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Bahamian Politics Last Updated: Apr 13, 2017 - 2:25:48 AM

DNA Calls for Public Debates
By Branville McCartney, Leader, Democratic National Alliance (DNA)
Apr 13, 2017 - 12:24:01 AM

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With less than a month to go before Bahamians around the country head to the polls to cast their ballots, voters can expect to hear much of the same old political rhetoric from the PLP and the FNM.

We in the DNA understand however that now, more than ever, Bahamians will not simply take the word of their politicians as gospel. The 21st century Bahamian voter now seeks to keep their elected officials to the fire. What they want are detailed, well thought out policy positions and plans which will, in the long term, create a better life for them and their families. With that in mind, the Democratic National Alliance unveiled our Vision 2017 and Beyond. Not only does this vision booklet contain the most detailed set of policies released by any political organization to date, each plan is immediately implementable and represent the country’s best opportunity to create a Better Life for ALL Bahamians.

In the run up to the May 10th elections, both the PLP and FNM will attempt to woo voters with outlandish promises. However, I implore Bahamians to take stock of the litany of promises which have been broken by both major political parties and do not allow yourself to be swayed by empty election slogans. In this case, the popular maxim holds true: The best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior. Over more than 40 years of independence the PLP and FNM have traded power and position, election cycle after election cycle. But have Bahamians benefited? Are our collectives lives any better? Are we safer? Are there opportunities for Bahamians whose families and friends are not politically connected? The answer is NO!

Both parties have squandered the opportunity to provide true representation to the citizens of this country. They have, in the words of Mr. Christie, pissed away millions in public funds, they have failed to account for millions in loans and grants given to the Bahamas by international bodies and increased the tax burden on Bahamians in order to repay those loans. They have both paid lip service to the idea of rooting out corruption but have shielded their cronies and candidates from facing the music in that regard. They have had their chance. As a country, we have been there and done that, and NOW we require something NEW! Something Different.

Come May 10th, we the people of this beautiful country will have a choice. We can choose to do what we have always done or we can choose to do something different, something BETTER! In order for Bahamians to make that choice however, the voting public must be fully informed about the issues, they must be given the opportunity to hear from all political hopefuls in a forum that allows for true dialogue and not just the wild reverie which we have come to expect from rally style Politics.

The DNA therefore challenges the leaders of both the PLP and FNM to a series of public debates so that all three parties may present their vision to the voting public. to voice their visions for the future. As of this morning ,I have sent a letter to both Perry Christie and Hubert Minnis formerly requesting their participation in three debates between now and the election. We have been in contact with the University of the Bahamas who has graciously agreed to host the debates.

I call on Mr. Christie and Dr. Minnis to join me in providing the Bahamian people with a real look at the leaders we might be and where our parties will take this country. If you are proud of the country which you helped create, if you are confident that your plans are indeed the best way forward for Bahamians and if you believe as strongly in the ideals you have espoused on the rally stage then agree to a debate on the issues and give Bahamians a real chance to compare the ideas and ideals of each organization.

I believe the DNA has the strongest ideas, the strongest cadre of candidates and I am prepared to put those ideas and our ability to execute them side by side any other plan presented by any other organization.

I believe in the Bahamian people… We are proud people… And despite what Mr. Christie may think we will follow God wherever he may take us regardless of our government… BUT the Bahamian people will not blindly follow any politician… We will question our government… we will hold our government accountable and we will DEMAND that our government work for us! We’re ready to put our ideas and candidates on the table and let the Bahamian people decide… Will the FNM and the PLP do the same? We’ll find out soon.

Branville McCartney
DNA Leader

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