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

Political Gimmick – Pitting Bahamians Against Each Other On The Basis Of Age

truthliesI’m a young Bahamian. I’m 37 years old, and I have enough sense to know that for anything to be solid and have a reasonably solid potential for success, you need a combination of experience and wisdom possessed by older persons as well as new energy and new ideas possessed by younger persons. That’s why I shake my head in disgust at the personal-agenda-driven political gimmicks I see people using to play on the emotions and frustrations of Bahamians, by suggesting that as long as you are older you are useless to the country, and as long as you are younger you are useful to the country. Age in and of itself is no guarantee of anything. You can be young, wutless and corrupt and you can be old, wutless and corrupt. We must evaluate individual people on their individual merits, not on gimmicks. Continue reading

ONLINE POLL: Are you proud of the state of your country today?

Cast your vote in the following online poll:

Are you proud of the state of your country today?

  • No (95%, 71 Votes)
  • Yes (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 75

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This poll is also being carried out on “According To Me” on Facebook. Click here to see Facebook poll results

Government Must Stop Discrediting The Department Of Statistics & The Nation’s Official Population Data

STOPTHELIESWhile some lies by politicians are almost too stupid to be worth responding to, what the country needs to understand about the consistent lies government Ministers are telling on the number of jobs they’ve created, is that those lies discredit the work of the Department of Statistics. The Department of Statistics is a critical arm of The Bahamas Public Service. This Department produces our Census and all the critical population data that is used by our government and international agencies in making certain determinations, ratings and rankings about The Bahamas. Whenever the government makes claims regarding population statistics that are nowhere near what the Department of Statistics is producing, the government is discrediting the Department; telling the world not to believe the work of that Department, and to instead believe the words coming out of a Cabinet Minister’s mouth. The message the government is sending to the nation and the world by doing this is that official population data about The Bahamas may not be reliable or trustworthy. That then damages our reputation abroad and creates unnecessary uncertainties about the nation’s integrity. Such a thing has implications and consequences far beyond the narrow viewpoint many of us have of what a government Minister says to a reporter. Continue reading

The Safety Of Aircraft In The Bahamas

INVESTIGATEAt the onset, let me be clear in stating that this article is about the issue of airline safety in general in The Bahamas; it is not an article slamming any one particular domestic airline. In the aviation industry worldwide, airline companies and aviation authorities always tell you everything is fine until the worst case scenario occurs and a plane crashes and lives are lost due to mechanical failures and/or improper and insufficient maintenance. Of late and in recent times, there have been instances of in-flight engine fires and engine failures on Bahamasair, as well as reports of in-flight mechanical problems with other popular domestic airlines in this country. Are our planes being properly maintained and serviced? Will the Government produce to the nation, undoctored records from Civil Aviation to show the state of aircraft in this country? Is Civil Aviation carrying out its responsibilities, and if not, why not? Where infractions may be discovered by Civil Aviation, are they being addressed and how so? Is The Bahamas government providing Bahamasair with the funds necessary to purchase replacement parts when required, or to otherwise service or repair aircraft when necessary? Continue reading