– By Sheleta Collie
Throughout the Bahamas, there have been cries for debates. No doubt, the recent American Presidential Election and the debates which were a part of the process have only added fuel to the fire.
Bahamians watched the debates and they became apart of conversation the following day at work and the local watering hole. But many believe that this is just another attempt by Bahamians to imitate Americans.
Others see debates as American style politics and have dismissed them, stating that they are not apart of the Bahamian electoral process. However debates which were long resisted in the United Kingdom were a part of that nation’s 2010 election. Debates are also held in Canada and other Commonwealth Countries which all have similar constitutions.
It is believed that debates will force Bahamian politicians and those aspiring to pubic office to step away from the security blanket of their political parties allowing us to truly examine them.
The problem is, politicians have become accustomed to discussing issues to persons who are “under the influence”.
At the ‘grill and chill” the emphasis is not on facts, but food and alcohol.
At the rallies, it is on rhetoric and jokes rather that presenting information in a coherent manner.
This only frustrates voters who wish to hear the facts but are left to wade through the nonsensical babble that spew from the mouths of some politicians.
To add further insult to injury, the manner in which some politicians speak to the public is also insulting, the tone is often common and crass inferring that we lack the intelligence to understand facts, so they entertain us straight up to the election.
This however, is a brilliant strategy designed to keep us in a drunken stupor so that we would miss important points, but while many seem to enjoy it, as a nation we are paying a hefty price.
After years of revelry, we are left with a fractured democracy, politicians who do as they please, a public service paralyzed by political interference and journalist afraid to challenge the establishment.
The time has come for us to challenge the status quo which begins by making a more informed and intelligent choice when it comes to leaders. Our democracy can only be made stronger with the introduction of live broadcast debates in the run up to our general election.
—- Excellent and Timely Article by Sheleta. It almost seems ridiculous that we are even having this discussion in this day in age in a modern country that aspires to first world status. Sad. Here is a video of Nigerian Debates held this year. If a country like Nigeria can have debates, Why shouldn’t we?
Please Vote in the poll and feel free to comment on and share this article with your friends. Lets demand debates, if not this election then the next!