While we all take the time to enjoy Christmas this year and enjoy the comfort of home and family we remember the year so rapidly closing behind us. It’s the point of the year that even the most present minded not only reflect, but also wonder about the nature of our personal and national future.
The last few months have left a bad taste in our mouths. The current administration surprised the already disillusioned population with its sluggish and subpar response to Hurricane Joaquin. We are told NHI is coming at the start of 2016, and no one even has the decency to lie to us about the details or make false promises, they’ve resorted to just telling us not to worry about it. Bahamar is limping along, and Mr. Christie seems to be keeping it alive only through sheer willpower at this point. No one can tell us where VAT is going.
Next year has a lot of make or break. Mr. Christie and his cabinet need Bahamar and NHI, no doubt he sees them as his legacy points. Christie-fatigue is real and spreading in The Bahamas and in the party. He needs a tangible, definitive victory. He’s started many new battles but finished few. If the Bahamar situation doesn’t improve by the end of next year it could easily cost him the election, or worse, his position as party leader at convention in April.
Deputy PM Brave may have quieted his stance since Joaquin, but in him still lies a hopeful contender to possibly relieve the PLP of an aging and increasingly unpopular PM to offer the people. The Prime Minister wants another five years and he’ll bully, buy, or befriend whoever he needs to make that happen. His political resources are deep, even now, and it remains to be seen if Brave’s pool can be filled from the ebbing tide.
Minnis isn’t much better off. He’s been under varying levels of internal opposition since taking his position as party leader. Butler-Turner’s camp is vocal and mobilized, and wisely using FNM general dissatisfaction with Minnis’ lack of charisma and action. He wasn’t groomed for the massive set of shoes left behind by Ingraham. A fault not entirely his own, but it won’t stop his rivals from using it against him. There are many who just cannot or will not picture either Butler-Turner or Minnis leading an FNM government to victory and pray for Ingraham to step forward from the shadows.
Another Christie-Ingraham election would have a special sort of fire and vigor, but it would be the most disappointing possible outcome for our young democracy. We don’t believe or even trust ourselves to produce another capable leader, so we’ll keep just using our old ones.
The next year will be a turbulent year for us all, but one with genuine hope for deep and lasting changes.