Winning an election is an exciting time if your side has emerged victorious. I get that entirely. Nevertheless, governance starts on day 1; the country does not pause while we sit in our euphoria or sadness about an election result. People vote the way they do for many reasons. For those who voted in search of progressive change, they have every right to demand it and ought to demand it along with making a commitment to actually be involved in their democracy – since marking an X does not mark the end of the work we as citizens have to do in a democracy.
When Bahamians of all political persuasions are now making the genuine call for changes they want to see, other of their fellow Bahamians are getting angry, as if they do not have that absolute right to make that call. Their fellow Bahamians are responding with “well the PLP did so and so, so why you making noise now…”. Well, unless we want the current government to perform the way the previous government did, why is that argument even being considered sensible or acceptable? Either we want The Bahamas to move forward, or we simply want our Party in government for whatever we think that means to and for us personally. The Bahamian people voted to put an end to PLP governance for this term. If we plan to use “the PLP did it” as a crutch for not progressing in the next five years in the same way “the FNM did it” was used, then what really was the point of changing administrations?
Bahamians must demand that their government, no matter which Party is in power, does what is needed for the country. Bahamians must demand it early. Where their demands cannot be met, the government has an obligation to transparently explain why and detail the plan for the way forward. There is no point in telling us how badly the other guy did if you cannot at the same time, outline in detail what the plan is to reverse that tide. We as Bahamians must not continue to turn a blind eye and just accept whatever is said and done because “that’s my Party”. Governments are slack with us because we the people are slack with them. Change that lasts does not come just and only because a new Party is elected. It takes the citizens to make a government be what it needs to be. Elections are over. The real work, starts now.