Categorized | Editorials


Conventions of the Progressive Liberal Party have always been groundbreaking in many ways not only for the party, but for the nation as a whole. Outcomes of the convention generally set the agenda for what the nation should expect as we seek to build for future generations.

The first convention in the Aurora Lodge Hall on West Bay Street some six decades ago had only a few delegates from New Providence and the Family Islands.  It is said that the total count of delegates and spectators attending that convention was less than two hundred.

The longest serving leader of the party, Sir Lynden Pindling said in 1975, “amidst adversities of all sorts, unbelievable if they were to be recounted today, we pressed on; and we grew bigger and stronger.  Our conventions moved from place to place.  We met at the Taxi Union Hall on Wulff Road; we met at St. Agnes School Room on Cockburn Street, and we met in the Ghana Room, then part of the Cat and Fiddle Night Club.  As we grew, we became taut and tough, resilient and self-reliant.  We were well disciplined.  We thrived on adversity. And no one was looking for anything”.

He said, “twenty conventions later we are big and strong. We are no longer fledglings; we are seasoned veterans.  But we are no longer well-disciplined; we are no longer taut and tough.  Instead, we are loose and soft.  We are no longer resilient and self-reliant; we cry for pain at every blow and seek to blame others and each other when instead we should be fighting back.  And everyone it seems is looking for something.”

When the delegates of the party meet in between the 9th and 10th of November, there are many urgent issues to discuss in moving the country forward and to improve the quality of life for the average Bahamian.

The PLP is today in better shape than it has been in many years and is commanding the attention of politicos across the nation as it is now the party to watch for effective leadership and a vision.

Since its victory at the polls in September, 2021 under the leadership of Prime Minister Philip Davis and the chairmanship of Fred Mitchell, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, all party supporters and even detractors would agree that the PLP has rebuilt trust with the Bahamian people.

There is a growing perception of a no-nonsense approach to governance where the leadership is committed to tackling corruption wherever it is found, even if it is found in the ranks of the party itself. This was clearly seen in recent times.

Throughout the country there is a feeling of confidence in many respects. There is confidence in the ability of the leadership to deal with the issues in a forthright manner and in their capacity represent The Bahamas internationally on matters which affect the Bahamian people.

For these reasons and more, we believe that Mr. Mitchell is best suited to continue as Chairman of the party.  He has been one of the best spokesmen ever for the party and we are hard pressed to think of any other chairman who has done a better job in representing the party and keeping its image where it should be.  He is always accessible and has attended to the challenges that the organization faced in difficult times and when the membership across the country needed to see the face of the leadership and feel its presence.  Beyond this, Mitchell is arguably the best Minister of Foreign Affairs in the history of an independent Bahamas.  The only other former Minister who comes close is the late Paul L. Adderley who gave yeoman’s service to the country in the Law of the Sea negotiations and during the height of the drug trade in the 1980s.

Mitchell is not a perfect man, and we do not expect him to be one.  However, in the performance of his duties as chairman or a minister, one must respect his work ethic, his high-octane intelligence and his outstanding ability to communicate clearly on behalf of party and the country.  In statecraft, he is the exemplar of a good politician, he is well known and is widely respected in the capitals of the world.

We suggest that at this juncture the PLP needs continuity in its leadership at the level of the chairmanship to better solidify the party and to stand against the forces of the opposition.  Even one of his challengers said when the PLP was its lowest ebb, Mitchell never stopped preaching the virtues of the party across the nation. He deserves a great amount of the credit for the party’s victory in the last general elections.

In the wake of the unfortunate passing of former cabinet minister Obie Wilchcombe, Mitchell was there providing stability, rallying the forces and marshaling the troops for the unexpected battle to maintain the seat in the West End Grand Bahama and Bimini constituency.

Delegates in the upcoming convention should know that Mitchell is a safe pair of hands with the experience to keep the party in good stead as they move closer to another general election. In the words of Sir Lynden, “this is necessary to inspire the people, to command their faith and to merit their praise.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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