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May 17, 2007



You have an interesting perspective. I hope I am understanding what you mean and not misreading you. However humbly I could not disagree with you more.

Practically and pramatically leadership is most important. This is so particularly in a third world country where the infrastructure and resources need to be developed and led to compete effectively against other teams in the global marketplace.

The story that needs to be understood is that the success of any society depends on teams of individuals working within themselves and against others both domestically and globally.

Unfortunately success depends on being able to meet and beat the competition and leadership is needed for this job. A leaderless team will never ultimately win, their individual talents will be wasted and their well led and organized competitors will prevail over them.

It is leadership that is needed to bring forth and utilize the talents of those in society that will get things done. Without leadership there is no marshalling of the talent and resources available to do the job of development.

In any event, pragmatically there will always be leaders, they will always somehow rise from the ranks because this is the natural order of things.

Also many have said that in this election the issues were not addressed. Again I respectfully disagree. Each party skillfully or not, addressed the issues they felt would bring them victory. The issues emphasized may not have been the ones everyone liked but winning the game only required that one party convinced the swing voters that their issues raised made them the better party to put in office. This is politics 101, first win the election and then you can deal with the issues that may be more substantive to some.

Actually the FNM's primary issues of competence in governance and curruption are always important issues. In fact they are the quintessential issues to be raised in an election whenever they are available, and in this election the PLP through their actions and/or inactions made it so.

I feel this election was an excellent example of the power of these types of fundamental issues, their availability, and their utilization when available. Political scientists and the Bahamian electorate alike should take note.


You are completely understanding what I mean, and I am happy you took the time to disagree. Clearly, you and I have very different perspectives on this issue, although we are not as far apart as you might think. I agree with you, for instance, when you say that "the success of any society depends on teams of individuals". But we tend not to emphasize the teams as much as the individuals, in my mind, and it's this I'm protesting.


Bob Knaus

Interested is right, the issues were competence and corruption, and those are the issues the FNM used to win. Now they will have to deliver.

Nicolette is right, politics in the Bahamas is very personality-centric. I would call it "Big Man" politics. See Chicago, or most any Latin American country, for more examples.

In a democracy, by definition, the electorate gets what it wants. So it appears that "Big Man" is what Bahamians want.

Is that changing? I hope so. It may be a generational thing, it may be an informational thing. It won't be a quick thing.

"Big Man" will not go away just because the current leaders get too old. It will only go away when a majority of Bahamians want it to go away.


Very interesting and thoughtful article. I too am concerned about the bahamian voter and there perceptioins of leadership. It is dangerous to leave "leadership" in one mans hands. But it seems that the bahamas is closley similar to a dictatorship. Bahamians are comfortable with "one" person making all the decisions for an entire country. Delicate important issues take time and councel yet we are okay with our fate being placed in a potentially misinformed misaligned leader of a political party. We lay every decision at the door step of the Prime Minister. That's not democracy. The voice of the people are never heard in that manner. We should be concerned as there is now no independent constituent-based respresentation in government. MP's are simply lackies and answer to their partisan affiliations (FNM and PLP). There constituents are always ignored and their political and financial backers/supporters reap the benefits of the economy. This election was a confirmation of this and it will continue unless constituents start torching MP offices when they don't deliver prosperity to there respective constituencies. We should be fed up with the same old cleaning up around election time, paving key roads, big overblown rallies which are only big alcohol-laced parties with everybody is siping on the "Jim Jones" kool-aid, the t-shirts, the stupid commercials, election time politics of slander and misinformation. Bahamians eat that stuff up. We are so stupid and the culture elite on both sides of the politrical divide play us every five years.
If we really are concerned about the country's future why not put the leaders/parties on the spot and have each leader partake in three debates over the year leading up to an election month (May). Each constituency should hold one debate for all candidates. And challenge each to share their vision for the communities. Boy this would show all the jokers for who they are and this make to much sense for the average Bahamian. There! I said it. We are dumb as rocks and stubborn when it comes to growth and evolving politically and socially. The Bahamas is not a chess game where we randomly shuffle candidates from area to area like pons on a table knowing that the dunce bahamian electorate will aways vote along party lines and the "REAL" issues are lost. Again and again and again. Wake up Bahamas.

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