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After general elections in The Bahamas there is always a back and forth over the issue of victimization. Some who were employed by the old regime accuse the new administration of firing them just because they politically supported their former bosses.
In The Bahamas there is not a clear enough distinction between the political appointees of an administration versus those who are employed by state agencies to do bureaucratic work, or to consult, on behalf of the state.
Political appointees are people hired by politicians to work for the state, but their duty is primarily to advance the interests of the politician or party who hired them while that person or group is in public office.
For political appointees, when the people who hired you lose office you should do the honorable thing and resign unprovoked by the new administration.
Just after the general election, former Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman and candidate Johnley Ferguson complained about how he was treated by the new Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration. He was a consultant in the ministry now led by Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government Alfred Gray. The ministry terminated Ferguson after the PLP won the election.
"Johnley is opposed to this government and its policies, so obviously I didn't think he should be surprised," Gray said when asked about Ferguson's complaint.
As a frontline politician, Ferguson should not think he should continue on in the post under the PLP. Similarly, if Gray was a consultant and the FNM won the general election he should know that he should resign.
It is disingenuous for political appointees to cry foul when they are removed because they will not resign. It may be useful for there to be a formal acknowledgement of these political posts so there is no dispute as to what should be done when regimes change.
For permanent and pensionable public servants, the issue is quite different. Once these individuals do their jobs politicians should not molest them. However, the issue of victimization becomes complicated regarding public servants who politicize themselves. These people openly let it be known that they support a side and advocate for this side while on the job. When a new administration comes into office it will obviously be mistrustful of these individuals - especially if they hold sensitive offices.
Some of these partisan public officials are consequently transferred or they are stripped of their portfolios and left with nothing to do, as the new administration does not trust them.
This is the consequence of self-politicization. If the government acted to strip responsibility from a public servant or to demote a public servant because of presumed political affiliation that would be victimization.
The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) announced its deputy leader on Wednesday night at the Wyndham Nassau Resort ballroom. Chris Mortimer won the post of deputy leader for the DNA, but in my view the real winner is the Bahamian people.
I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Mortimer on at least three occasions, and on each occasion, I became more and more impressed with his leadership style and his business acumen. He has no qualms about speaking on any issue and he has an 'arsenal' of plans to try to improve the Bahamian economy.
He is a man of purpose and this is evident by the way in which he runs Galleria Cinemas and his DNA campaign office, also known as The C.A. Mortimer Sr. Resource Center. Just before the boundaries commission, he was the candidate for the Sea Breeze constituency. He is now the DNA's candidate for Nassau Village.
When I visited his campaign headquarters, I was taken aback by the level of professionalism and organization being exuded by his staff members. They addressed everyone with respect and even though they were hosting a domino tournament, staff members maintained their professional poise. In my view, this was no accident.
His campaign headquarters has a modern kitchen, a waiting area, a full-size back yard, an entertainment room for children, offices and even a computer room where access is granted only to authorized persons. Persons who look for detail in business operations would be very impressed if they visited his campaign headquarters.
Mortimer and his team also use cutting edge technology in their campaign. I was very impressed with the Android devices that are used to track voters and keep a database record of their addresses, names and phone contacts. They can locate voter details at the touch of a button when campaigning on the road.
I asked him point blank several months ago about what type of contribution he plans to make to The Bahamas. He said that he is all about empowering Bahamians and that he will make no compromises with regards to the same.
I don't find Mortimer to be the most passionate public speaker, but my honest opinion of him is that he has the itch to serve. This is lacking in many of our candidates who just have the itch to get rich and talk foolishness.
If Mortimer's running of his campaign is any indication of what he intends to do if elected, then this can only serve as a blessing for The Bahamas. We need more men like him who will stay above the fray and bring focus and order to the many policies affecting our governance. Even if Mortimer is not elected, I think he has already built a model from which all other candidates can learn. I truly hope that he continues what he has started.
- Dehavilland Moss
Thursday 8th November 2012 7:00 AM
HVS Chicos Hotel Investment Conference DAY 1 - THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8th, 2012 and DAY 2 - FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9th, 2012 Click HERE to see info on Day 2 7:00 am - 9:00 pm - REGISTRATION Grand Ballroom D 8:00 am - 8:30 am - NETWORKING BREAKFAST Grand Ballroom D 8:30 am - 9:45 am - GLOBAL, REGIONAL, CARIBBEAN, AND ECONOMIC OVERVIEW Grand Ballroom D Global Trends Stephen Rushmore, Jr, Chief Executive Officer & President - HVS Global Hospitality Services Global & Regional Hotel Performance Carter Wilson, Director - STR Analytics Overview of Caribbean Lodging Market Parris Jordan, Managing Director, Caribbean - HVS Global Hospitality Services Overview of Global Economy Dr. Avery Shenfeld, Managing Director & Chief Economist – CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank 9:45 am - 10:45 am – GENERAL SESSION Grand Ballroom D VIEW FROM THE TOP: INVESTMENT IN THE REGION Join our panel of Investors, owners and operators in a discussion of the major issues impacting the industry in the region today. The region has been impacted significantly over the past five years but we are starting to see recovery in the top line at least. But is this enough to get the investment and lending communities excited about the region again? What hurdles do we still need to get over? Where do these experts see opportunities? These experts will discuss what has attracted them to the region historically, the obstacles that the industry has been dealing with and how they are overcoming the impediments to successful operations, investment and development. They will discuss whether the challenges in the Caribbean region are significantly different than in other parts of the world or whether the same issues are present and what can be learned from the experience elsewhere. Finally, they will discuss how the industry within the region may evolve over the next few years and where their focus is. Moderator: David Larone, Director – PKF Consulting Panelists: David Brillembourg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Brilla Group Kenneth Blatt, Principal – Caribbean Property Group Dave Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer – Aimbridge Hospitality Michael Shindler, Executive Vice President of Hotels & Casinos – Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos 10:45 am - 11:00 am - NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK - SPONSOR EXHIBITS Foyer 11:00 am -12:00 pm – GENERAL SESSION Grand Ballroom D CARIBBEAN GONE GLOBAL - INTERNATIONAL INVESTORS Where did they come from and what do they want? In this important discussion comprised of experienced international investors representing various regions in the world, panelists will explain how perspective on the Caribbean has recently changed and appetite for Caribbean investment opportunity has consequently gone global. This discussion will examine how a variety of foreign family offices, institutions, lenders and emerging hotel brands have taken to the sand looking for opportunity to extend their reach into the recovering Caribbean region. Learn what they want and how they want it. Moderator: Bernard van der Lande, Managing Director and Senior Vice President – Hodges Ward Elliott Hotels Panelists: Pierre Charalambides, Founding Partner – Dolphin Capital Greg Rice, President and Founder – Solid Rock Advisors Jay Rosen, Vice President of Business Development – Davidson Hotels & Resorts Fausto Barba, Vice President of Finance and Development – Capella Hotel Group John Keith, Managing Partner – Caribe Hospitality 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 1 A Grand Ballroom E DESTINATION MARKETING IN THE CARIBBEAN Join this prestigious panel of marketing and public relations professionals and reporters who will share insights and make recommendations for effective marketing techniques. This panel is geared toward the hotel operator and owner as well as anyone with an interest in tourism promotion for the Caribbean. Moderator: Leora Lanz, Managing Director - HVS Sales & Marketing Services Panelists: Gay Myers, Senior Editor, Mexico & Caribbean - Travel Weekly Laura Davidson, President and Founder - Laura Davidson Public Relations Gary Leopold, President and Chief Executive Officer - ISM Travel & Lifestyle Marketing Ed Watkins, Editor-in-Chief - Lodging Hospitality Simón B. Suárez, Chief Development Representative, Caribbean and Central America – Hilton Worldwide 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 1 B Grand Ballroom F FINANCING A DEAL IN DIFFICULT TIMES The level of difficulty to finance hotel projects varies by region, project type and the sponsor’s track record. While construction financing remains difficult to obtain, funding for acquisitions appears to be loosening. Our panelists will discuss what pieces of the puzzle are needed to possibly make getting financing easier, the types of projects qualifying for debt, the current trends in financing terms and what the future holds on the financing front. Moderator: Jeff Higley, Vice President - STR Global Panelists: Lance Shaner, Chairman - Shaner Group Steve Carvell, Associate Dean - Cornell University, School Of Hotel Administration Peter Weiss, Director - Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Neil Bane, Senior Managing Director and Principal - Johnson Capital Sagar Desai, Director of Acquisitions & Development - Viceroy Hotel Group 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm - NETWORKING LUNCH Crowne Ballroom A Presentations from Task Force Leaders Announcement of 2013 CHICOS location from the host hotel and local Tourism Official. 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm - GENERAL SESSION Grand Ballroom D THE STATE OF THE GLOBAL GAMING SECTOR: PUTTING THE CARIBBEAN INTO CONTEXT What does the future hold for casino-style gaming in the Caribbean? In the broader “neighborhood” of Central and South America? How do these opportunities compare to those available in other gaming jurisdictions around the world? This panel will explore these questions and others, from the perspective of selected leaders with relevant experience operating and investing in casino-resort projects around the world – from Las Vegas to Asia to the Caribbean. Hear about how different regulatory regimes, infrastructure demands, capital structure difficulties, project returns and other key elements impact investment and operating decisions around the gaming world from a seasoned group of industry experts. Moderator: Adam Rosenberg, Managing Director, Global Head of Gaming – Goldman Sachs Panelists: Andrea Balkan, Managing Partner – Brookfield Real Estate Nicholas Hecker, Principal – Och-Ziff Real Estate Uri Clinton, General Counsel – Baha Mar Resorts 2:50 pm - 3:50 pm - GENERAL SESSION Grand Ballroom D CUBA VS. COLUMBIA INVESTMENT CLIMATES Who will be the next success story? While Cuba has been posted on the radar for so many years in anticipation of its long-awaited opening to foreign investment, Columbia is experiencing a genuine investment renaissance that has taken everyone by storm. Listen to this panel of savvy, market-specific investors debate the merits of each respective destination, focusing on the effects of transparency, rule of law, freedom of the capital markets, and graduation from age-old stereotypes as these Caribbean cousins compete for regional and international hotel investment. Moderator: Chad Meyerson, Director Global Sales – JetBlue Panelists: Jeremy Tang, Managing Director – Hemingway Capital Adam Cohen, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer – Brilla Group Michael Register, Vice President of Development & Partner – Trust Hospitality Tim Ashby, Chief Executive Officer – Federal Regulatory Compliance Services, LLC 3:50 pm - 4:10 pm - NETWORKING COFFEE BREAK - SPONSOR EXHIBITS Foyer 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 2 A Grand Ballroom E INNOVATE FOR INVESTMENT SUCCESS - OVERCOMING INVESTMENT CHALLENGES With the economy slowly turning around and foreign investors showing renewed interest in hospitality transactions, it is vital that new development projects are delivered successfully – which will in turn stimulate additional investment into the region. This panel discussion is intended to focus on critical implementation activities that are unique to the Caribbean region – and how governments, investors, and development teams can collaborate to conceive and deliver viable hospitality investments. The discussion is intended to be very practical – providing “real-world” guidance for developers based on the panelists’ extensive experience in development in the region (representing the views of Government, private developers, investors, and operators). Moderator: Kevin Goldstein, Director of Sustainability Services – HVS Global Hospitality Services Panelists: Patrick McCudden, Senior Vice President of Real Estate & Development – Hyatt International Patrick Freeman, Vice President, Real Estate and Development – Cisneros Group of Companies Mark Durliat, Chief Executive Officer and Principal – Grace Bay Resorts Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, Principal – Bedford Baker Group Amy Ironmonger, Associate – K&L Gates, LLP 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 2 B Grand Ballroom F HOSPITALITY-DRIVEN MIXED USE RESORTS - PERSPECTIVES ON VARIOUS COMPONENTS A lively discussion of the hospitality driven mixed use model with an emphasis on several real estate components typically present within the model. The discussion will focus on these components from the perspective of physical facilities and issues, operating models, and ways to optimize cash flow and value. Moderator: John Lancet, Managing Director, Miami – HVS Global Hospitality Services Panelists: Neil Kolton, Director of Sales - Interval International Jonathan Nehmer, Principal - JN+A Design Alinio Azevedo, Director of Development - Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Nelson Parker, Head of Development, Americas - Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos German Rojas III Castillo, Senior Manager, Business Development - RCI 5:10 pm - 6:00 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 3 A Grand Ballroom E OPERATIONS: MASTERING THE REBOUND In this highly interactive session we are looking at how operators and other stakeholders are maximizing gains as the Caribbean soars into recovery. Learn from industry experts their secrets to promoting destinations, leveraging opportunity, raising rates and keeping expenses in check. Moderator: Glenn Haussman, Managing Editor – Hotel Interactive Panelists: Nikheel Advani, Chief Operating Officer and Principal – Grace Bay Resorts Paul Burke, Chief Operating Officer – Kerzner International Honorable Haydn Hughes, Parliamentary Secretary of Tourism - Government of Anguilla Louis Alicea, Director of Development, Caribbean and Latin America – Wyndham Hotel Group Alejandro Acevedo, Vice President, Caribbean and Latin America – Marriott International 5:10 pm - 6:00 pm – BREAKOUT SESSION 3 B Grand Ballroom F OPPORTUNITIES, OPPORTUNITIES, OPPORTUNITIES Following four long years with stormy clouds due to the impact of the global economic recession, the silver lining is finally beginning to bring to the forefront some opportunities for investors with access to capital. Banks are emerging from the world of “pretend and extend” and are bringing some challenged properties to market; developers are taking a renewed look at stalled new builds; investors are getting tired of sitting on the sidelines and are looking actively for opportunities to reposition for the improving economy; and the existing hotels are exhibiting positive gains in RevPAR throughout the Caribbean. We look forward to discussing what form these opportunities take and some strategies to assist in bringing them to fruition. Investors, bring your wallets! Moderator: Cristina Lanao-Rossel, President - The BDC Group Panelists: Timothy Peck, Chairman – OBM International Roland Mouly, VP of Development, Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America, Americas – Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Edgar Garin, Director of Franchise Development, Central & South America – La Quinta Inns & Suites Juan Morera, Deputy Director of Corporate Development – Grupo Posadas Fernando Fernandez, VP of Development, Americas – Sol Melia International Hotels 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm – COCKTAIL RECEPTION Cafe at The Great Hall of Waters - Royal Towers Lobby Click HERE to view there website
"We need real campaign finance reform to loosen the grip of special interests on politics." - Tom Daschle
Every five years around election time, incessant lip service is paid to campaign financing. It can only be lip service because after the ballots have been cast, counted and catalogued, the notion of campaign finance reform retires to hibernation - that is, until the next general election. Therefore, this week, we would like to Consider This...what practical approaches can we realistically take regarding how we finance political campaigns in The Bahamas?
Unquestionably, politics has become an extremely expensive exercise. When one considers the cost of political rallies, paraphernalia, including T-shirts and other garments now available, flags, posters, signage, printing of flyers, advertisements, including newspaper, radio and television broadcasts and commercials, the cost is staggering. Let's not forget the direct cost of personnel employed by political parties; the cost of constituency offices, sometimes four or five, particularly in the Family Islands; the cost of electricity, water, and telephones; the cost of food and beverages; of political consultants; and the printing of party platforms. When these and other costs are considered, the real cost of staging a general election could very easily cost $250,000 per constituency or nearly $10 million per party. So how are political parties expected to finance such a mammoth undertaking?
Using the public purse
It has become commonplace for the government of the day to use the power of the public purse to significantly finance its party's political campaign. We observed this practice when the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) was in power; we witnessed it in the by-election in Elizabeth two years ago; and we are seeing it again in the current general election. While this has been a common practice, the Free National Movement (FNM) government seems to have taken this phenomenon to new heights.
Shortly after announcing the general election of 2012, the government launched a record contract signing marathon. The $12 million contract for the construction of a new clinic in North Abaco and a multimillion-dollar contract for a new hospital in Exuma are a few examples of this.
Last weekend, amidst great public fanfare at police headquarters, the prime minister awarded $1 million to charitable organizations. Ironically, this is the same government that - only one year earlier - reduced the government's subvention to such organizations during the annual budget debate in the House of Assembly. This is the same government that discontinued the extremely effective YEAST program that provided a positive prototype for young Bahamian men at risk and the same government that canceled the effective and internationally celebrated urban renewal program established by the PLP.
No matter which party is in power, an intelligent and discerning public should look askance at the government of the day exploiting and abusing the public purse in order to win votes after elections have been called.
In The Bahamas, political campaigns are predominantly financed by contributions from persons, companies, and organizations that believe in the democratic process and want to ensure that the message of the political party that they support is widely and successfully disseminated.
In the absence of campaign finance laws, there are no restrictions on who can contribute to a political party and how much they can donate. Accordingly, anyone -- Bahamians and foreigners - can contribute any amount to anyone at any time without any accountability whatsoever. The real question that we must address for the future health of our democracy is whether this is a desirable practice?
It has become customary for political contributions to be made in private, sometimes on the condition of confidentiality and often in secrecy with only a select few members of the party knowledgeable regarding the source of the funds.
Campaign 2012 has seen a new development in political funding. During the last few mass rallies, the prime minister has publicly appealed from the podium for campaign contributions, describing it as a further deepening of our democracy by allowing the public to become investors in his party. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it is unprecedented and uncharacteristic. We have never before seen this prime minister - or any other for that matter - beg for money from a public podium.
It therefore begs the question: why has he done so now, during what he says is his last campaign? He alluded to the answer to this question on Thursday past at a mass rally on R. M. Bailey Park when he said that he will not tolerate anyone in his Cabinet who has financially benefited from conflicts of interest.
We believe that he made this appeal for financial contributions because, while the FNM is still well-funded by those wealthy interest groups who support him in order to continue reaping his government's largess, some of his traditional sources of funding are less generous than they have been in the past. This is possibly because he has cut some of his more financially well-connected candidates for reasons already stated and reiterated again from that podium last Thursday in a purposefully vague but very revealing way.
Campaign finance reform
Clearly, as the prime minister is opening party funding up to the masses in ways never seen before, the time has come to enact campaign financing legislation. There are several things that can be done in order to impose strict controls for campaign fund-raising, primarily to level the playing field and to minimize disparate levels of funding campaigns by the various political parties. Campaign financing legislation should also establish disclosure requirements with respect to funding and spending in elections.
Such a law could introduce statutory limits on contributions by individuals, organizations and companies, which would remove the influence of big money from politics and should also prohibit foreign influences from invading the local political process.
There should also be limits on large potential donors to prevent them from gaining extraordinary political access or favorable legislation or other concessions in return for their contributions. Campaign finance laws should also provide for the capping of such funding and for the disclosure of sources of campaign contributions and expenditures. It should also limit or prohibit government contractors from making contributions with respect to such elections.
Campaign financing legislation could even provide for matching funds by the government for all the candidates in order to ensure that the playing field truly is level and to enhance clean elections.
Finally, in order to more vigilantly protect the public purse, the law should strictly prohibit a government from signing any new contracts after general or by-elections are called.
Campaigns will become more expensive as time progresses. As we mature politically, we should seek to ensure that political parties operate on a level playing field and remove the barriers to participation in the democratic process because of a lack of funding. If we want to encourage the best and the brightest citizens to enter into the elective political arena, we should seek to eliminate the observation of U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton that: "Elections are more often bought than won".
Philip C. Galanis is the managing partner of HLB Galanis & Co., Chartered Accountants, Forensic & Litigation Support Services. He served 15 years in Parliament. Please send your comments to email@example.com.
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Staff Reporter
WHILE several lawyers attached to the Attorney General's Office called in sick yesterday, it remains unclear if this was connected to the mould problem that persists in the Post Office building.
Sources close to the matter claimed that as many as 17 lawyers failed to turn up. Attorney General John Delaney could not verify that number but admitted that "several" persons had called in sick.
Mr Delaney said that he also could not confirm whether their reported illnesses were in any way related to the mould issue that persists in the 40-year-old Post Office building which also contains offices of the Ministry of Labou ...
I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in authority: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. - 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Every now and then, I watch "Storage Wars", which is all about the auctioning of storage spaces that went into default because of non-payment by those who rented them, and as you can imagine, anything can be inside from junk to treasure. In many cases if there is a sixth sense that a certain storage bin has valuables in it, the bidding can become quite tense and competitive. Mostly men, but women do also enter the bidding process.
After the coming of the Ingraham government, many radio licenses were granted to individuals in the media world. This was a plus as it gave listeners a broader choice of programming.
While this was good however, many saw it as a chance to, no matter how raw and tasteless, get things off their chests about national leadership one way or the other. They also were not slow in putting the licking stick on those who were supposed to be about their father's business. And so sometimes it would seem that it is a media war on who could be the best one to rain blows on leadership.
In speaking to a friend recently about all the talk shows and questions being put to listeners, the performance of those who serve in Parliament, I told her that the duty of talk shows is not to incite but to inform. Of course, the easiest task to perform is criticize.
The word of God sets the guidelines for successful living and we are admonished to forego our political affiliation when it comes to giving honor to those who are in authority over us. We are not to malign their characters, disrespect their offices or plot coups against their leadership, but rather do what is expected of us, and if leadership goes against the grain that is in the best interest of people and country, then God will be the ultimate and just judge through the voice of the people.
From my vantage point and having been on planet Earth for a while, some of the disrespectful behavior I see towards national leadership, the lack of pride for the environment, lawlessness in more than one area, blatant nonchalance towards work ethic, the scoffing of excellence and the lowering of the standard of dignity, decency and decorum, causes me to cry out along with Isaac Watts to "O God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home."
Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage being aware of the breakdown in family life due to the absence of so many fathers, is seeking to promote a mentoring program, "Give Every Child A Father", which will allow those suitable to become father figures to some children bereft of fathers. This is to be commended, as it will bring joy to the child and satisfied pride to the father.
So here in our text today, the Apostle Paul being mindful of his past has become a mentor to a young man by the name of Timothy and to whom the two Epistles were named.
"Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord. As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightiest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling: desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm."
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be made for all men: for kings, and for all who are in authority: that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior.
No one knows the future and it could be that many who give little or no respect for national leadership may one day they, their children, loved ones or acquaintances become the leader of the land. It really behooves us to know how to behave ourselves when it comes to honoring the king. We are to pray for them particularly so that God would grant them wisdom for the passing of those hours when decisions lie in the balance of national progress and fulfillment.
Family life played a very significant part in Timothy's life, and Paul being cognizant of this gave high praise to his mother and grandmother.
"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
If we as a people are taught right in the things which are right, then it does not matter who leads for honor will be given to those to whom honor is due. It all boils down to a matter of what is deposited in us being displayed on the outside of us. As the Rasta man would say, "respect due".
o E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham lashed out at Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Philip Brave Davis on Saturday night for representing some of the people alleged to have registered illegally in North Andros.
Ingraham was speaking to a crowd of hundreds of supporters in Grand Bahama at the official opening of the Free National Movement's (FNM) West Grand Bahama constituency office.
"If I have any FNM voter anywhere who is registered in the wrong constituency... I would ask them publicly to go and correct it," Ingraham said.
"I wouldn't have my deputy leader getting up and announcing that because I own a house in Abaco, I pay light and water bills in Abaco, [and] I go to Abaco, but I live in Nassau (I can vote in Abaco).
"How the hell could [I] vote in Abaco?
"I have got to vote where I live. I live in town, so I vote in town. And that is what we want everybody to do - vote where you live, not where you don't live."
Ingraham was referring to Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Deputy Leader Philip 'Brave' Davis, an attorney who represents several people who are registered to vote in North Andros, but whose names are being challenged.
At a hearing in North Andros on Friday, Davis said the law provides for people with two residences to choose where they wish to be registered.
The court heard evidence in respect of one of the voters being challenged.
The man - whose name cannot be published - testified that he lives on East Street with his wife, but goes to North Andros most weekends, has a house there and pays bills there.
He said he was born there and will soon retire there. The man also said he has voted in North Andros previously.
Ingraham also knocked at a promise PLP Leader Perry Christie and Davis made to build schools on San Salvador.
"After neglecting the good people of San Salvador, they went up there and they promised, saying 'now listen, we're going to build you two new schools'," said Ingraham.
"'We (the PLP) haven't built [any] in The Bahamas in five years, but in San Salvador we're going to build you two new schools.'
"The last time they were down here (in Grand Bahama) they were promising to build two new schools here too.
"Remember how just recently they were scoffing at our list of accomplishments - building roads, and clinics and airports and straw markets and schools.
"They said they were things. In their world of confusion and delusion, a school was only a thing.
"Now suddenly, they realize that schools are built for students and teachers and that they are used as community centers for the people. Now they're saying - next time they will build schools."
Ingraham told supporters the FNM administration would build a town center, a library, post office and a place to access central government services, all in West Grand Bahama.
Ingraham officially opened the remaining four constituency offices on Grand Bahama on Saturday.
The party previously opened its Marco City office. Its candidate in that constituency is Norris Bain.
On Saturday, the party officially opened the offices of Peter Turnquest who is running in East Grand Bahama; Neko Grant in Central Grand Bahama; Kwasi Thompson in Pineridge and concluded with Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe in West Grand Bahama.
Former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham will give a farewell address as leader of the Free National Movement (FNM) when the party meets in a special convention at the Holy Trinity Activities Centre in Stapledon Gardens on Saturday.
Ingraham will speak during an opening ceremony at 9 a.m., according to a statement released by the party yesterday.
The party will choose a leader, deputy leader and other officers at the convention.
Official Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to be elected unopposed, The Nassau Guardian understands.
Ingraham announced on the night of the May 7 general election that he will not serve as leader of the Official Opposition and intends to resign from frontline politics. His resignation from politics takes effect July 19, the anniversary of his first election in 1977.
The party suffered a crushing defeat at the polls.
Long Island MP-elect Loretta Butler-Turner, former Minister of Education Desmond Bannister and defeated FNM Bamboo Town candidate Cassius Stuart have announced that they will run for deputy leader.
Former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard has revealed that he will run for chairman.
The party said yesterday that after the opening ceremony, which is open to the public, the convention will resolve itself into closed sessions during which there will be nominations of candidates and voting.
The evening session of the convention will be open to the public and starts at 7 p.m.
The new leader, deputy leader and other elected party officers will be announced at that time. The closing address and charge will be delivered by the new leader.
The statement from the party said, "The Free National Movement is pleased with the vast array of exciting contenders for party offices, inclusive of seasoned political leaders and newcomers, who are stepping forward to vie for the offices of deputy leader, chairman, secretary general and a host of senior posts within the party.
"The convention promises to be both exciting and transformative as the Free National Movement shows that it has heard the voice of the Bahamian electorate, and is prepared to respond positively and proactively to meet the challenges of being the Official Opposition, while laying a firm and enduring foundation for an early return to government.
"This is especially so as it becomes more and more obvious to hurting and long-suffering Bahamians that the newly elected, conflict of interest laden PLP government gained their support by false promises of a quick fix to the vexing problems of a depressed global and national economy, the home mortgage crisis, as well as the increasingly high and unacceptable levels of violent crime and murders on our streets."
The statement said the convention's theme, "Ignite the Future", emphasizes the determination of every member, and the more than 65,000 supporters of the FNM, to do everything in their power to "hold the torch of freedom high, to light the way to a better future, and to thereby ignite in the hearts of Bahamians a re-commitment to good governance, accountability and integrity in every public office".
...HIGH WIND WATCHES AND WARNINGS ARE IN EFFECT FOR THE
MID-ATLANTIC STATES AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND...
...SIGNIFICANT STORM SURGE IS ALSO EXPECTED...
SUMMARY OF 500 PM EDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
ABOUT 335 MI...540 KM ESE OF CHARLESTON SOUTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 345 MI...555 KM S OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...961 MB...28.38 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...
THE BERMUDA WEATHER SERVICE HAS REPLACED THE TROPICAL STORM
WATCH WITH A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR BERMUDA.
THE GOVERNMENT OF THE BAHAMAS HAS DISCONTINUED ALL TROPICAL
I am quite
concerned about the direction in which the Free National Movement (FNM)
is headed. It appears that since Hubert Ingraham returned as leader of
the FNM in 2005 he has made it his mission to be the sole face of the
FNM. So much so, that some of the FNM's constituency offices barely
display the faces of the candidates, but are decorated with the image of
Ingraham. This continues a trend which was clearly evident during the
Elizabeth by-election. For the number of Hubert Ingraham's posters
nailed to trees and light poles, you hardly knew that Dr. Duane Sands
was the candidate in that by-election. No wonder he blew it after the
entire Cabinet invaded and occupied Elizabeth and brought with them the
full resources of the government...