Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Nature of Politics, Politicks and Democracy in The Bahamas

Politicking and Democracy. What’s the difference?

Edward Hutcheson

I have spent the last two weeks looking at the nation and people of the Bahamas, attempted to write letters and found myself reaching some rebellious conclusions about what answers and remedies should be about. Speaking to an older friend reminded me that life is not about answers, there are answers for more things than there are questions. His sage response to “What is democracy?” was, “Have you answered the question in your own country?” He was referring to the fact that we in the Bahamas take our cues from how people are doing things everywhere else in the world, it is not too original, but it takes away the responsibility of being responsible, since the idea came from somewhere else. And when you think of it, that is how the country has progressed – a lot of outside help and money, with Bahamians acting like tourists most of the time.

At the end of my looking, I had the opportunity to view, on one of the local television stations a discussion on the privatization of BTC, the talk show host had some members of a political party giving their view on the process. It was amazing, the amount of information that came out of it, there were answers for everything, until the moderator asked a question that was not anticipated. He wanted to know what was that particular party’s policy on the privatization, seeing that they had attempted the same process, some time ago. They were not able to give an answer, and then the host reminded them that their position had changed from what it previously was, and the reply was that that was the nature of politics. The host was able to pin down one of the rising stars in the party and his reply was that they did not have a policy on BTC, but they had a model that they were following. I wanted the host to push for a further explanation of that model, but they ran out of time.

Lately, it seems like most of the answers the public is getting are more like opinions; everybody has one. We must come to the place where we are able to ask the questions to whoever is leading out nation or who would like to lead and not get out of their face until the answers are forthcoming. I am getting ticked about the BTC issue, primarily because the public is not being told what is happening and/or the bodies involved in the process are not informed on the issues that they are addressing and this exercise up to now is more about persons maintaining their lifestyles or various groups of persons promoting social unrest.

The historic reality is that technology renders a judgment that government legislation cannot protect anybody from, except you are living in a dictatorship, and those of us who think we are gaining something by promoting battles are wasting time and money. We became a democracy in 1967, but it took us 25years to get our voices, and even within that time frame persons who should have known better made an attempt to ban dialect from the airwaves.

So what is a Democracy? It is when persons who were democratically elected exercise transparency in their dealings with the persons who elected them, and those who would like to be elected give a fair and impartial presentation of what they do know and would like to see, leaving nothing out. Anything else is politicking.

March 22, 2011