It would seem to many casual observers that the FNM is working hard to perfect the art of dysfunction and ineptitude while doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2017.
This convention did not show the FNM party in the best light and it remains to be seen if it has done any irrepparable damage.
As a casual observer below are my observations on some of the defining moments of this convention
1. Funding the FNM Convention
For the convention to even take place it was revealed that the candidates had to contribute to the cost of hosting it. Both Loretta Buttler Turner and Dr. Minnis had to come up with $100K each.
Is this how it's normally done? I don't know.
But LBT held out on paying the entire amount due to concerns she had with the process. She eventually paid, but perhaps this was a sign of things to come.
2. Unfair Treatment
Controversy flared once again when organisers alloted Dr. Minnis 45 minutes as Keynote speaker on opening night versus only 10 minutes for LBT on the 2nd night. This was unjustifiable and LBT rightfully protested.
The organisers said it was a mistake and her speaking time was increased to 25 minutes.
I would add that she should've been Keynote speaker on night 2 rather than Peter Turnquest, especially since she and Dr. Minnis both contributed 100K and were contesting the leadership post.
But I'm not sure of the protocol.
3. Dr Minnis' Choreographed Number
Instead of preparing for a speech in front of FNM Convention delegates, The Bahamas and the world it seemed like Dr. Minnis and his team prepared for a musical/dance recital.
Every few words there was a musical interlude during which Dr. Minnis pantomimed or danced with the music.
Which led to him breaking out some truly aweful dance moves.
4. Family Island Delegates Claim Political Sabotage
Apparently several delegates did not have anywhere to sleep after the first night of the FNM convention. These delegates seemed to be mainly Loretta's supporters, which led many to believe that this was intentional. A claim that FNM Chairman denied.
THE lack of accommodations for at least five Family Island delegates were the result of operational challenges at the Melià hotel and not political sabotage, according to incumbent FNM Chairman Sidney Collie.
Mr Collie suggested that the hotel was not adequately prepared to manage the high volume of delegates, and thus struggled with bookings when visiting FNMs flooded the venue for the start of the convention on Wednesday.
5. Richard Lightbourne advocates sterilization of Bahamian Mothers as part of the FNM platform and angers almost all Bahamian women
While addressing delegates on the second night of the FNM national convention, the Montagu MP said The Bahamas should follow “the lead of several countries in the world which results in an unwed mother having her tubes tied after having more than two children which would in the end result in fewer children being born”.
The state should not have the burden of paying for the upbringing of children,” Lightbourn said.
By adopting such measures, there would be [fewer] classrooms needed in the future and [fewer] persons coming out of school every year seeking employment and would also result in the mother of these children being able to live a better life not having to bring up so many children.”
I believe Richard Lightbourn's political career is officially over. I don't see how the FNM can offer him as a candidate in the next election after his disastrous speech at the 2016 FNM convention.
6. Richard Lightbourne speaks through the wrap up music… For 15 minutes…
It seems Richard Lightbourn was determined to have his say… time limits be damned. He spoke so long that the started playing the wrap up music, which is a clear indication to the speaker that it's time to wrap up. But Mr. Lightbourn didn't seem to care, he continued speaking for 15 minutes!
The only thing people will remember of his speech is him advocating sterilization of Bahamian women.
7. Doc upstages Lorretta's speech with 15 minute ROC with DOC entrance right before she was going to speak
Long, drawn out, over the top entrances are a stapel of Bahamian political conventions. The leader enters surrounded by his choosen supporters and makes his way to the front of the room, while themed music is playing and he greets, hugs, kisses the vast majority of the room.
You would think its the second coming of Christ. t is truly a site to behold and usually takes no less than 15 minutes.
Its hard to believe it was just coincidence that Minnis just happened to make his entrance right before LBT was about to speak.
It looked calculated to disrupt her speech and steal any thunder she had.
8. Loretta gives poised articulate speech and unveils 5 point plan, new political symbol, and goes way over her allotted time.
She spoke about what she would do as leader and as PM, she unveiled a 5 point plan of how she would tackle major issues. But for the most part people seem to tune her out.
Oh she also revealed a new political symbol and went wayy over her allotted time.
9. Peter Turnquest goes OFF in public rebuke of LBT. Crowd goes wild.
Apparently the new symbol and going over the alotted time really really ticked Peter Turnquest off. I mean he was fuming when he took the stage. I was totally shocked.
After holding hands and dancing with her on the stage the previous night he had had enough of her disrespect and ripped her to shreds in a 4 minute diatribe
10. LBT & Dr. Sands Withdraw from Leadership Race
Well Mudda sick. All that has happened, the media circus, the social media attacks, the massive marketing campaign, one hundred thousand dollars paid… only to resign at the finish line?! WTF is that LBT?!?!!
I was truly baffled when I heard this. I mean why go through all this only to resign? How can people who supported LBT trust her ever again.
Yea Yea I know she was going to lose any way, but you still don't quit.
Lets Face it LBT made some key mistakes on to the way to and during this convention, but this decision to quit just may end up being the most disastrous. But who knows, we still have alot of time before the next general election.
This convention was truly a debacle for the FNM. While Minnis retained leadership of the party, people have little confidence in his ability to lead and now it seems LBT has
squandered her political capital as well.
The real winners appear to be the PLP and the DNA.
5 more years of the PLP? God Help Us…