Categorized | Editorials

Courting Peril and Chaos

Sadly, there are any number of aspiring politicians –men and women alike – who would [if they could] become law-makers.

‘Sad’ is the word precisely because so very many of these people know next to nothing about government; little about their country’s social history – and precious little about this nation’s Constitution.

We have come to this conclusion the hard way; that being through discussion with any number of men and women who – while professionally proficient – are woefully ignorant of some of the basics that today undergird this nation’s social, economic and political order.

This ignorance brings with it a mighty potential for nothing but disaster piled upon disaster – this so because granted the power of money and media, it is entirely possible that any number of these people can make it all the way to the hallowed halls of parliament.

This would be a disaster. These people are courting peril and chaos. There are times in life when things go awry; times when things just do not go the way their authors hoped. On the morrow of failure, you can do any number of things. Highest on the list of things that could be done in the circumstances would be for the person in question to mope, complain and perhaps also for them to blame this or that person for the bad advice they gave. There is also that temptation for the person in question who has failed to suggest that there was really and truly nothing to be worried about – since there was never any failure. When these matters are put into proper context, you get a pretty good understanding as to why there is today so much resistance to change. At the core of this thought-system we find denial piled upon denial. A telling case in point might be made of our people’s recent public conversation concerning gambling, game and the extent to which Bahamians are being denied rights and privileges that clearly should be theirs by way of birthright. This should be a matter of principle rather than an issue that had to be chewed over, discussed and thereafter spat out. Things have not been as bad as this for quite a long time now. Indeed, things have not been at so low an ebb as they are now in this the fortieth anniversary of Independence for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. We are sorely afraid – and filled with both dread and trepidation – as we take note of the myriad of problems. These problems loom even larger as we note that these matters are unfolding in a society and political culture that have traditionally excluded or limited popular participation in most matters civic. This is the real tragedy.

In the ultimate analysis, it would clearly be in the interests of us all were those who now run things wise enough and realistic enough to understand that the deepening of democracy when combined with genuine local-level governance will make the Bahamas a more prosperous, healthy and caring place.

Today we remind all and sundry that we have – and for a quite a long time now- sought to make the case that real local-level governance for New Providence would be a God-send to most Bahamians.

Such a move would deepen democracy, bring governance to the people by involving communities in decision-making at a level where most people experience daily life and all its vicissitudes and – more generally speaking – help forward the development of the Bahamian nation.

While we continue to believe that this is a sure winner, we are realistic enough to know that such a development will not ever just come about.

Those with the power to make the difference will have to be persuaded that such a move would not deprive them of any of their current power and glory.

This is precisely where the problem is knottiest.

No entrenched order is ever dislodged without a struggle or in the absence of a logic that is unassailable.

Such a logic might well be involved in the current crisis of the state where the authorities are wondering where the next penny is going to come from to meet current money demands being put upon the Treasury by a motley crew of both the meek and the socially mighty.

Such a preoccupation might also work against the interests of those people – like us – who are desirous of seeing and working for systems-level change in and for a crisis-wracked Bahamas. Although this may not – at this juncture – seem the kind of issue that should detain us, we insist that, this discussion is long over-due. We ignore it to our joint peril.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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