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Sands On Dna: We Must Reach Out But Not Give Up Beliefs

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Dr. Duane Sands

By LAMECH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

ljohnson@tribunemedia.net

“IF you have to bastardise what you stand for, it’s not worth it,” was FNM Deputy Chairman Dr Duane Sands response to public suggestions that the outcome of the 2017 general elections may depend on a coalition between the Free National Movement and the Democratic National Alliance.

Speaking to The Tribune on whether successfully challenging the governing Progress Liberal Party at the polls in the next election cycle would require a partnership between the two organisations, Dr Sands said: “I think that the people who have supported the Democratic National Alliance are perhaps a portion of previous members and/or supporters of the Free National Movement, that’s my view.”

“And to that extent I think we need to reach out to those individuals, find what it is that drives them, ideologically, to see whether or not given the diversity of our ideas and opinions that we support, that those ideas will come together,” he added.

In noting that the FNM is already made up of a number of third-party factions, including the Bahamas Democratic Movement and Coalition for Democratic Reform, the FNM deputy chairman said that “if it means now that there’s an amalgamation of ideas, provided that you can keep true to your ideological routes but, if you have to bastardise what you stand for, it’s not worth it”.

In the May 2012 general elections, the PLP won 29 of the 38 seats in Parliament while the FNM secured only nine though figures released by the parliamentary registration office showed the PLP received 75,806 votes while the FNM secured 65,518 votes – a difference of 10,288. The DNA, despite not securing any seats in Parliament, received 13,186 votes.

Last Tuesday Prime Minister Perry Christie revealed that since being elected to office two years ago, he is “satisfied” with the government’s achievements and his ministers performances.

While declining to give his government a grade for their accomplishments so far, Mr Christie said he was “happy” with his cabinet and the progress the government has made – despite some challenges, among them being the inability of setting firm dates for the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) and the constitutional referendum.

A few hours later, however, Opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis – at an FNM street rally – dubbed the current government’s performance in the past two years as an “abysmal failure.”

The MP for Killarney chastised the government’s failure on crime, the economy, opening the new critical care block at the Princess Margaret Hospital, opening the newly built international airport in Abaco, opening the Children and Adolescents Facility at Sandilands, bringing a constitutional referendum to the people concerning equal rights for women under the constitution, among other things.

Dr Minnis said the PLP government has failed the people on every front and despite their claims that they would put Bahamians first if elected, “they have done the opposite.”

However, DNA leader Branville McCartney recently branded the official opposition as virtually nonexistent following recent public disagreements among party executives.

Responding to a question over whether the Free National Movement (FNM) was doing a good job in keeping the government accountable on national issues, Mr McCartney said he viewed the party as being in disarray.

“We don’t have an official opposition,” he said, “the official opposition seems to be in disarray, divided, speaking in five different tongues and they seem to be mis-stepping just as the PLP. The only opposition you have is the DNA.”

Dr Sands, in an interview with The Tribune last Thursday, noted that there was a lot of discussion about whether or not the DNA “is for real and whether they are nothing more than a spoiler organization.”

“We don’t need to get into that discussion,” he said, noting that “the question is, how does the Free National Movement strengthen its appeal to those disenchanted individuals who did not support the Free National Movement, despite the history of the Free National Movement and that’s where the conversation should be.”

“And also not only DNA supporters, but PLP supporters because they catching hell. There were a lot of people that would have supported the Progressive Liberal Party who believe now they have made a mistake,” he concluded.

Comments

banker 6 years, 4 months ago

It's no secret that Duane Sands has ambitions to lead the FNM and lead the country. Minnis is in the same boat. Both are doctors and well educated men. I find it remarkable that they cannot put two and two together and realise that the next Prime Minister of The Bahamas will be negotiating the economic surrender of sovereignty to the World Bank, the IMF and other commercial lenders.

An intelligent man with discernment, who would be a true leader and a patriot, would not lie to the electorate. Having said that, the campaign message for votes would be that drastic cuts have to be made in government spending. The civil service will have to be reduced in size. There will be massive endemic unemployment in order to align the finances of the country with prudent fiscal objectives.

Tough choices will have to be made, and all Bahamians will suffer in order to put the Bahamas back on it's feet again. The national airline will have to be sold or scrapped. BEC will have to privatised to foreigners and not political cronies. There will be nothing but blood, sweat and tears for several years in order to stabilise and secure the Bahamian economy for future generations.

What leader would have the true leadership qualities and the intestinal fortitude to deliver such a blunt message? None that are currently in the wings. Furthermore, what leader would get elected by proclaiming those harsh realities? None! The Bahamian electorate would rather hear platitudes and get hams, turkeys, booze and tee shirts in exchange for their vote.

The current cadre of leadership is underwhelming. Branville McCartney is a lightweight who gets his cockamamie economic ideas from a dreamy eye doctor who has failed in every single business venture that he has tried, yet still fancies himself as an economic expert, even writing vanity-published books on the subject.

Perry Christie has lost his connection to reality, while his merry band of kleptocrats and ego maniac cabinet ministers run roughshod over the country.

Dr. Hubert Minnis can't seem to articulate a recovery plan, other than iterating motherhood statements.

All of the leaders are like the fellow who fell off the Empire State Building in New York. At the window of each of the 103 floors of that building, onlookers heard the man say "So far so good!".

The abrupt stop is coming. The economic end is not far off. The reserves fell below critical levels for a few months. There is a billion dollars in unfunded pensions. Expenditures exceed revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars. This cannot go on, and it cannot end well.

I ask again, why would anyone want to be the next leader of this country knowing that they will probably be holding the bag of the economic demise of this country?

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The_Oracle 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree Banker, reality will bite and bite hard, but the political class have built themselves nest eggs to fall back on. I see no real leadership, but rather Nero fiddling....... To win the election requires the tried and true promise everything, create the suitable bogeymen, blame everyone else. To run the country requires a completely different set of skills not possessed by many, and certainly not possessed by any currently in politics. The campaign money will flow in the usual channels, from the usual sources, greasing the same old palms, the personal smearing and attacks will start anew, and we will get the government we deserve.

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TalRussell 6 years, 4 months ago

"Super Value To Da Greens" Rupert has been listening and now it seems like Dr. Duane has too. Newly converted Comrade "Green" Rupert knows exactly what the Red Comrade Deputy Chairman Dr. Duane is talk'in about. Duane and Rupert display many of the same basic political flaws, including both the reds and greens, must draw from the same dwindled-down voter and money donor demographics pool, if they can ever hope to wrestle the government away from, the "the still unknown new face" PM Christie will be presenting to Bahamalanders, ahead of 2017.

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Bahamianpride 6 years, 4 months ago

Banker is correct, does not matter who wins, we've been sold off. We are a highly leveraged society, one that does not have the economic engine to fund current and future expenses including entitlements. To add to this the crime problem is only going to get worse. Nobody currently in our political selection pool has the political will to deal with this and it is true a honest politician is a unelectable one.

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birdiestrachan 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with about 98% of what Banker has written I am surprise that he can see so clearly. I was under the impression that he could only see the torch. I was wrong.

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birdiestrachan 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with about 98% of what Banker has written I am surprise that he can see so clearly. I was under the impression that he could only see the torch. I was wrong.

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