In a letter to the editor "the Graduate" answered my article about Majority Rule in The Bahamas. I seldom answer such letters because the writer has not got the moral courage to use a proper name. So in this article I will refer to "the Graduate" as "He/she/it" which will cover all the possibilities of identifying the person or beast.
In my article, I said that the German Goebbels used the tactic of repeating a lie often enough so that people assumed it was the truth. The Bahamian Goebbels repeated a lie about Majority Rule long enough so that people assumed it was the truth.
The German Goebbels and the Bahamian Goebbels had different motives but both used the same means ... a repeated lie.
"He/she/it" seems to claim that the colour card was not the basis of the PLP argument. This sounds like the modern day Goebbels saying that the Holocaust never happened in Germany.
Either "He/she/it" is outright lying or was either not born, not here, or never ducked the rocks. The PLP maintained that the formation of the House of Assembly must be based on colour lines, no more than 15% white and at least 80% black. Anyone who denies that is trying to bury the truth.
I believe the House of Assembly should be comprised of 100% QUALIFIED Bahamians.
I said that IF the colour card were used in U.S. elections Barack Obama would never have been elected because the MAJORITY of voters in the U.S. were white. It was as simple as that, and that is a FACT.
I said that simply to say that the colour card SHOULD NOT be used in elections in The Bahamas. "He/she/it" is trying to twist my words. That is typical!!!
In 1962 I was a candidate for the "Far East". In those days there were two representatives in the House of Assembly for the Far East. The boundaries for that constituency stretched from East Street in the West to East End in the East.
A.D. Hanna and Arthur Foulkes were running in that Constituency for the PLP, Geoffrey Johnstone for the UBP, and I was an Independent. A.D. Hanna and Geoffrey Johnstone won.
I lost. I didn't blame it on gerrymandering, a lightning strike or anything else. I lost. The people didn't want me and so they voted for A.D. Hanna and Geoffrey Johnstone. That's not hard to understand, is it?
Although I was very involved in politics I stayed out of front line politics for twenty years. When I decided to run in 1982 I surrounded myself with the greatest, most hardworking, and the best organized team the country has ever seen.
That TEAM had me elected to the House of Assembly for the next 25-years. While there I kept my nose clean and let my conscience be my guide.
Just before the 1997 election we were called in individually to discuss possible changes in the boundaries of the constituency. I was told that my constituency would not be changed, except for one small polling division "to help out your neighboring colleague". I agreed and left.
Just hours before the final boundaries were signed, a meeting of all FNM candidates was called and the election was discussed. As the meeting was drawing to a close the PM strode over to a map of New Providence, which was hanging on the wall and said: "there will be no discussion on this and these are the new boundaries for Shirlea".
He took a black marker and COMPLETELY redrew the boundaries of Shirlea, putting in Kemp Road, St. James Road, the Five Pound Lot, etc., all known PLP strongholds. I started to say something and the PM responded, "I said there will be no discussion" and the meeting ended.
It was clearly gerrymandering. I didn't cry about it, I faced facts, either not nominate or fight it. Discussing it with my team we decided to fight it. We did and we won.
It had been a PLP stronghold. My philosophy always was that you were a PLP or FNM only until the Polls closed on election day. After that you became one people, one constituency.
After winning I saw what was needed and moved in to accomplish it. I started food programs, after school classes, and with the help of a few friends I personally built a new house for a paraplegic whose leg had been amputated. She, by the way, was a PLP and had voted against me!
I fell in love with the people of the new constituency. Rather than it being my downfall, which was planned by some, it became the most invigorating experience of my political life. And so now I say thank you to those who tried to destroy me.
"He/she/it" would have you believe that gerrymandering was a UBP thing. It is wrong but it is not exclusive to the UBP. It is used in the USA; it was used by the PLP; it was used by the FNM.
Buying votes is also wrong, but it was not exclusive to the UBP. It is done in the USA; it was done by the PLP; it was done by the FNM.
Many times boundaries cut through houses, one bedroom in one constituency the other in another constituency.
But people, not lines, vote.
"He/she/it" must have been sleeping lately or has "head in sand" syndrome.
So to indicate that it was only the UBP who used these tactics is dishonest and wrong.
When you enter the race, you accept the ground rules. In the USA the person who gets the most votes in the Electoral College becomes President, thus Donald Trump not Hillary Clinton won the recent US election.
In The Bahamas, the Party which has the most seats in the House of Assembly becomes the Government and is the Majority to Rule.
In 1962 women were given the right to vote. That is known as Universal Suffrage.
Rather than declaring January 10th Majority Rule day, the big day should be in November when women were allowed to vote.
Again the PLP claims to have been the champion of the women's right to vote. Not true. I remember as a teenager (and long before the PLP was formed) people like Mrs. Mary Ingraham and a group of women meeting and agitating for the women's right to vote. Some were big supporters and constituents of Sir Stafford Sands. It is true the PLP jumped on the bandwagon, but it is not true that they created the wagon!!
It is true that someday a white, brown or yellow person will lead the Party which wins the majority of seats in the House of Assembly, but to say that it was the PLP's position is simply not true.
I have faith in the young Bahamians who are learning and preaching that colour does not matter, and these same young people will ensure that the colour card will be buried never to enter Bahamian politics again.
Although I did not support them, I was very impressed that the PLP under the leadership of the Rt. Honourable Perry Christie fielded a number of young white candidates in the last election.
I have always found Perry Christie to be a decent man. He was, in my opinion, not a very successful Prime Minister, but that does not mean he is not a decent man.
Now that Brave Davis is leading the PLP, I think you will see emphasis placed more on quality of the candidate than anything else. For the country's sake, I hope.
May 28, 2018