Milton Taylor and Cyril St. John Stevenson.
The charismatic Pindling won a seat in the Southern District during the 1956 general elections, while Mr. Taylor was unsuccessful. The stage was set: Pindling ultimately officially took over the reins of the party that year and ushered in a new era of leadership in the PLP.
He would go on, following his 1956 election win to make subsequent major contributions that laid important planks in the development process of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. In 1967 behind his leadership, the PLP delivered equality for the masses with success at the polls during the general elections.
He went on to craft five successive general elections victories and stayed in power as the chief political executive in the land for 25 years.
Pindling was able to survive so long, despite defections and the intense constant pressure of national leadership, by making for the most part, good political decisions.
Today, of his two protégés, only one has shown a similar ability to make astute political decisions. That is why, Hubert Ingraham is into his third term as prime minister and headed for yet another, if his longtime political associate and friend Perry Christie continues to make bad political decisions.
For instance, the current deputy leader of the PLP, Philip ‘Brave’ Davis, was the catalyst for the early drive in the Elizabeth constituency by-election campaign for his party. PLP candidate Ryan Pinder seemed to be getting solid traction in the area. The campaign was running along smoothly with Davis calling the shots for the advertising program.
In stepped PLP leader Christie and anointed Dr. Bernard Nottage (and Obie Wilchcombe also, some from inside the PLP have said) to head the by-election the rest of the way.
We hold no position one way or the other for Nottage, Wilchcombe or Davis.
The fact is though, Christie has decided to move a winner and popular individual (Davis) from the by-election battlefront and put in individuals who were just soundly trounced during the recent party convention. Nottage and Wilchcombe don’t seem to be connecting with the new breed of voters.
The PLP with Pinder carrying the banner might still succeed in mastering Dr. Duane Sands and the Free National Movement in Elizabeth but Mr. Christie continues to act typically.
We submit that to ease Mr. Davis from the by-election forefront is a bad decision.
Importantly, Davis brings a freshness to the top of politics in the country that the people are thirsting for.
Christie though, seems hell-bent and comfortable with business as usual.
Tuesday February 2, 2010