On March 17 leaders of the Democratic National Alliance visited Abaco seeking to bolster their candidates campaign while meeting and hearing from local Abaconians.
Party leader Branville McCartney, along with deputy leader Christopher Mortimer and other DNA party officials visited Sandy Point, Marsh Harbour, Man-O-War and Hope Town during their weekend visit with their candidates, Central and South Abaco’s Ruth Flowers and North Abaco’s Claire Basden.
Mr. McCartney said that he wants people to see that the “huge difference between the other parties and the DNA is that we are going to give good governance, something we haven’t had for the last five years.”
He said that good governance speaks to accountability and transparency, checks and balances on the government itself, and what is good for the Bahamian people as a whole and not just for a select few.
“Our greatest resource is our people, and we should be investing in and building people; when you build up the people they build a better country and that has not been seen for many administrations,” he said.
Mr. McCartney noted that “over the last 25 years we have had 15 years of the FNM and 10 years of the PLP and what do we have to show for it?”
“We have a bankrupt economy; we have an economy that has placed a financial burden on generations to come; we have a crime ridden country, particularly Nassau; we continue to have a D-average as the education system has not improved; healthcare is not up to par; we’re still a third world country; and yes, we don’t know where our VAT money gone!”
He said that “If the people decide to bring back the FNM or keep the PLP the status quo will remain, and nothing will change.”
He added that “when government tells you what they can or cannot do, believe them. I believe what the PLP has said and done (or not said and done) over the last five years and I know what the FNM has done and not done in the past and I believe them.”
Mrs. Flowers commented that it is very important to have the leader and deputy leader visit “because it gives them an opportunity to meet and liaise with persons who may have doubts about what they want to do in the upcoming election.”
She said that there are many undecided voters, and a lot of persons who want to see change in the country. “They are tired of the status quo,” she said.
“A lot of people we spoke with seem intimidated by the other parties and are being made to feel as if the DNA is not carrying any weight,” she added. “So our leader coming here this weekend will help us answer a lot of questions people may have – Claire and I can say what the DNA is expected to do, but persons like to hear from the leader.”
Mrs. Flowers stated that “This will be the beginning of the change for the DNA in Abaco because now people know something is really going on and I believe it will make a difference here.”
Ms. Basden said that she is “excited to have both leaders and the executive team here; it shows unity and strength because we are only as strong as the shoulders we stand on.”
She said that “the bottom line is Abaco is ready for change and the DNA is the only clear cut change they will see. We have flip flopped between the FNM (Free National Movement) and PLP (Progressive Liberal Party) and everyone is tired – they are quiet about it, but they are tired.”
Mr. Mortimer said that the DNA is “made up of phenomenal people and is truly the next generation. You see it in the make-up of our candidates. We have the most women, and women taking their rightful place in the governance of this country.”
He said that the party expects to have 13 female candidates by the time they are finished ratifying all candidates.
“We want to be sure people understand what’s at stake,” he said. “We are doing this for the next generation. We are doing it because we realize if we don’t fix the problems our country has we won’t have a country left.”
He said that it takes “bold people of vision to stand in the gap for their country, and to do it with concrete ideas that can change the country.”
“We are not selling pie in the sky dreams and we aren’t trying to buy your votes, because saving this country for your children should be the only thing you need to become involved,” Mr. Mortimer said. “The time has come for real change.”