The 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
Bahamas, if you accept your government rejecting your democratic vote taken last January on numbers houses, you are opening the door for the government to have comfort with rejecting any other vote you make including your General Election vote. Do not allow government Ministers or people in the media who ought to know better, to deceive you or muddy the waters about how serious it is for a government to reject the will of voters in a democracy. Do not allow them to take advantage of lack of knowledge within the population, by telling you last year’s referendum was just a mistake and all the Prime Minister needs to do is apologize for holding it, and then he can go ahead and reject your vote and it will be okay. Rejecting a democratic vote is cause for removal of governments. A government must not reject your vote because they do not agree with your vote. If you accept this, you are saying “yes” to the actions of a dictatorship. Some of you are being told that since the vote was just about numbers houses, it isn’t that serious if the government rejects it. This issue is far bigger than a few numbers men. Your vote in a democracy is your will. It is never acceptable or excusable for your will at the polls to be violated by the government. Continue reading
As I stated at the start of the new year, a referendum on gender equality as it pertains to citizenship was not going to be held when the Prime Minister said it would primarily because this government is not truly governing the country, therefore nothing is running the way it ought to. Different groups are expressing their disappointment in yet another delay. For my part I am okay with the delay, and here’s why: no work by way of national dialog has been done thus far to push against a plausible repeat of the decision against gender equality made by referendum voters back in 2002. The government has done nothing to concretely demonstrate that gender equality in this respect is a true goal of theirs that they truly want to have the country vote yes to. Unlike the national campaign for the numbers houses, this issue doesn’t appear to be their horse in the race, nor do they appear interested in having the race at all. Continue reading
It was hardly amusing to hear a media house recently report on Prime Minister’s Christie’s confirmation that he plans to hold a Constitutional referendum in November – less than two months from now. The news report said “but THIS time, it won’t be rushed…”. Won’t be rushed? Continue reading
1. The Bahamian people were deceived during the general election campaign about this referendum on gambling in The Bahamas. The Bahamian people thought they would have the chance to vote on casino gambling, a national lottery and the legalising of the numbers business. But the now governing PLP clearly mislead the Bahamian people. Once elected, they turned around and said there would be no vote on casino gambling and then to add salt to that wound, they announced that foreigners have told them not to have a national lottery in their own country, and so that too is now off the ballot as well.