Bran McCartney Jumps on Bandwagon With “Me-Too” Political Party
Branville McCartney launched his Democratic National Alliance (DNA) political party on Thursday, May 12, 2011. Here is what he had to say.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, young women and young men.
It would indeed be remiss of me to start without thanking all of you who are gathered here this evening. It is not by chance that we are here; this is no haphazard occurrence, but this is our chance, our opportunity, to redefine history, to redifine the possible! I am humbled beyond measure by your presence here this evening and I truly believe that you are not here simply because you have nothing better to do, but because you believe that Change is necessary, and you know, like I know, that our country is not the country we envisioned it to be. You and I are here because we believe that our country is destined for greatness and needs leaders and visionaries that will help us to attain the greatness and prominence that is duly ours on the world stage. You are here simply because you and I alike have recognized that we have been misrepresented and ostracized from the governance of our country. Tonight, this momentous occasion is a proclamation that a great beacon light of hope and optimism is ready to shine across our island nation and radiate the lives of all Bahamians so that we can begin to dream and wish and desire and believe in a Bahamas that is for Bahamians and a paradise not just for tourist but for natives to enjoy the beauty and bounty of this land.
I alone am not the DNA nor will I ever be; no man is an island; I know unequivocally that it is impossible to even think that I can do this on my own. I know that I will only be as successful as my team is and I truly believe in the forces of unison; I know that I am not superior to any of you or any of my candidates and pledge to always engage the thoughts and ideas of the public and my candidates, recognizing the value of multiple minds and always mindful of the fact that “two heads are always better than one”.
Tonight, commences the journey of a lifetime. What will evolve out of tonight and the days, weeks and months ahead will have such a lasting and positive impact on our country that generations nowhere in the making; so far removed, would be beneficiaries of this revolution. Tonight, we are here to mark the beginning of a new Bahamas; we are here to embark on a historical and critical journey in shaping the future of our country so that we can all be proud to say that, “I am a Bahamian”. We are also here to defy the odds to demystify the notion that another party cannot thrive in the political arena; to clarify all misconceptions; And let me set the record straight; we are not a third party; we are an alternative party…and a viable alternative at that. I am indeed very mindful of the fact that some of you have gathered here tonight out of immense trials and tribulations; some of you have been so depressed and oppressed by the scorches of torment and persecution. When you leave here however, I hope that your spirits are lifted and rejuvenated because on the horizon is the dawning of a new day, of a new era in the political landscape of our county.
My fellow Bahamians! Look around you – to your left and to your right. What you are about to experience is the beginning of a new future in Bahamian history. This is the beginning, the beginning of a new Bahamas.
Allow me to engage you for a second… I want you to close your eyes and allow me to paint a picture of what our country could look like… I want you to envision the many possibilities that exist.
Imagine our country in all its natural beauty; with litter free roads and well-landscaped gardens, with stunning architecture and properly maintained buildings. Imagine sidewalk cafes, well lit streets, rows of theatres especially designed for young Bahamian playwrights, and a downtown that is world renowned and envied by the rest of the world, with Bahamian art and crafts galore! Imagine these possibilities!
Imagine parks, nature and bike trails where citizens truly enjoy the outdoors and beaches are sparkling clean and truly enjoyed by our citizens. Just imagine little children running around outside, playing the games of the good ole days; Imagine a Bahamas where citizens are no longer prisoners in their homes; where burglar bars are not a necessity. Imagine being able to sit on your land looking at your garden that now provides your household with fruits and vegetables. Imagine these possibilities!
Imagine being able to walk out of your house and down the street to jump on a bus that you know is safe and secure and family oriented. Imagine a public transportation system that is first world and traffic congestion is a thing of the past. Imagine not having to leave your home at 6:30 am just so that you can drop your children to school, in order to make it to work on time. Imagine that possibility!
Imagine an educational system that facilitates learning, and our public school system is more competitive than the private. Imagine your child excited and enthusiastic about learning and schools that are safe for both teachers and students. Imagine classrooms with the latest technology for learning; where children do not want to leave their learning environments. Imagine a tertiary institution that attracts students from around the world and joins the top ranks of colleges and universities around the world. Imagine a Bahamian Harvard. Imagine these possibilities!
Imagine a hospital that is not over crowded. Imagine not worrying about the cost of healthcare. Imagine that your first option for healthcare service is from the public system and you no longer need or want private care. Imagine that you do not have to travel abroad for world-class medical treatment because you can get it right here in your own country. Imagine a public health care system that is the envy of the region. Imagine the possibility!
Imagine our family of island as producers of fruits, vegetables and livestock that are not only organic, but produced in our own soil by our own people. Imagine being exporters of produce and not importers. Imagine the days when food sustainability is not a far-fetched concept but a prosperous reality. Imagine these possibilities!
Imagine when you are able to make your dreams reality, when you are able to open your own business without hassle and bureaucracy. Where you are encourage and not discouraged to become an entrepreneur. Imagine owning that bed and breakfast that you always dreamed of on the island of your choice. Imagine the limitless possibilities that await you. Imagine these possibilities!
Open your eyes now…You no longer have to simply imagine those things, they can be a reality; they will be a reality when the DNA becomes the government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. The DNA is here to create the same paradise for Bahamians that only tourists and foreigners seem to enjoy. The DNA is here to encourage your to dream beyond your wildest imagination; we are here to dare you to think the unthinkable, to do the impossible. The DNA is here to move this country forward, upward, onward and we are here to do it together!
I want to assure you that this campaign will never be about me; this is about us about what we as a people can do together; because when we work together, we can do the Impossible. I want you to know that the reason I stand before you tonight is not just to present a new party to you; not just to run for office but to partner with you to transform our nation; to galvanize a movement that will reshape our future and re-establish our destinies.
Tonight my fellow Bahamians, we as a people and a nation are about to enter into a new era in Bahamian history, an era that has long been promised to us, but has yet to be delivered. Tonight, we – you and me, we and us – are about to begin rewriting the Bahamian historical narrative, a narrative that will forever change the face of the Bahamian landscape. And despite whatever present misconceptions there may be of us as a people and as an island nation, we, my fellow citizens of what is about to be the greatest little nation in the world, are about to begin re-defining our image and re-defining what is possible in The Bahamas! I ask you, can you feel a brand new day? Can you feel a brand new day? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, young men and young women, we are gathered here tonight to affirm the greatness of our beloved Bahamaland.
I stand before you tonight humble and grateful for the overwhelming show of support that you have shown to The Democratic National Alliance. I stand before you tonight humble and grateful for the opportunity that you are giving the DNA, to serve all of you on a national level. I, and the historic slate of candidates who are about to embark on this journey – some of whom you will meet tonight – stand before you, with the utmost humility and gratitude, and say thank you for letting us be partners with you in leading our nation forward into greatness. With your help, and the help of God, this too shall come to pass.
With the DNA as your next government, we will work to ensure that all of you are empowered to use your God-given, natural gifts and talents to bring about the necessary change that will affirm our greatness – as a nation and as a people – to the world! And I say, again, it shall come to pass!
In 1967, the Bahamas was at a crossroad. The Labor movement was under attack, and Bahamian workers were being denied their due rights in their own country. At the time, one author said that the “building of schools and hospitals (were) carried out haphazardly and on the basis of preference.” Ministers of the government got rich off of the public purse and foreign favors. Government abuse and corruption were rampant, and the Prime Minister, at the time, was said to be the “biggest road-builder in the country.” The poor and uneducated were being buried under a mountain of taxes.
The Leader of the then opposition, Mr. Lynden Pindling, wrote in 1965: “The Bahamas was anything but a paradise for the indigenous people.” He pointed out that the government, at the time, “never introduced a development plan for the islands to improve the situation of Bahamians both socially and/or economically.” A sad commentary which still rings true today.
But, after decades and decades of being second-class citizens in their own country, our people finally stood up and said enough is enough! Disillusioned, fed up, and angry at being ignored and feeling disempowered in their own country, our parents, our grand-parents, and, for some, even great-grand parents decided they wanted change. And the rest is history.
In 1992, we once again found ourselves at a crucial historical crossroad. Under siege by a menacing drug culture, oppressed and disenfranchised, a great number of Bahamians were fearful to speak out for change, fearful that they and their families would have to endure debilitating victimization and marginalization in a society where a few men could determine whether a majority had and did not have.
But little did anyone know at the time, there was a new generation of Bahamians lurking in the shadows – a new generation of independent thinkers – both young and old – who refused to be denied access to the Bahamian dream of ownership any longer. They were tired of ownership being for the few and the select. They, like we do today, insisted that ownership be for all. And just like many of you here tonight, they too were unafraid of the victimization that had crippled so many of their parents and those in their parents’ generation. They understood that the best way to fight the terrible victimization that had stifled the true voice and will of the people was at the ballot box. And after 25 years, these young Bahamians went into the polling stations, marked their X’s for a new government. They were not afraid to send the same message back to the same government who decades before told them that enough is enough! And again the rest was history!
And now, some 38 years after the lowering of the Union Jack and the hoisting of the Black, Aquamarine, and Gold which gave Bahamians the courage to dream of promised destinies, here we are again.
In 2011, 44 years after majority rule promised to liberate us, promised us that we would no longer have to unduly suffer in our country, promised us that we would be transformed, history has brought us back to an old familiar crossroad.
We are gathered here tonight, 44 years after Bahamians had become enchanted by the thought that majority rule and independence could bring them economic, political, and societal empowerment and upward mobility, unfortunately the menacing truth is that the overwhelming majority of hardworking Bahamians still have insufficient wealth to take care of their own personal needs; the overwhelming majority still have no voice or say in the way that their society is organized and how decisions are made; and an overwhelming majority of Bahamians are still treated unfairly and unequally. Decades after majority rule and independence, Bahamians are still feeling disillusioned, fed up, and angry at being ignored and feeling disempowered in their own country.
Am I the only one who thinks that our nation deserves more from its leadership? In this election season, we as a people must decide whether we want real, sincere, and honest change or more of the same.
Tonight, my fellow Bahamians, I implore you to join with us and let us together build The Bahamas, which we deserve after 44 years of majority rule and 38 years of independence. Tonight and every night until the day of election we must say in one loud resounding voice – we will be the change we want to see! Now, more than ever, is the time for change – a time for a new breed of governance to move our country safely past this most pressing, socially volatile crossroad in our country’s history.
Tonight, in making the DNA’s case for change, I will not present you with an extensively, convoluted list of visionary promises just to impress you. Like you, I am tired of the rhetoric; of plenty talk and no action. My track record speaks for itself and I am not afraid to get the job done. We in the Democratic National Alliance believe in delivering a simple, clear concise action plan for our nation. And the one simple truth that we firmly believe is that once you put people first, everything else will take care of itself. If we put people first, then perhaps we will no longer boast a national grade point average of a “D” that has made the outside world question our brilliance and our intelligence. If we put people first, perhaps it will move to an “A” that will once again make us the respected and competitive, intellectually brilliant nation that we were meant to be and that many expect us to be; not only regionally but globally.
Putting people first means a dynamic transformation of our country’s educational system, where education will serve as the catalyst for growth and progress because it is both inspirational and engaging; where education will serve the purpose for which it is designed, and that is to produce critically minded, socially conscious individuals who, aware of their social and environmental conditions, will be able to use their acquired knowledge and learned skills, as well as resources available to them, to plan and affect change in their lives, the lives of others in their society, the region, and the world.
In putting people first again, as its simple and primary vision, the DNA will provide the transformative framework by which we can begin the process of developing and nurturing a community of life-long learners who will keep our nation highly competitive in this 21st century global economy, while, at the same time, contributing to and driving national, regional, and indeed worldwide development.
When we put people first and strongly emphasize education, the College of the Bahamas is transformed to the University of the Bahamas and BTVI becomes a truly autonomous, high-tech, state-of-the-art technological and vocational institute, with both institutions producing a trained workforce that can provide expertise and advance ideas on public policy, on good governance, sustainable economic growth, and respect for human rights; then we the citizens of the Bahamas will reap the rewards sewn by the seeds and fertile soils that grow in an educated society.
If we recognizing that status, emoluments and the education of our educators determine the quality and success of all our educational pursuit, then putting people first in education would mean that educators must have an honored place in society. It means that we must be willing to invest heavily in teaching preparation, teaching induction, and the professional development of our present educational planners, administrators, and teachers to ensure that the school system is well managed and the delivery of education is effective.
Putting people first in our vision means that the Bahamas will no longer be seen as just one island of 21 by 7, but a whole chain of diversely unique islands and cays, each with its own characteristically unique population of people and natural environments. Putting people first once more will mean that Grand Bahama and our Family of Islands, which have proven to be a crux and developmental nightmare for past and present governments, will no longer be overshadowed by New Providence. And the DNA’s plan for putting people first will strive to ensure that the country’s total land mass is properly mobilized and utilized so that each island and its people can play an integral part in the country’s social and economic development and well-being. Indeed, as the frontline organization when it comes to building lively communities, local governments will be given a renewed opportunity to assist the national government in ensuring that their communities are functioning successfully. A DNA government that puts people first will recognize local governments’ role in promoting awareness of social needs and investments. It will allow its duly elected officials to foster a sense of responsible-wellbeing among all sectors in their respective communities so as to help us, as a government, build stronger relationships with businesses and civic groups in the community. Putting people first will mean local government and national government working in partnership with key stakeholders – in the best interest of the people – to address major issues and concerns that continue to stagnate our national progress.
Putting people first will mean that our society and our economy will become healthy, stable, prosperous and secure.
It will mean a new form of government, where Prime Ministers will be limited to two (2) five (5) year terms – no do-overs, no make-ups – encouraging the nurturing of leaders and leadership skills. Members of Parliament will be responsible to the people who elect them, and work towards nation building, one constituency at a time.
It will mean truly effective, responsible, and participatory governance that is by the people, for the people, and of the people; where the people’s voice matters and their concerns are not flippantly waved away.
It will mean that our communities will once again become safe and secure because our men and women in uniform and members of the judiciary – who are charged with maintaining law and order in our society – will be free from political will and interference and properly equipped and empowered – with tools and with training – to administer justice and effectively reduce the growing levels of crime and violence and problems with immigration that plague our society – once and for all.
It will mean a diversification of our industry structure so as to challenge the rich, creative talents, gifts, abilities, and ingenuity of our people, producing an atmosphere of variety, healthy competition, and entrepreneurship.
Putting people first means energy and food security; it means efficient and effective management of our natural resources, protection of our marine resources, revitalization of urban renewal and community development, authentic and trans-form-a-tive advance of Bahamian culture, rebuilding Christian values and focusing on strengthening the family and family morals;
The DNA’s plan for putting people first will mean that Bahamians, will be empowered to achieve their fullest potential in determining their own destinies. The DNA will institute the proper systems of social protection that will enable us to promote the well-being of our people by protecting them from vulnerability and deprivation so that they can all pursue the Bahamian dream of being able to own a piece of the Bahamian land and a home, to adequately feed themselves and afford good health care, and to have enough money to sustain themselves and retire with dignity.
That is why our vision – that The Commonwealth of The Bahamas be transformed into a nation where Bahamian people will be esteemed as the most precious resource – above all natural and material resources – and the nurturing of our intellectual and creative brilliance will help us become a genuinely democratic, economically prosperous, and socially mobile 21st century nation – is comprehensive, short, simple, succinct, and unambiguous.
Under a DNA government, our mission will also be concise and clear; and that is, our mission will ensure that the needs and aspirations of Bahamian people – to be owners with the government in the political, cultural, and economic development of the nation – are met.
We will be devoted to upholding, protecting, and deepening the democratic rule of law in society, promoting openness and accountability in governmental affairs, social justice and equality, and the right of the people to govern and have authority in determining their own destinies, will undoubtedly be a priority.
Now I understand that, after tonight, there may be folks – over the next few weeks and months leading up to the election – who will be determined to ridicule and discredit me, the candidates of the DNA, our vision, our mission, and our efforts, telling you, among other things, that our timing is not right.
But didn’t the UBP tell the Bahamian people the same thing in 1967; that the time was not the right time for leadership under a Pindling administration? Well we all know that for the people who were segregated and being socially and economically oppressed, there was no better time for change. Change came and the country moved forward.
25 years later, in 1992, Mr. Pindling said the same thing to the Bahamian people – that the time was not right for an Ingraham lead government. But the people felt that it was, and they voted for change. Change came and the country moved forward.
Now in 2011, people will try to convince you, persuade you, plead with you that this is not the right time for the DNA. From now until the day when voters march into the voting booth, there may be some crying that the vision of the Democratic National Alliance is not “well-timed.” The detractor to change will do this because they recognize that the DNA is fast becoming the people’s choice for the next government of the Bahamas.
To paraphrase Martin Luther King, our painful history and experience as people in the Bahamas shows us that change is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. So, for the DNA, we will enter a peaceful election campaign and season, peaceful because this time, we will be led by our intellect and not by our emotions, peaceful because we will not be picking any fights during this season, peaceful because Bahamians are proud, decent intelligent people who will appreciate, respect and admire a new entity that exhibits respect for all, irrespective of political affiliation or opinion.
Our job and our duty to this nation, as a party and as a people, is painfully clear; We have an obligation to uphold the democratic principles that will move our country forward to a common, loftier goal.
So that, in the future – sentiments like ” it is not possible to be the President of the College of the Bahamas – Bahamians need not apply” will be unfathomable – YOU will have rewritten the narrative and forever be known in Bahamian history as the generation that gave us the first president of the University of the Bahamas – Because you fought for change and you dared to redefine the possible.
When they tell you that it is not possible for you to run and manage a profitable telecommunications corporation in your own country, you must be the generation that is noted in history for creating a telecommunications giant that all others come to for technological and communications advice – Because you fought for change and you dared to redefine the possible.
When they tell you that it is impossible for you to own and operate a major hotel resort in a country where tourism is king and the sun shines 365 days a year, you must redefine the possible and be noted in history as the generation that empowered the greatest hotelier in the region and perhaps world; because you fought for change and you dared to redefine the possible.
And in the very near future – maybe even as soon as tomorrow – when they tell you that McCartney is too young, too inexperienced, and too out of his time to lead you to a brighter future; that it is impossible for anyone other than The Progressive Liberal Party or The Free National Movement to win, you must be the generation that says, like America, who against all odds elected its first Black president; like Trinidad, with its first woman Prime Minister; and even like Haiti, electing “underdog” musician Michel Martelly as president, nothing is impossible; We must be the generation that fights for change and to truly redefine what is possible. Together, we – you and me must be that generation that changes the course of Bahamian history by redefining the possible.
There’s a lighthouse in the distance, and the light is shining bright. It is time for us to take control of our ship and steer it towards the light of the lighthouse. There is room enough for all. Once inside the port of safety, we will work together to make sure that there is economic, political, and social stability for all Bahamians.
Take heart my fellow Bahamians, the storm will soon be over; the rain will go away, and we will make it through it; I believe it is already done! I thank you, and encourage you to keep on redefining the possible; under a DNA government, we will once again rely on the spiritual values upon which our nation was built to move us closer to becoming a genuinely free and democratic sovereign nation, where no man, woman or child shall ever be a slave or bondsman to anyone and their labor will no longer be exploited or their lives frustrated by deprivation.
I know that, under a DNA government, The Commonwealth of The Bahamas can become the greatest island nation in the region and the world, and that is why we, the Democratic National Alliance sacrificed our comforts for the comfort of the generations to come. That is why those whom I will introduce to you in short order have put themselves forward to be servants of you, the people; We want to ensure that our society, from Grand Bahama to Inagua, Long Island to Rum Cay, from Bain Town to my beloved Bamboo Town, will no longer be a place where the forces of complacency, oppression, insensitivity, bitterness, and self-hate weigh us down and cripple us; we want to ensure that ours is a society where people will feel safe and secure both in and out of their homes and people will feel like people again.
Remember, this election is for our children, and their children, and their children also. Going into this election season be reminded of Albert Einstein’s observation that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results amounts to insanity. For the sake of our children, and their children, we must decide whether we want change or more of the same.
We can no longer ignore the handwriting on the wall. The time for change is now. If that change does not begin with us, then who will it begin with? If it does not begin now, then when?
I am happy to have joined you tonight in what will be etched in the history books as one of the greatest demonstrations of deepening democracy, of courage, and of change in our country. And what I wish to emphasize most, is that this historical event would not be possible without you…your support and your belief in our dream to create a Bahamas where future generations will look back and understand and appreciate the stance that we have taken and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
On behalf of my absolutely fabulous wife, Lisa, and my children, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to serve. Thank you for this opportunity, along with our accomplished slate of candidates, to be the agents of change. To help you realize and fulfill the power of the dream and to challenge you to redefine the possible!
Thank You; God Bless You; and God Bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
And now, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce to the Bahamas, the first of the Democratic National Alliance’s 41 candidates for change.”DNA, election, politics