A leader and a government this country needs

Dear Editor,

Thousands of Bahamians are fed up over our political leaders; both Free National Movement (FNM) and Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). This anger derives equally, in my opinion, from both of their governmental ineptitude, arrogance and self-serving politicians who are more concerned about being re-elected than the nation’s future.

The time is winding down for our next election, when the Bahamian people will either re-elect this prime minister or choose another. No one is fully sure the route the Bahamian electorate will take, but I am sure whomever the next leader is, they will face greater challenges than those before.

I’ve always said that we have prime ministers who only think term and not future! And I’ve always proven this to be evident with our leaders. We need a leader who has long-term thinking, who’s not afraid of sharing power, making compromises or building relationships even if it’s with the opposing party.

This novel coronavirus pandemic has left us paralyzed. If we are going to rebuild this economy, leaders have to work together more than ever.

Yes, there will be opposing views, but it’s very important to not just oppose going forward, but to provide solutions.

As a teacher, I often tell students, “You don’t need a prefect badge or have to have a leader title to provide solutions or help create change. Make it your personal duty to be the change.” And that’s where leaders must see themselves.

We need a leader and a government that speaks truth to the Bahamian people, and not their truth because oftentimes, like now, this government speaks but is detached from the reality and voice of the Bahamian people. We’ve seen a party demagogically use divisive rhetoric and make many grandiose promises, but have those in government truly fulfilled all they’ve campaigned and lobbied on?

No party and no politician is perfect. We all are aware of that, but too often we see promises made that eventually walk out the door. If we never thought that we had major problems before, we have even bigger ones now. The next prime minister must be honest with the people about his seriousness and complexity and how to tackle them effectively.

Where we are now as a people is, truthfully, divided. So, this means we need a leader who has the ability and fortitude to be a problem solver, and not to be elected on the basis of his own agenda, but the agenda that is making things work for all Bahamians despite party affiliation, color or background.

Many have seen the cynicism over the year with our political leaders and many are pessimistic about the direction of this country. It is very important that our next leader work tirelessly to seek and identify the real problems we are faced with, and find logical and practical solutions to fix them.

Yes, the leader will have his government, but the next leader we need is one who understands the importance of bipartisanship.

We need now more than ever a champion who will unify our nation to overcome these challenges we face together; one who’s going to remind the Bahamian people that forward, upward, onward, together is still our creed; one who’s going to see that our nation reaches its true potential on the global map; and one who’s not afraid to embrace evolution but who will place the country ahead of personal and political self-interest.

Dr. Matheo Smith

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