National Stadium could be political bonding item
The Bahamian political arena, like many others around the world, leaves a lot to be desired. The rhetoric that goes on publicly between the two major sides is simply ridiculous, especially since many know that there have always been cases whereby they fight in public but behind the scenes, they are the best of business partners and friends.
When it comes to posturing for votes, the hypocrisy creeps in.
Bahamians yearn for a mature climate that sees sensible attitudes on both sides of the isle on the major issues that are so important to the people of this commonwealth.
Also, there can be the kind of bonding that would go a long way toward the healing of a nation when governments are prepared to give full credit to each other for significant works and achievements on behalf of the Bahamian people.
The Baha Mar project is a case in point. So is the Lynden Pindling International Airport. Perhaps though, the entity that can bring about the greatest bonding of politicians in our time is the new National Stadium.
Although the body of work to be done by Bahamian contractors and sub-contractors will create some apprehension regarding time lines(given our history), there is little doubt that the Free National Movement(FNM)Government will make sure that an official opening ceremony and accordingly a special event, take place either late in 2011 or early 2012, before the next general elections.
That would make political sense and Prime Minister and Leader of the FNM Hubert Ingraham can’t be legitimately faulted for that.
However, this is one that deserves a”joint appearance”in the spotlight by key members of the present FNM Government and those of the former Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)Government that was headed by former prime minister Perry Christie.
I take this view because there is actually a new National Stadium because of a connection made with the People’s Republic of China by Christie back in 2004 around the time of the Athens Olympic Games. In 2005, the gift of a state-of-the-art stadium was officially given to The Bahamas. Thus, the process began and continued up to May 2 of 2007, when Christie and his party were defeated by Ingraham and the FNM.
During that two-year period, a lot went on. The technical teams from China and The Bahamas met for many hours, here in this country and also in China. A PLP Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Neville Wisdom, led the effort.
Following May 2, 2007, first Minister of State for Youth and Sports, Byran Woodside, then substantive Sports Minister Desmond Bannister and(now)Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard have driven the initiative for the present government.
At the unveiling of the official National Stadium plaque two years ago, PLP officials were invited but they were kept somewhat in the background. This time around both sides should be there, holding hands and participating fully in the opening ceremony. It could be the kind of political bonding never before experienced in this country.
Are our politicians ready for such a scenario?I believe the nation is.