Davis: Disaffection in FNM probably worse than poll results show
Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis said yesterday he believes the Minnis administration has eroded much of its political capital after heightening the electorate’s expectations of what it would provide.
Davis, the Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP, said many Bahamians have expressed that the Free National Movement (FNM) has not delivered on many of its key campaign commitments to date.
He was responding to a recent Public Domain survey, which showed that a growing number of people feel The Bahamas is headed in the wrong direction.
“I am continuing talking with Bahamian people through the length and breadth of the country, particularly on New Providence and Grand Bahama, and the [poll] is reflective of their true feelings, and I suspect it may be worse than the poll has depicted to date,” Davis said.
“It does not necessarily mean automatically that the fact that their political capital has been eroded – whereas we are the alternative party – it doesn’t follow always that it enures to our benefit.
“We have to still earn the trust of those persons who have become disaffected, disenchanted.
“That’s what we are working on in our daily talks with people on the ground and around the country.”
On Wednesday, Public Domain released its April 2018 poll data on satisfaction with the government’s performance and whether the country is going in the right or wrong direction.
The results of the poll show a steady decline, since May 2017, in public opinion on both satisfaction and the right direction for the country.
Respondents’ general satisfaction with the Minnis administration stood at 44 percent.
The number of respondents who were generally “satisfied” with Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and the FNM administration in April 2018 decreased by nine percent since November 2017, for a total decline of 18 percent since the May 2017 election.
Last week, several Cabinet ministers insisted the government has been working hard to put the country back on course to economic prosperity, but this cannot be expected to happen overnight.
Some made the case that the Bahamian public expects too much too soon
Yesterday, Davis said the Minnis administration built up the expectations of the Bahamian people, which have now come “home to roost”.
“The Bahamian people’s expectations have been grounded on what this government, when they were in opposition, were saying they were going to do, or not do,” he said.
“At the same time, in expressing what they expected to be doing or not doing, they created this view of the PLP. It is now coming home to roost.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said the results will not dissuade the government from its plans to strengthen the country’s economy and provide good governance to the Bahamian people.
Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said the government should study the data and stressed that it is important for the government to take note of the feelings and perceptions of the public.
Minister of Public Works Desmond Bannister argued that the FNM administration is working to make a number of positive changes to the country, but admitted that Bahamians will feel “a little pain” along the way.
Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd said the government is performing “phenomenally” and noted that significant change will not occur overnight.
Pineridge MP Frederick McAlpine told The Guardian he was not surprised by the data and warned the Minnis administration not to govern from “ivory towers”.