By INIGO ‘NAUGHTY’ ZENICAZELAYA
THIS week, as we draw closer to Election Day, the political promises were on full display.
School lunches? Check.
Land for unions? Check.
A different kind of governance? Check. One hundred thousand dollars for each Bahamian? Check.
This week, in what was billed as a big speech by the Prime Minister, we learned that a Minnis administration, should they be elected for a second term, would provide free food for Bahamian students.
To say this is a big deal is an understatement. The truth is, should Doc and company be re-elected, they are now promising to provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks for all Bahamian students.
The thought of all Bahamian students receiving a “free lunch” actually warms my heart. How much better would our students in the public school sector perform were they not deprived of a hot breakfast and lunch?
This, I argue, would help our students perform at a level before unseen.
I know that there are many persons sceptical of Doc’s ability to pull this off, but if he were able to do this, along with ensuring we have enough vaccines to cover the whole country is all he did in a potential next term, he would have done something so transformative that our children’s children would benefit.
So I give Dr Minnis an A+ on the promise, and hope it becomes a reality no matter who wins on September 16th.
Empty Super Value for the sake of the kids. This is a good idea.
Less Doable Promises
I know the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has received a lot of flack for promising land to the unions in exchange for their support.
If we’re honest, this is not really doable.
For one, the unions cannot guarantee the support of their members, which I’m sure is diverse.
Secondly, it’s messy for a political party to strike this kind of deal in the first place.
According to Peter Goudie, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation’s (BCCEC) labour division chief, ‘that the pledge to double the redundancy pay ceiling from 12 to 24 months could inflict an astronomical cost on struggling businesses at a time when the country was reeling from its worst-ever economic and fiscal crisis,’ as reported by this paper.
Why would Philip “Brave” Davis and the PLP enter into an agreement that is not only disavowed by many unions, but also has the potential to bankrupt businesses?
Honestly, I don’t know.
It may sound good to PLP politicians but would surely inspire the ire of many Bahamians.
I’m gradin’ this promise as ‘less doable.’
But should the PLP win, I guess the Unions would get Andros land for their headquarters.
For their part, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is promising nothing but good governance.
In today’s Bahamas, where constituents expect ‘that Lil ting’ rolled up in a T-shirt, this is most unorthodox.
In a world not crowded by grand dreams of becoming millionaires overnight from our natural resources, the DNA would certainly have a winning message.
Unfortunately, promising what the country needs, as opposed to what Bahamians want, just may not be enough this time around.
Unrealistic Pipe Dreams
The Coalition of Independents (COI) made their name promising each Bahamian a cheque for one hundred thousand dollars.
Now as far as election promises go, this is a big whopper.
And totally undoable.
Perhaps that is why we haven’t heard much about this pipe dream in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, the COI continues to skate by on momentum garnered for this “Big Lie”.
Make no mistake, whomever wins control of the government come September 16 will have a monumental task in front of them.
But if you are voting for the Coalition in hopes of becoming an overnight thousandaire, please think again.
There will be many promises Bahamians have to evaluate. But more than a promise, we need to assess who can deliver.
Just remember, the bigger the campaign promise, the less likely the chance for it to come to fruition. We know how Bahamians go. You have been warned.