Is Bahamian Politics Becoming a Young Man’s Game ?
The anticipation that followed Branville McCartney since his “resignation” was waning, until his decision to go to Abaco to check the Prime Minister’s pulse was made public. While many saw it as a brash move for one so young in the political game; it is seen by political observers as superb. It is a brash move, but not in the context of him challenging Mr Ingraham. Mr McCartney may have successfully created the perception that he is now the de-facto Opposition leader or spokesman in the nation. There are similarities to the Pindling-Ingraham confrontations of 20 years ago, when the then Prime Minister fell into a trap of his own making, the “Delivery Boy” turned out to be a politically astute man who was able to stand toe-to-toe with one of the savviest politicians this nation has ever seen. It is not likely that Mr Ingraham will make the same mistake that his mentor made.
However, the development of this scenario is entirely in the Prime Minister’s hands. He can choose to ignore the young upstart or he can entertain him to the point where he is seen as a possible contender for the future leadership of the country. But the latter course will be detrimental for the current leader of the Opposition if this “confrontation” gains traction in the eyes of the public. Popularity has a way of shifting allegiances in a country like ours, any country for that manner. Remember that Obama was just a blip on the political horizon before his speech at a DNC convention, forced the American public to confront the issues at hand. If Mr McCartney gains the traction that he needs, it will force the Opposition to make some very quick adjustments. The addition of Cassius Stuart to what is already a deep line-up will result in a further shifting of the political spotlight, to the younger members of both major political groups. Politics in the Bahamas is about to become a young man’s game.
Perhaps, this is the season that Bahamians have been waiting for, a season where many of the members coming to Parliament will be old enough to remember what the goals were for this Bahamas, but young enough to understand that they are here to serve the generation that they find themselves in and a part of.
By: Edward Hutchesonelections, FNM, PLP, youth