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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

THE POLITICAL DIVIDE


Now that our general elections are a few days off, I like many Bahamians has chosen a party that I feel will run the country. The party I’ve chosen I feel is the party to run this country and the odd thing is that others don’t share my vision. Friends, family and co-workers alike all have their various reasons why they do/don’t support my choice. I find that as time goes on you will find persons that support your feelings on your party of choice welcome you with open arms. You will get warm and fuzzy greetings, persons will let you out of the corner because of the flags you have on your car. I find that I support the FNM because I feel that they want a Bahamas for Bahamians and the PLP doesn’t. I feel that they are only out for themselves and can’t seem to get their act together. But the odd thing for me is that I’ve noticed that the persons that support the PLP are mostly uneducated and live in what we deem poverty. The FNM is made for persons like me, persons that sought college education and fully understands a few things about how this country should be ran. I would be a fool to say that the present government hasn’t done anything for this country; but in the same vain they have more bad than good attached to their reputation. Hence I can’t in all good conscience support them. No matter how it’s sliced and diced, if I look at the persons nominated I still can’t support the PLP for they give us the same persons that didn’t do anything for their respective areas. Hence we have persons that can’t see this and thus they get all violent and cause serious problems for our country during this election period. This country has persons that takes this very serious, too serious in fact and can’t seem to respect someone else’s choice that isn’t their own. Hence we had the defacing of the campaign poster of Neko Grant, the FNM candidate for the Lucaya constituency in Grand Bahama, a fire that caused extensive damage to the campaign office of FNM Mount Moriah candidate Tommy Turnquest and the PLP’S office had a bullet hole in the window. These occurrences have the potential to result in the kind of election violence that is foreign to the conduct of elections in The Bahamas. This is indeed a frightening thought, given the fact that the increasing number of illegal guns on the streets of The Bahamas has been a growing concern for the Royal Bahamas Police Force in recent years. Violence of this nature certainly would be out of character for Bahamians, but it only takes a couple of political fanatics with demented minds to start a series of tit-for-tat actions that could escalate into serious violence. The damage that this would do to our tourism industry is limitless. It would, therefore, force our political leaders to make it perfectly clear to their respective party supporters that they do not condone vandalism of any kind during the campaign. The onus is on candidates on both sides of the political divide to discourage their supporters from becoming overzealous during this election campaign to the extent that they engage in acts that could trigger reprisals from one side or the other. And those who are inclined to utter provocative remarks that could be interpreted by their supporters as an invitation to resort to vandalism should guard their tongues and think about the ultimate consequences of their irresponsible statements. Whatever it takes, therefore, the political leaders in this country must do everything in their power to prevent the coming general election from being marred by serious violence similar to what is common in Jamaica.

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