About TheReal242

The Times that Be, According to Me. My perspective on current events in our country - Unbought, Unbossed and Unequivocally Unafraid.

VAT Now Passed – Without Notice Or Forewarning To The Bahamian People

WAKEUPBlindsiding the Bahamian people, robbing ordinary citizens of the opportunity to make their dissenting voices heard during what should have been a FULL Parliamentary debate, and robbing the nation of the ability to be fully educated on VAT BEFORE the nation’s MPs took a vote – the government quickly passed VAT in Parliament late last night (Wednesday). Not a single Member of Parliament on either side forewarned the Bahamian people that the government was going to rush VAT to passage in the House Wednesday night. The country, fully distracted by a myriad of government-initiated actions, had no idea debate on VAT would start Tuesday and that VAT would be rushed to passage the following day. ONE DAY OF DEBATE, THEN THE GOVERNMENT QUICKLY PASSED VAT. Continue reading

Arguing for “Simple Legislation” Instead of Amending The Constitution

balanceThe foolery that has become the Constitutional Referendum debate in Parliament thus far can be boiled down to a truth relevant Parliamentarians would no doubt deny. There are Parliamentarians (and persons outside of Parliament) on both the PLP and FNM sides who want a particular outcome in this process for political reasons. Politics is what is driving such persons on both sides moreso than anything else. For them, it is not so much about the importance or priority of entrenching equality in the Constitution, as it is about what they think they stand to gain or lose politically based on the outcome of this process. Continue reading

Listen Carefully To Govt’s Recent Words – Gov’t Signalling Potential Withdrawal Of Referendum

ballotboxFor the second time in two weeks, the Prime Minister has told the media there will be no referendum at all this year, if there is not “unanimity” on the Bills. Today, Minister for Elections BJ Nottage said the same thing. Now, the Opposition has already said it supports the Bills. So, who is the Prime Minister concerned about in terms of their refusal to support the Bills? He can only be concerned about lack of support from his own side in the first instance, and secondarily but also importantly, a rejection of the Bills by the electorate if the Bills are able to get to the electorate via passage in both the House & Senate by a three-quarters majority. Though a referendum is not supposed to be political, if the electorate rejects the Bills, Mr. Christie and his government will view that as a second political failure at the polls in a single half-term (the Gaming Referendum being the first). And a failure of a referendum vote in Parliament itself would be catastrophic for a sitting Prime Minister. Continue reading

Grow Up Bahamas – Do Not Vote No In The Referendum Because Of Politics, Ignorance, Propaganda Or Sexism

GROWUPBAHAMASBahamas. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of our nation. It is the most sacred document of any nation. Changing your Constitution is actually more serious than a General Election vote, because the Constitution is higher than any elected government. The Constitution rules the government, the Parliament and the Judiciary, not the other way around. The Constitution is what gives you your fundamental rights and freedoms as Bahamians. So please Bahamas, if you are going to vote, do not vote no just because you don’t like the PLP, or because you are either too lazy or too disinterested to become educated on the proposed changes, or because of the teachings and messages drummed into our heads over the years about how women should not have equal rights and protections under the law as men, either because we think women are too weak or stupid to make decisions about their own life, or because a preacher told you God doesn’t regard men and women as equal. If you vote, let your decision come from fully & properly educating yourself on the issues. That is what is called being a mature Bahamian. Continue reading

Question: Baha Mar & The Government

WhatsGoingOnWhat role and to what extent has the government’s refusal to fully live up to its financial obligation in the Baha Mar Heads of Agreement, played in the progress or lack thereof on the much-anticipated mega resort? A deal is a deal, business is business and a signed Heads of Agreement is exactly that, a signed agreement between government and investor. The government borrowed monies MORE THAN ONCE to meet its over $47 million contractual obligation to Baha Mar, and as far as we know, that obligation has yet to be paid in full after over a year. If the government is refusing to act as good faith partners with an investor, are we supposed to be so naive as to think such a thing would have no repercussions of significance? Back in March of this year, DPM Brave Davis was quoted in the media as saying negotiations over what the government owed Baha Mar were “troubling.” The Resort’s Senior Executive was later quoted as saying the government had not made any payments on the outstanding balance of its obligation “for over a year”, but that he hoped negotiations would be resolved by the end of this summer. Continue reading

On Silence, And Churches – The Rights Of Women

Inside ChurchThis piece is not directed at every single Christian denomination and congregation – only to the applicable ones (of which there are many). It is hard to miss the fact that popular preachers and churches in our country felt the need to mount a national campaign to attempt to influence Bahamians to vote and vote a certain way in a referendum about gambling, but those same preachers and churches are dead silent now on the matter of the upcoming referendum to provide certain equal rights for Bahamian women. In the context of the health and growth of a nation, why would churches see the numbers business as so important that they should come outside the four walls to campaign, but now they don’t see the need to influence Bahamians to stop being comfortable with discrimination between men and women? While many preachers would likely deny it if confronted by the following assertion directly, it is probably best that they remain silent so as not to be overt hypocrites, since their churches and the doctrines they claim come from God, teach that men and women are not equal, and are not divinely subject to the same callings and entitlements in life. Continue reading

Just So You Know – Voting In The November Referendum

ballotboxWe do not yet know when the government will announce the four (4) Referendum questions AS THEY WILL APPEAR ON THE BALLOT for November 6, or the truthful reasons behind why debate on the Referendum did not begin in Parliament as scheduled today, but here are some things you should be aware of:

#1 – If you choose to vote, you do not have to vote “yes” to all the questions or “no” to all the questions. You can vote “yes” to the ones you agree with, and “no” to the ones you don’t agree with. It’s not an “all or nothing” deal. You can also leave a question blank altogether if you don’t want to vote at all on that question. The majority of registered voters do not need to vote in order for the questions to pass or fail in a Referendum. If only 100 voters turn out, those 100 voters and their “yes” or “no” votes will be the deciding factor for the entire country. So keep that in mind if there is a question(s) you feel very strongly about one way or the other. Only a “simple majority” of the total number of votes cast is needed for a question to pass. “Simple majority” means the question only needs to pass by 1 vote in order to pass. Continue reading

VAT Bill Presented – Here Is What You Will Now Pay VAT On (Now Almost Everything)

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VAT BILL 2014 – Click Here

As of January 1, 2015, we will have to pay 7.5% VAT on items & services including ALL FOOD & GROCERY ITEMS, EVERY SINGLE ITEM/GOODS IN ALL CATEGORIES THAT ARE PURCHASED IN THE COUNTRY, ALL UTILITIES (power, water, cable, phone, etc), gas & fuel, private healthcare, all domestic transportation (airlines, mailboats, ferries, taxis, buses [except tour buses], etc) insurance, construction, tourism, restaurants, ALL SERVICES EXCEPT the ones listed below, and more. SERVICES is anything you pay a business or provider to do for you, from getting your hair done to landscaping, to having something constructed, to any type of service a business provides. Continue reading

Decision To Hold Referendum In November (Less Than 4 Months) Is Not In The Country’s Best Interests

NOTREADYThe Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition’s agreement to hold a Constitutional Referendum in November (less than 4 months) on gender equality as it pertains to citizenship and gender equality generally is a disservice to Bahamians and appears to be a political move, not a national-interest one. As I have stated in previous articles on this subject, the worst thing a government can do is put something as critical as a Constitutional Referendum before a nation at a time when political polarization is high, voter apathy is high, the country is distracted by numerous other major changes in national legislation (like VAT), and the government has demonstrated a consistent inability to focus on a task at hand (unless it involves special interest groups). Continue reading

Public Officers: Stop Carrying Out Instructions To Commit Wrongdoing

BREAKCHAINSI know people need their jobs, but just a reminder to Public Officers in this country – you do not have to carry out a directive given to you by your superior or a politician if that directive is for you to break the law, violate General Orders or manipulate or falsify records and data in order to satisfy any government’s political objectives. Your General Orders by which you are governed tells you this. The word and wishes of a government politician do not supersede the laws of the land, nor does the mere word of or order given by a politician suddenly become the law of the land. It is true that many in the Service will still do wrong when they know what is right either for fear of reprisal or because they are happily working along with the various political agendas of the day – but you do not have to go that way, and you cannot be lawfully terminated from the Public Service as a Public Office for refusing (via established processes) to break the laws of the land or by refusing to carry out an order that violates Public Service regulations and policies. As goes the Public Service, so goes the country – that is how critical the Public Service is. Continue reading