by Larry Smith
With less than eight months to go before the next British general election, the opposition Labour Party appears to be having buyer’s remorse over its choice of leader. In fact, there are some interesting parallels with the political situation here.
After Labour’s 2010 loss, the defeated prime minister - Gordon Brown - resigned as party leader and sank from view (although he continues to represent his Scottish constituency). Hubert Ingraham did the same here in 2012, but he also quit parliament, watching as his formerly safe Abaco seat was captured by the PLP in a bye-election.
A few months after the 2010 defeat, 40-year-old Ed Milliband (a former energy secretary) was elected leader of the Labour Party over his older brother David (a former foreign secretary). But the younger Milliband has been unable to galvanise his party.
Critics say he lacks style and authority, despite four years in the job. "What is the vision? What are the values? And more importantly, [what is] the narrative?,” asked one party leader recently. "Because quite frankly, the Tories have a narrative and we don’t."
As a writer in the Economist Magazine put it: "there is very little love for the government but perhaps even less enthusiasm for the alternative. And yet, there is a deep underlying disgruntlement with politics and a broad foreboding about the future.”
He could almost be talking about the Bahamas.
When the dispirited rump of the FNM gathered at the Holy Trinity Activities Centre on May 26 2012, they elected Dr Hubert Minnis, the former health minister, to replace Hubert Ingraham as party leader. He was unopposed. Loretta Butler-Turner was chosen as deputy, the late Charles Maynard as chairman, and Dr Duane Sands as deputy chairman.