||Last Updated: Oct 8, 2017 - 12:01:35 PM
Address by PLP Leader Philip Brave Davis at the Conclave hosted by the New Providence Branch of he Progressive Liberal Party
Nassau, Bahamas - Keynote Address by Hon. Philip “Brave” Davis, Q.C., M.P. Leader of the Official Opposition and Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party on the Occasion of Conclave of the New Providence Women’s Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party Saturday, 7thOctober 2017, 3:30 p.m. at Sir Lynden Pindling Centre Farrington Road:
Theme:“Does Your Shoe Fit? Step into Your Purpose”
· Madam Chairperson
· Executives and Members of the Women’s Branch
· Party Officers
Women of our Great Party
Human history gives a very confusing picture of the proper role of women in the family and in society. In some cases, she is the dominant figure, while in many cultures and throughout much of history she has been viewed as second-class at best, and little more than property or chattel at the other extreme.
I believe that God’s purpose was clear from the very beginning, with the creation of Eve. Her creation, like Adam’s, was unique; and without her, Adam was not complete. She is not lesser or inferior, but has a special role to fill as guardian of the family. Strong, resourceful, resilient, wise, loving, tender and nurturing are all words to describe women, whom God designed to be the equal counterparts of man.
I make this affirmation to lay the foundation of my challenge to you this afternoon. The Egyptian writer Nawal El Saadawionce said:
“You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women. You cannot have equality without women. You can’t have anything without women.”
I take it even further. I say without reservation that we cannot have change – real change – without women!
I have come this afternoon to let you know that Change will come!
Change will come to our beloved Progressive Liberal Party!
Just a few short months ago, we suffered the worst lost in the sixty-plus year history of our Party. The Bahamian people sent us a very clear message. For the most part they did not vote for Minnis and the FNM… they voted against us!
As we look at the direction of our country, this is no time though to sit around and lick our wounds. It is time to build! It is time to bring about positive change! It is time for hard work – heavy lifting – digging up the soil – and new growth. We must! There is no other option!
I declare today that this is WARTIME!
As we embark on a revolution to recapture the soul of our party and our country the PLP needs you!
Are you battle ready!?
We need our best soldiers to step forward – not later…NOW!
Today, I ask you to Be Brave, put on your full armour, and stand with me!
These are interesting and troubling times in our country!
We have a government that is interested in everything but governing. Blood is coursing down our streets as violence becomes the order of the day! Innocent children are being gunned down! A 74 year old American woman with lived in my constituency was murdered just last week.
Yet, the Government is focused on how much money was spent on a bottle of water when we travelled on national business during, working hard on your behalf.
The economy is in shambles. There are no jobs and prospects on the horizon. Grand Bahama is worse than it has ever been. Their economy is in free-fall. Things are bad all around. Yet, this Government is busy firing people because they believe that they may be PLP. They are busy giving themselves tax breaks and threatening legitimate business owners.
They are heading into six (6) months in office with no plan or direction. They are running out of places to tour in The Bahamas and have now resorted to touring some of our neighbours to the South.
Johnny and his friends are out to lunch and the village doors closed on the 10thof May. They have brought no new legislation to Parliament; the only piece of legislation they are now touting is the same one they called “Spy Bill” and campaigned so heavily against. What hypocrites! They are not man or woman enough to admit that we were right all along though!
We have just completed debate on the Speech from the Throne, some five (5) months later! Lost, lost, lost! What a hapless bunch!
It is already clear where they are leading our country… No Where! We are definitely headed in the wrong direction.
The whispers of the self- and crooked-dealing are already beginning to surface.
We have a country to rescue.
Yes, our country is in peril, but these are also very serious and critical times in our beloved PLP! The undercurrent of division must be beaten out. United, we stand! Divided, we fall!
This is no time for dirty politics! This is no time for plenty talk but no action! This is no time for self-promotion! This is no time for internal division! This is no time for laziness!
This is time for rolling up your sleeves! It is time to put your shoulders to the wheel! It is time to work like we have never worked before to rebuild the PLP and regain the confidence of the Bahamian people.
Those who know me know I am not afraid of hard work! I’m ready! Are you?
A change will come to the PLP! The Bahamian people demand no less!
That change cannot be realised without you!
My Dear Sisters
I am committed to the PLP! I believe in our party. I believe we are the best vehicle to bring about real change and progress for our people. Our core values are as relevant today as they were 60-plus years ago!
This morning, I launched my campaign, offering for leader of our Great Party This afternoon, I stand before you to ask your support and for your vote.
You know me. You know of my service and commitment to our party. You know of my sweat and toil for our party!
I am committed and ready to make the tough decisions as party leader. I humbly present myself for service. The PLP is bigger than any individual or ego including me. We must rebuild together and be unified. We need all hands on deck to move this SS PLP forward.
Today, I encourage you as the women of our Party – the heart and soul of the PLP – to step into your purpose. Be ready to play a significant role as we move forward together. Be Brave! Let’s step together!
I know of travails for our Party. I know of your dedication and what you bring to the table. In fact, I pledge that you will have several meaningful seats at the table as we move forward. Those who know me well know that I am a man of my word.
I am not here to pay you lip service or simply tell you what I think you want to hear. Nor am I here to play on your emotions! I seek a true partnership to restore our PLP – not based on my gender!
I ask your support based on my track record, commitment to rebuild, rebrand, with the women of the PLP taking their rightful central role.To this end I pledge to
- Ensure that the Women’s branch receive an annual stipend from the central Party. The work of the Women’s branch is fundamentally important to the effectiveness and future success of the Party.
- I am committed to working together with you to ensure that young Bahamians and women are adequately represented in our parliamentary team. The Parliamentary team of the PLP acts as its standard-bearer in the public and is in effect a representation of what we claim to be. We must ensure that women and young people are active leaders and participants on this team so that we reflect the reality of the current demographics of The Bahamas.
- PLPs, we must restore and maintain discipline and order among the rank and file of the membership of the PLP. As a priority, I will as your Leader ensure that the Party speaks with a common voice and approaches the next election with a singular purpose.
- As your Leader, immediately after the convention I will appoint a committee comprising PLPs throughout our archipelago to review discuss and propose, after widespread consultation significant changes to our party’s constitution. This is of critical importance. Times and realities have changed and so must we. We must ensure that “ALL PLPs” have more of a say in their party! We must continue to be relevant and reflect the true desires of the Bahamian people. This party belongs to all of us.
- I commit to engage in ongoing meetings with College Students, Young Professionals, Groups of Young Men and Women, Community Leaders, Civic and Church organisations – The Party must more meaningfully demonstrate its interest in and concern for the affairs of all Bahamians. We must have continuous dialogue with all segments of the Bahamian society.
- We cannot continue to run our party like a tuck shop. We must ensure that the party is properly funded. Politics is not cheap! As the Party’s Leader, I will support all major fund-raising efforts, including the introduction of a professionally managed system of pledges, that takes place year-round to fund the day-to-day costs at our headquarters, to keep our branches functioning and ensure that we are prepared to win the next election.
- For too long we have been complaining about public relations in our party. As Leader, I intend to implement a fulltime, professionally staffed Public Relations unit. We must ensure that a professional Public Relations staff is identified and selected from the Party’s membership and fully resourced. The talent exist amongst us but must be effectively utilized and supported. Much talent is here tonight. This Public Relations department will be mandated to aggressively articulate the Party’s position on every major issue facing our country.
I assure you that change will come! It is time to step into your purpose! Take your rightful place! Be that much needed change and fresh air. This is your Party!This is our Party! This is your country!
Our country is calling out for a renewed and refocused PLP! Together we can!
Today, I humbly ask you to support me as Leader of our Party! Stand with a man seriously committed to the empowerment of the women of our party!
In earnest, we must begin the process of passing this great institution on to the next wave of leaders and national trailblazers.
This is no time for flammers! No time for jokers! Serious times call for serious leaders!
I encourage you to follow the light! The light will guide yours as it did the steps of Effie Walkes and Ena Hepburn who were instrumental in Black Tuesday. They ushered in change.
There are so many others who have laid the foundation for us with blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifice. Let us together, stand on their shoulders and wage a war that has never before been witnessed in the history of our Bahamas! Change will come!
My Beloved Sisters
I reach back to Deuteronomy 31, verses 6 and 7 to frame this final wartime invitation:
“Be strong and [be brave]. Do not be afraid or terrified [by anyone], for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you...Be strong and [be brave], for [we] must go [...] into the land that the Lord swore to [our] ancestors...”
Be Brave, PLPs!!!!
May God bless each of you!
May God bless our Party!
May God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas!
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