As we hit the middle of August and the end of the traditional tourist season we can reflect on the last handful of months. Coming off the giddy highs of election fever, Abaco focused inward again first to vote for their local government then to grapple with ongoing problems of …
A purely hypothetical, and simplified, example: “Mr. Christie, how do you answer for millions missing, or unaccounted for, from the Public Treasury?” Response: “What about these examples of the Ingraham administration’s misspending?”
The needs of Abaco twenty years ago are not our needs today. If Abaco is to continue matching Grand Bahama as the nation’s “Second City” then we need a police force to match. One that is sophisticated and equipped. One that is able to actually respond to crimes in real time. One that can at least afford to keep fuel in their vehicles. Neither of which are a possibility today.
When Parliamentarians are not wasting their time making fun of each other and squabbling over matters of pride, they are making empty promises. Crime remains a huge problem but we’ve heard the same strategies and procedures for the past five years and, in fact, the five years before that. Whoever is in charge seems to think if they simply speak something it will get done, magically, without any follow up. At least this is what I assume from watching our leaders address the same problems year after year with apparent obliviousness to the fact that they said the exact same thing eighteen months prior.
Certain Ministers feel they can contain, discourage and distort the proceedings of the Black Friday March and the zeitgeist surrounding it. They’re calling shots from old and tired playbooks. They’re running lateral passes when the Bahamian people have moved to the spread offense. (Sorry for the football metaphor.)
I write this a couple hours before the United States’ Presidential Debate. Many of my American friends have asked me, often in a fashion of disbelief, “How do our politics this year look to an outsider?” I laugh and say it’s like theater. A bad performance.
We need to start fixing things ourselves.
While I, and many other Bahamians, mourn the results of the Referendum we must now turn to our attention to problems that can be fixed.
Millions go missing from various government departments and instead of our leaders tackling the issue we get political blame games. We should be more upset about this – instead we continue to feed into it. You and I have been robbed and swindled to the tune of tens of millions by the Road Traffic Department alone – yet our conversations with our neighbors get sidetracked into political blame games as well. We are just as guilty.
We have female politicians, business leaders, and most of Abaco’s Department Heads are women. We’ve had a female Deputy Prime Minister and our Governor General is a woman. We recognize our Head of State, the Queen, who is a woman. The Bahamas is Top 10 in the entire world for proportion of women in management positions (44.4%).