The political framework of The Bahamas is stubbornly rudimentary, to the extent that Bahamians with a low IQ can comprehend the basics of politics.
This has been the case since the iteration of the Bay Street Boys in the United Bahamian Party in the 1950s, when few Black Bahamians had a high school and tertiary education.
With the Free National Movement and the Progressive Liberal Party, candidates during the election season are rarely called upon by the overwhelming majority of the voting population to roll up their sleeves and articulate their party’s campaign platform and proposed policies. For the average candidates of the two main political organizations, campaigning, especially in the blackbelt communities, can hardly be described as a rough sledding process.
That’s because the average Bahamian, caught up in the euphoria of the rallies and the election season, typically leave their brains at the door of the convention center where a political event is being held.
Politicians know that the way to a typical Bahamian voter’s heart is through his stomach. That’s why free food, free drinks and free entertainment are provided at most political events for those in attendance.
To the politician, this is a tacit reciprocal process, which is aimed at persuading the electorate to vote a certain way, which is manipulative and condescending to the people he wants to vote for him.
This reciprocity reminds the writer of the shrewd strategy used by members of the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon and the Family International cult organization of David Berg.
Both cults are notorious for showering prospective recruits with love and attention, while they shrewdly avoid divulging what their groups actually teach.
While the average Bahamian is hardly on the radar of certain politicians, he is made to feel important during the campaign season.
I have witnessed with my own eyes drug addicts and riffraffs wearing political paraphernalia while in the company of prominent political henchmen in the lead up to elections – individuals they otherwise would’ve never had the opportunity to mingle with.
It is time that Bahamians wise up and demand that this archaic form of politics be abandoned, as it is an insult to our intelligence.
— Kevin Evans