Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis is trying to increase the size of his flock. He spoke at an event in Freeport on Saturday. The PLP leader told the crowd it is time for former PLPs to return to the party, and claimed that some Free National Movement (FNM) MPs who were once PLPs “want to come back home”.
“I have some PLPs who are MPs as FNMs now. Now they want to come back home. So, let me say all is forgiven. We are not here to hold any grudge for what you may have done,” he said.
“Just come home where you are. You will be surprised, just like the prodigal son, the fattest cow will be killed for you, and we will have a feast.”
The PLP only has four elected members in the House of Assembly after a disastrous May 10, 2017 general election. The FNM won the election by 20 points.
A group of four has since broken off, however. Vaughn Miller and Travis Robinson were fired from their posts as parliamentary secretaries by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis after they voted against the value-added tax (VAT) increase in the last budget. Frederick McAlpine was fired for the same reason from the post of chairman of the Hotel Corporation of The Bahamas. Reece Chipman was previously fired as chairman of the Antiquities Monuments and Museums Corporation.
The group has spoken like a bloc of the opposition for months. They most recently were against the resolution in the House for the government to lease Town Centre Mall to serve as a new post office. Brent Symonette and his brother own the mall.
Despite efforts by the FNM to bring them back on side, the quartet stands opposed to the prime minister and appears to be working to ensure he is not reelected. McAlpine was even standing with the anti-government protesters at the most recent march to Parliament Square.
Davis would be unwise to welcome these MPs to his side. They have shown disloyalty to the party that gave them the opportunity to serve in the House. They won their seats because they were on the FNM’s ticket. None would have been elected as an independent.
The four have put ego above party. They like media attention. They like being contrarians. They are not team players.
Davis is a disciplined leader who prefers an orderly ship. The PLP does not need the distraction they would bring. Just as they work to undermine Minnis, their leader, if they were to join the PLP, they’d do the same to Davis.
aThe FNM took a major hit to its popularity with the VAT increase. Ever since it has been dealing with a hostile electorate. Voters seem locked into a cycle of rage, fueled by social media exaggerations and distortions.
The FNM rebels help the PLP the most by remaining FNMs and tearing at the party from within. The PLP’s only path to victory in 2022 is FNM self-destruction. Few trust the PLP after what it did last time in office. It can get back in through the people’s anger with the prime minister and his party.
Davis and the rebel FNMs have the same objective: Minnis’ defeat. The PLP leader should let them do their work from afar.