I want to take a break from writing about politics. About party lines. About failures and systemic incompetence. But we have another week and another trip down that rabbit hole.
The government continues to push its National Health Insurance scheme even as the doctors who would be responsible for patients and on the front lines continue to lose faith in the half-baked push to insure Bahamians. The government cannot open a new clinic after five years left rotting, unopened on S.C. Bootle Highway, let alone pay for all of this country’s infirm. ESPECIALLY not in a timely manner and PARTICULARLY not when the private doctors do not buy in to the scheme.
Princess Margaret Hospital (our country’s premier public health facility) is no shining beacon of efficiency. In fact, it is a lighthouse of despair. Bahamians break their bank to pay for private insurance so they can avoid those murky halls. Clearly our public health system is in trouble. In a transparent society I have no problem having the better-off make up the difference – but not when any additional taxes raised go into a black hole.
There are no winners in the NHI proposal. Just immediate losers and those who lose a little later.
Crime continues to plague the Capitol. I do not like to be alarmist. In fact I will clarify that most murders, in my understanding, are disputes between those who have committed to that lifestyle. But the recent weekend killing sprees, the school stabbings and unabated petty theft in Nassau are very real. It is trending upwards.
All the while the government pats itself back and says what a good job it is doing. Congratulations.
Politicians continue to wear on the people’s good graces with petty power struggles, promises from yesteryear and blatant falsehoods. When it is more important to show that your party is “unified” as opposed to showing what your party has done for the people we have a problem.
A big national question has been “Where has the VAT money gone.” And I understand the answer to that question is certainly nuanced and requires more focus, subtlety and discernment than the governing party currently deserves. But do not come at us with flagrant propaganda as you have this past week with well-designed social media posts declaring “VAT Funds and Pays For X & Y Department.” Yes, I know VAT, in part, replaced some duty (certainly not all or, even, most) but VAT was clearly sold to the Bahamian people as a way to correct the country’s ballooning debt. We are not a superpower who can negotiate better trade deals – we live and die on our credit rating to borrow money, keep the lights on and pay our enormous public service department. Do NOT act smug and brush aside our questions. It is repulsive the amount of disregard the administration has built up for the people of this country. At least… in this writer’s opinion.
We live in a smog of lies, nonsense and half-truths. The smog confuses and chokes us. Sets us against each other. Would it not be nice to live in a Bahamas where truth and sanity ring so true and clear that it cuts through the smog despite how much Parliament pumps out?
No political party will give us this version of The Bahamas. We have to demand it. Pursue it. Shape it in our own homes and communities. It won’t be given. But that is not to say we should surrender our most powerful tool. Our vote – our voice. The election will soon be called. I urge you to register and vote your conscience. Have no shame when your children ask you how YOU shaped this country.
Did you cut through the fog? Or add to it…