Saturday, Nov 17, 2018
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PowerSecure suggestion ill-advised

Leader of the Opposition Philip Brave Davis has wanted to be prime minister for a lifetime. His party, however, does not believe in leadership changes. From 1956 to now there have only been three Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) leaders – and Davis only took over in the fall of 2017.

Davis is a worker. He will make connections with powerbrokers behind the scenes. He will visit far-flung places. He will raise money for his party. He will defend its legacy no matter what the charge.

A Davis weakness, though, is his media engagement strategy. Since being leader of the opposition Davis has probably set a record for the most statements and interviews by someone holding the office.

If an issue occurs today, he has something to say. If the media ask him a question minutes after an incident, he has an answer.

In a democracy political leaders should be available to the press. But in doing so these leaders should reflect on what they are saying and why.

Insisting that the government owes the Bahamian people a full explanation over the latest saga at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), which has been plagued by three fires since Friday, Davis said the Minnis administration should consider private management of the power company once again.

Davis said notwithstanding criticisms of PowerSecure, which the Minnis administration mutually severed ties with shortly after assuming office, the company had a plan and headway was made toward more affordable and reliable power.

“They ought not to have fired PowerSecure,” he said. “They ought to have to continued on that. If they needed to tweak it, they could have and should have.”

The Christie administration hired PowerSecure to run the state electricity supplier. Under PowerSecure the agency was broke, electricity was expensive, they couldn’t keep the power on in peak demand season and PowerSecure’s executives were well paid. Nothing changed from the status quo.

The Bahamian people experienced the same bad times under PowerSecure as they did under the various administrations leading the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) or its successor, BPL.

Davis tries hard. He wants to be prime minister, badly. He wants to make headlines in the newspapers. He wants the public to see him being active.

What’s wrong with his BEC/BPL strategy is he went too far and made no sense. It’s reasonable to criticize the government for what is happening at BPL. It’s ridiculous to call for PowerSecure to return.

If advisors put that in Davis’ head he should fire them. If he thought of that on his own he should consult the advisors before speaking.

BPL needs new generation equipment. BPL needs competent management, staff and operating procedures. It does not need PowerSecure.

Davis is overexposed. He talks too much. He should limit his interventions to the most serious policy matters, after careful reflection.

Being in the newspapers every day won’t make you prime minister. You have to convince the people that you have a better agenda than the other fellow.

Calling for failed policies of the past PLP administration suggests that Davis is no better than the rejected Perry Christie.

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