“The vote no campaign is stronger than y’all think”
That was what I told a group of people in a local barbershop on Sunday. For some reason everybody including it seems the Prime Minister and web-shop owners felt the yes vote would be a slam dunk. But I saw the writing on the wall that an upset could be in the making.
This referendum pushed many buttons in The Bahamas, unfortunately they were the wrong ones and they pushed them in the wrong order. And the rest, as they say, is history.
The unofficial results of the referendum as of this writing :
Question 1: Do you support regulation and taxation of Web-shop gaming – Yes(27,321), No(43,393)
Question 2: Do you support the establishment of a national lottery – Yes(28,787), No(40,983)
What were the determining factors in the failure of this referendum?
- The Opposition of the Church
- The Flawed Referendum Process
- Lack of Information
- Politicization of the process
- The nature of the Vote Yes Campaign
The truth is that all of these factors and probably a few others played a role in the outcome of the referendum on January 28th. No doubt the church played a key role but I still hold that the extensive bungling done by the PM and the governing party played a key role.
I doubt the church could have carried this kind of landslide victory without the other contributing factors, namely the disaster that was Perry Christie and the “No Horse In The Race” position.
(As an aside, isn’t it interesting that the PM did not address the nation? Instead it was the chairman of the PLP who released a statement… boy I tell ya, leadership is a serious thing)
What happens now?
- Will the government clamp down on web-shops like the PM said he would?
- Will Flowers and Shabas close up shop like they said they would?
- Will the government listen to the voice of the people (aka. the voice of God)?
- Has this referendum done irreparable damage to the PLP party?
- Will The PM increase taxes?
It will be interesting to see what happens in the days and weeks ahead because this victory was a stunning one and no doubt put a spoke in the wheel of many well laid plans.