by Larry Smith
Politics is a strange game in the Bahamas - full of “crazy per-sons”, as Holly laughs to Megan in the Coca Cola commercial that plays endlessly on television.
You wouldn’t know it from Prime Minister Perry Christie’s tragicomic remarks last week, but Bahamian parliamentarians have been 'crossing the floor’ in one way or another ever since the beginning of party politics in 1953.
Randol Fawkes left the PLP in 1958 to form the Labour Party. And a decade later he cast the deciding vote that enabled his erstwhile rival, Lynden Pindling, to become the country's first black premier.
But a few years before that, three parliamentarians had left the PLP to help form the National Democratic Party, which was wiped out in the 1967 general election that brought Pindling to power.
In 1970, Education Minister Cecil Wallace-Whitfield and other leading PLP’s split the party and went on to form the Free National Movement. And for the next 20 years, opposition politics was heavily fractured, with MPs sloshing back and forth in the House like dirty water.
In the 1980s the PLP suffered another split - when widespread drug lord corruption led Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Hanna to resign from the cabinet, and got Hubert Ingraham and Perry Christie fired as they were about to quit.
Ingraham and Christie spent time in the House as independents before returning to one or other of the main parties. Ingraham was to lead the FNM to victory in 1992 while Christie (who became PLP leader in 1997) had to wait until 2002 to become prime minister.