Today we should be celebrating the passage of gender equality for women in The Bahamas.
It’s something that we could’ve been proud of, right alongside majority rule and women’s right to vote. Instead the whole referendum process deteriorated into something ugly that brought out the worst in us.
It exposed and amplified every negative instinct we had as a people and put them on display for the world to see.
I voted yes to all questions on the gender equality referendum. I believe it was the right thing to do and would do it again. And despite the overall no vote, I think many Bahamians feel the same.
However, It is clear to me that a key reason for this outcome is that Bahamians have absolutely NO TRUST in this Administration. None.
Lack Of Trust In PLP Government Impacted Referendum
The PLP has now ruined 3 referenda.
The failure of gender equality to pass in The Bahamas is the latest and is a direct result of their actions in 2002 and 2013.
In 2002 they made referendum political by voting yes in the house and then campaigning against it.
In 2013 the people voted against legalizing number houses and yet they went against the decision of the people and legalized them anyway.
In 2016 people did not trust a word they said and found it easy to believe all sorts of conspiracy theories despite there being absolutely not evidence to support them.
Further, The Government went from having no horse in the race in the 2013 referendum to having a fleet of horses in the race with a vote Yes campaign that left people feeling pushed prodded and manipulated.
And if what Pastor Mario Moxey said on Cable12 coverage about how the Vote NO campaign’s commercials were pulled, programs not re-aired or cut short was true then it seems they were up to old tricks.
This is 2016, the old way of doing things simply will not fly anymore and it’s time politicians realize this.
Make no mistake about it gender equality has not passed in the Bahamas as a direct result of the PLP administration’s actions over the years.
The Government Must Regain The Trust Of The People
And Trust will not be regained by pretty speeches or campaign promises. It will be regained by action, and action alone.
This may prove difficult for the current PLP leadership, but we have to see the government taking steps to root out corruption, being more transparent in it’s dealings and holding people accountable.
- Government officials must be made to declare their assets or be held accountable in accordance with the law
- Anti Corruption legislation must be strengthened and enforced
- Freedom of Information bill must be passed and enforced
- We must have transparency in the granting of government contracts
- Government must implement a proper procurement system
We need a paradigm shift in the way our leaders approach governance.
There must be transparency in all government dealings and accountability when something illegal or simply inefficient happens.
This is what I’m looking for in my government and what The Bahamian people are looking for. We’re tired of the business as usual.
Bahamians are sick and tired of the slackness and corruption in Government.