I’d like to start this editorial by publicly thanking my hard working staff. Last issue (September 1) I was off-island during the time we typically assemble this newspaper. They were able to pick up my slack and put out a product I can be proud of and I hope you readers enjoyed.
That being said, there’s something about getting off the grid and away from home that refreshes your perspective on things. And I went way off the grid – to Argentina. Though I had an amazing time with my family, I was happy to get home. At the end of the day I love my country and I love Abaco.
Everywhere has problems. Some problems seem like they SHOULD be easy to solve – some not so much. In Abaco, and in our country, we have these same set of problems.
Problems that SEEM easy to solve:
Problem – Corruption and wastage in government projects.
Solution – Freedom of Information Legislation and enacting more transparent processes.
Problem – Overdevelopment.
Solution – Consult locals and set aside protected areas. (Yes, that is praise for the government’s recent actions regarding Abaco’s four new parks.)
Problem – Crime.
Solution – Give law enforcement the tools they need (don’t CUT their budget like the government did); Ease congestion in the justice system (did you know our magistrates have no stenographer and must record trial notes themselves?); and invest in our corrections system (build or allocate more space, enact programs to reduce recidivism, etc.)
But how do we get to these actionable solutions? We must hold the government responsible. We must stop allowing them to walk over us. We need to let them know that we are not idiots and, in fact, may know what is best for us.
This isn’t isolated to Abaco. All Bahamians need to have this perspective. We need to stop relying on politicians for favours and handouts because five years is a long time to waste between bursts of progress. We need to look out for each other as opposed to “getting what’s mine,” this means not voting for politicians simply because they staple sixty bucks to the inside of party shirts.
A friend put it to me an interesting way the other day. If someone breaks into your house and robs you of $1,000 and returns five years later to give you $100 would you be cool with that?
So when the government robs you (e.g. hiring cronies for projects without even going to bid, taxes going into black holes and slush funds, rising BEC bills due to ineptitude) why do why the people grovel to them come election time?
These are easy problems to solve. We just need to change our perspective.