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News Article

May 05, 2012
How political leaders should say goodbye

Nomination Day had its customary parades to the various nominating centers. Some were nominating for the first time; others for the final time.
One of those people nominating for the final time was the North Abaco incumbent. Hubert Ingraham said this is his last time running for office and he would never be able to fully repay the people of North Abaco.
"But I shall pay you by installments and I shall pay you for as long as I live," he said, on nominating as a candidate for the community for the eighth time.
Perry Christie, 68, also nominated for the eighth time as a candidate. He is running in the Centreville constituency. It is unclear if this is the final time Christie will run, though the result of the election may force his hand to a certain decision.
It is most likely that either the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) or the Free National Movement (FNM) will win the election. Consequently and realistically, one of the leaders of one of these parties will be facing the end.
When the end comes, you can go with dignity and grace or fight and fight to stay on, which usually causes enmity between leader and party.
On election night, if the leader of the PLP or FNM loses, there is nothing wrong with announcing that that is it. Say, "I'll be retiring and the party will have to schedule an election for a new leader."
What such an announcement would do is set the party in a determined direction (towards a leadership contest) and it would allow the veteran leader the time to take a "victory lap" in the run up to that leadership contest.
The reason we say "victory lap" is because Christie and Ingraham will both be winners regardless of the result of the election. Each has had a great political career and each has contributed much to national development. Each leader deserves to hear those thank-yous before departing to retired life.
Setting things in motion on election night has some other advantages for the losing party. Bahamians love politics. After a general election, there is no greater political theater in the Westminster system than a party leadership race. The losing party would dominate headlines and the country would follow its activities for months in the lead up to that leadership race. It would steal attention away from the new government.
Both Christie and Ingraham could stay on after a loss if they want. But we suspect that the wise leaders have no such desire. So, baring some strange dead heat, after this political season comes to an end we are almost certain to go into another. For political junkies, it will be fun.

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News Article

May 03, 2012
A call to national conscience

As we head to the polls in a historic election on May 7, 2012, the Bahamian electorate should consider and be guided by the following resounding words of wisdom: "Let your conscience be your guide".
There is no doubt that we are witnessing a general election that is historic not only because the register of voters consists of the highest number of voters (approximately 172,000 people) in the history of The Bahamas or because for the first time a so-called third party has produced a full slate of candidates, but also for the first time in Bahamian history we have witnessed absentee voting overseas and an expansion of individuals able to participate in an advanced poll.
Unfortunately, however, history will also record that some of our politicians refused to move away from the status quo and maintained their old bad habits with "politricks" and propaganda at the forefront.
This election season, the Bahamian electorate has overwhelmingly demanded that political candidates and parties present viable solutions to the myriad socio-economic problems confronting our nation. However, to say that old habits die hard is an understatement, as we have witnessed politicians resorting to unnecessary character attacks, misleading advertisements and finger-pointing. The most disgraceful and disturbing phenomenon to date has been the attempt to reduce our electoral process to a "personality contest" between the leader of the Free National Movement (FNM), Hubert A. Ingraham, and the leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Perry G. Christie.
As we make our way to the polls next Monday, we must consider the facts and reject the propaganda and rhetoric that some of our political leaders subject us to. We must take an introspective look at ourselves and the current state of affairs within our Bahamaland. It is conceded that governments are not directly responsible for crimes committed against persons, employing all of their citizens or ensuring individual business ventures prosper. However, we can all agree that governments are in fact responsible for protecting their citizens (and residents) while executing sound and prudent economic, fiscal and monetary policies that create an environment for peace, safety and economic prosperity.
The Bahamian electorate sits in the chair of an employer getting ready to hire a prospect which he/she will be stuck with for the next five years. The only advantage we have as voters is that in addition to the resumes and references provided, we have past records and performance to assist us in making an informed decision. Accordingly, we must examine each political party's manifesto and/or governing document to ascertain which party has the better plan for a more prosperous Bahamas moving forward and the political will to execute. We must be attentive to today's promises in comparison to yesterday's promises to ascertain whether they will bring about the change we desire.
Regardless of the strategies employed by political parties during this election season, The Bahamas still practices the Westminster system in which we vote for candidates to provide good and effective representation for constituencies. We are not a republic and we do not conduct presidential elections; at least not at this time. With this in mind, Bahamians should vote for candidates of their choice they deem to be most qualified, rather than solely along party lines or who the leaders of the respective parties are.

Last minute inducements
In the run-up to the general election, we must not be blind-sighted by the granting of last minute lucrative contracts, temporary and unsustainable jobs and overdue promotions, increments and benefits. Our politics must move beyond allowing ruling governments to manipulate our emotions for political gain just to retain power.
The governing term of five years provides political leaders with ample time to address numerous issues in a practical, logical and strategic manner without holding off distributing benefits as election ploys. Likewise, we must not be fooled by and/or encourage political leaders and/or candidates to buy our votes in exchange for jobs, payment of utility bills, school fees, mortgages, rent or the purchase of groceries, fridges, stoves, etc.
Voters should be mindful of the Bible story of Esau, who sold his birth-right for a morsel of bread. Esau stood to inherit his father's wealth but gave this right away in a moment of hunger. The same fate is bound to befall voters who do not appreciate the value of this land that God has given to us as our possession.
There is no doubt that times are tough and several voters are in economic hardship. However, our votes are all we have - our most valuable asset. We must not sell our votes, refrain from voting, accept or administer bribery, encourage ineligible voting or deception to give advantage to one political party over the other. The Bahamian electorate ought to be guided by the vision and plans proposed for the country and respective constituencies and select individuals who will help create an environment of economic and social independence and security to achieve individual dreams.
Political leaders and aspiring candidates on the other hand should be reminded that post this general election, the electorate will hold them accountable like never before in the history of The Bahamas. Suffice it to say that with a more educated and informed electorate, the era of empty promises and lies is behind us. There is a new generation of Bahamians who are advocating for a change in our politics and economics. Among other things, we are desirous of seeing our nation progress toward First World status and it cannot be achieved with business or politics as usual.

A call to national conscience
In the final analysis, level heads must prevail as we exercise our constitutional right to select our leaders. We must shun and condemn all forms of violence, impropriety and animosity in the national interest. Let us remember that the strength of our democracy and our stability as a nation has made us attractive to the international community, tourists and investors.
We as Bahamians must consider the entire picture as we head to the polls to cast our votes. We must consider each political candidate for what he/she represents and the plans he/she has put forth for his/her respective constituency. Consideration must also be given to the overall plan of the party that he/she represents to determine whether this will positively impact our beloved country and future generations of Bahamians.
The records of governance should be judged within the context of how much better or worse off we were or have been. On the macro level, Bahamians should consider the current social, economic and financial position of our nation and the prospects going forward. Voters should not "get swing" and should be mindful that they will have to face the consequences of their actions. This is a clarion call to national conscience.

o Arinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law. Comments can be directed at commentary@komolafelaw.com.

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News Article

May 07, 2012
On The Mis-education of the Bahamian citizen

Dear Editor,

One of the reasons I have been unmoved by any of the current political parties' manifestos, mandates or agendas, is that I have the pleasure of teaching new groups of young Bahamians every year.

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News Article

May 06, 2012
McCartney's Victory Rally for Change, May 5th Remarks

Good evening Bahamas. Welcome to Arawak Cay. I hope you enjoyed our Family Fun Day.

This is our last mass rally before we win the next general elections of the Bahamas.

Can
you feel it Bahamas? Can you see the DNA's being victorious on Monday
night? On May 7th, Bahamas, the DNA will make history again.

12
months ago, the political landscape in the Bahamas comprised of two
major political parties. Over 12 months ago, many Bahamians had no
interest in voting in the 2012 general elections because quite frankly,
they believed that the leaders...

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News Article

May 05, 2012
The poles melt, we drown

In 1982, the less than one-year-old Caribbean small island state, Antigua and Barbuda, raised the proposition at the United Nations that Antarctica should be regarded as a global common similar to the deep-sea bed and should be managed by the UN for the good of mankind.
Few could understand why a small island-state would want to raise a matter that seemed to be "big country politics". Today, as "polar ice caps melt and small islands drown", the reasons for Antigua and Barbuda's concern in 1982 have become very apparent.
In 1982, arrangements for the governance of Antarctica lay exclusively in the hands of the signatory states to the Antarctic Treaty System. It was an exclusive arrangement between 12 countries. Of the 12, seven -- Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom -- have territorial claims, sometimes overlapping (as in the case of Britain and Argentina in the region of the Falklands/Malvinas islands). The U.S. and Russia also maintain a "basis of claim".
As matters turned out, Antigua and Barbuda was too recent an independent nation and lacked the resources to continue to press the case for the UN declaring Antarctica "a global common" that should be managed by the UN for the good of all nations. It was left to Malaysia to take up the cudgels.
In 1983, Malaysia argued at the UN that Antarctica should be a global heritage similar to that of the high seas and any benefits derived from Antarctica should be shared by all and not only the exclusive right of certain vested countries and parties. Malaysia also argued that the pristine "Antarctic environment be protected and preserved".
The seven countries with claims to Antarctica were as unhappy with the Malaysia proposal, as they were with Antigua and Barbuda's aborted first raising of the issue. Nonetheless, Malaysia garnered sufficient support to ensure that until 1996, the question of Antarctica was discussed at the UN. But, in 2005 it dropped off the UN agenda.
There is clear evidence now that the worry about preserving the pristine condition of Antarctica was very valid when it was raised in the UN in 1982. Human activity in the area and climate change in Antarctica and in the Arctic are adversely affecting small island states and vulnerable coastal areas of larger countries.
This point was well made at a conference most people would say small island states in tropical climates had no business attending. The International Polar Year Conference 2012, under the theme, "From Knowledge to Action", was held in Montreal, Canada, from April 22-27. Organized by several partners, especially the World Meteorological Organization, Ronald Jean Jumeau, ambassador for climate change for the small island state of Seychelles, made a compelling argument for the continued active concern by small island states for what is happening in Antarctica.
His remarks at the Montreal Conference have particular relevance because small island states and developing countries with vulnerable coasts (such as Belize and Guyana) appear to have lost the toe-hold at the UN for discussing Antarctica and the effects on them of melting glaciers. In 2005, the UN agreed, in its First Committee, that Antarctica would not be placed on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. It hasn't been on the agenda since then. But, it should be.
Here are Jumeau's remarks on the effects of climate change in the two poles: "The worse the situation gets in the Arctic and the Antarctic, the more worried we islanders get. For the more your ice melts in the north and the south, and on the mountain tops and in the glaciers of the world, the more our world, in tiny Seychelles just four degrees south of the equator and in the rest of the Indian Ocean and in the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Caribbean as well, the more our world goes under. As the poles melt, we drown".
He pointed out: "The melting ice at the poles is not just contributing to sea level rise, it is affecting the oceans as drivers of the world's climate as well. The seas around our islands, some of which are the lowest land on earth, are rising, and coastal erosion is getting worse and worse to the extent that some islands may be swept away before the waves cover them and wipe them off the face of the earth".
The ambassador ended by saying: "The poles' global linkages make the Arctic and the Antarctic a common, a global, heritage of the whole community of man and womankind".
And, if it might be felt that the Seychelles ambassador's warnings are self-serving, this is what Ban-ki-Moon, the UN secretary-general, said about the situation in 2007: "Antarctica is on the verge of a catastrophe - for the world." He offered figures to support his claim: "glaciers on King George Island have shrunk by 10 percent, while some in Admiralty Bay have retreated by 25 kilometers; the 87-kilometer "Larsen B ice sheet" collapsed several years ago and disappeared within weeks; the entire Western Antarctic Ice Shelf is at risk - it is all floating ice, one fifth of the entire continent. If it broke up, sea levels could rise by six meters or 18 feet." Since then, matters have gotten worse.
Work is being done by small island states to raise attention to the growing threat to their existence, and to the dangers posed to their productive areas and human habitats - both food security and human dislocation are real issues.
This matter should be forcefully pressed at the forthcoming Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference in the interest of all small island states and vulnerable coastal areas. It should also vigorously be pushed back on to the UN agenda however resistant may be those countries that regard Antarctica as their exclusive preserve.

o Sir Ronald Sanders is a business executive and former Caribbean diplomat who publishes widely on small states in the global community. Send responses to: www.sirronaldsanders.com.

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Event
Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour
Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour

Friday 13th July 2012  6:00 PM

Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour Every Friday 6-9pm DJ Yiorgo's Beach Club Cafe West Bay St 1/2 Priced Appetizers with the purchase of Heineken Buckets Opened in May 2007, the Beach Club Cafe serves local, seasonal food in a relaxed seaside setting that makes us a perfect spot for parties, weddings or intimate dinners on our private pier on Sandyport Beach, Bahamas. Please visit the Cafe Boutique and discover original crafts made by local artisans and from around the world.


Event
Bahamas Independence Day!
Bahamas Independence Day!

Tuesday 10th July 2012

Independence Day Happy Independence Day Bahamas! The Bahamas is a sovereign, independent, nation. Political and legal traditions closely follow those of the United Kingdom and the Westminster system. The government of the Bahamas is a parliamentary democracy with two main parties, the Free National Movement and the Progressive Liberal Party. National flag The colors embodied in the design of the Bahamian flag symbolise the image and aspirations of the people of The Bahamas; the design reflects aspects of the natural environment (sun, sand, and sea) and the economic and social development. The flag is a black equilateral triangle against the mast, superimposed on a horizontal background made up of two colours on three equal stripes of aquamarine, gold and aquamarine. The symbolism of the flag is as follows: Black, a strong colour, represents the vigour and force of a united people, the triangle pointing towards the body of the flag represents the enterprise and determination of the Bahamian people to develop and possess the rich resources of sun and sea symbolized by gold and aquamarine respectively. In reference to the representation of the people with the colour black, some white Bahamians have joked that they are represented in the thread which "holds it all together. Coat of arms The Coat of Arms of The Bahamas contains a shield with the national symbols as its focal point. The shield is supported by a marlin and a flamingo, which are the national animals of The Bahamas. The flamingo is located on the land, and the marlin on the sea, indicating the geography of the islands. National flower The yellow elder was chosen as the national flower of The Bahamas because it is native to the Bahama Islands, and it blooms throughout the year. Selection of the yellow elder over many other flowers was made through the combined popular vote of members of all four of New Providence's garden clubs of the 1970s the Nassau Garden Club, the Carver Garden Club, the International Garden Club, and the YWCA Garden Club. Click HERE to read more about The Bahamas on Wikipedia.


News Article

March 31, 2011
'Once and for all' bond resolution called for

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce's president yesterday urged all relevant parties to "work out finally once and for all" a long-term solution to Freeport's over-the-counter bonded goods regime, adding that Customs' demand for a National Insurance Board (NIB) letter had caused some retailers' sales to slump by 40 per cent during the first two months of 2011.

Speaking to Tribune Business from Minneapolis, on his way back from the Government/private sector trade and investment promotion tour to Canada, Mr Turnquest praised the Ingraham administration for acting in the interests of Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) licencees, ...

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Event
Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour
Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour

Friday 3rd August 2012  6:00 PM

Beach Club Cafe Happy Hour Every Friday 6-9pm DJ Yiorgo's Beach Club Cafe West Bay St 1/2 Priced Appetizers with the purchase of Heineken Buckets Opened in May 2007, the Beach Club Cafe serves local, seasonal food in a relaxed seaside setting that makes us a perfect spot for parties, weddings or intimate dinners on our private pier on Sandyport Beach, Bahamas. Please visit the Cafe Boutique and discover original crafts made by local artisans and from around the world.


News Article

May 06, 2012
DNA holds 'Victory Rally for Change' at Arawak Cay

REMARKS BY:
Hon. Branville McCartney, M.P.
Good evening Bahamas. Welcome to Arawak Cay. I hope you enjoyed our Family Fun Day.
This is our last mass rally before we win the next general elections of the Bahamas.
Can you feel it Bahamas? Can you see the DNA's being victorious on Monday night? On May 7th, Bahamas, the DNA will make history again.
12 months ago, the political landscape in the Bahamas comprised of two major political parties. Over 12 months ago, many Bahamians had no interest in voting in the 2012 general elections because quite frankly, they believed that the leaders of the other parties are one in the same and they lost hope. 12 months later, Bahamians you now have a viable option. The DNA has brought hope to all Bahamians and we believe that on Election Day you will vote us in as the next government of the Bahamas.
In 1967, the Bahamian people for the first time in its history, elected a government that represented the majority people. The Bahamian people had hope and high aspirations and they voted for change. They ushered in Change.

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