Thursday, Aug 22, 2019
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Election talk premature

The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) must be given credit for trying. The party only won four seats in the last election, but it is putting forward its best effort to keep in the mind’s eye of the electorate.

The party releases statements virtually every day. When there is lots of news, they have something to say. When there is no news, they still have lots to say.

In some respects the PLP has stayed in election mode despite losing so badly last time.

During a joint branch meeting for Pineridge and Marco City in Grand Bahama yesterday, party Deputy Leader Chester Cooper rallied the PLP’s troops with election talk.

“I came to Grand Bahama last year and I explained to you that the future of the PLP starts now,” he said.

“And I’m telling you tonight, the road to 2022 starts now, if you just getting in gear.

“I’ve been on it from May 2017, just like I told you tonight.

“If we want to win the next election, we have to stay in fighting shape.”

The Minnis administration has not even completed two years in office. The next general election will likely be in 2022. In The Bahamas we do not have a history of early elections.

No one needs to get ready for an election yet. The government needs to govern. The opposition should oppose constructively.

The PLP’s posture since losing in May 2017 is similar to when it lost in August 1992. Still led by an unpopular Sir Lynden Pindling, the PLP could not accept its fate after governing The Bahamas for 25 consecutive years. It viewed the Free National Movement (FNM) victory as a speed bump. It called the new governing party the interim government. It did not think the new prime minister, Hubert Ingraham, and his administration were sophisticated enough to lead the country.

The PLP lost the 1997 election worse than it did in 1992.

The country is doing much better under FNM rule than it would have under another term of Perry Christie and his PLP. That’s a fact.

In opposition the PLP now has an opportunity to try to change. Misuse of public funds, scandal and disorganization were the order of the day under Christie and his old guard PLP.

Young PLPs who want a different way for their party must demonstrate to the country that they do not stand with the excesses of the PLP’s past. The Pindling drug era was a disgrace. Christie’s incompetence was a disgrace.

While there is time before election season begins, the people want to see revival in the PLP. Thus far, it seems like the same old party just wanting to return to resume what happened under Christie.

Bahamians don’t want to go back. If it’s the same old PLP at election day 2022, the party would likely face the same reaction it got in 1997 when the people said no a second consecutive time.

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