The Opposition claims that it is the real thing. Of course this is just another gimmick to hide its incompetence and shameful record in office. The PLP is like one of those knockoff designer handbags that someone sells under false pretences.
From far off it looks real. But on closer inspection it quickly falls apart despite all the pretty packaging and money spent to pay for the fake bag. Buyer’s remorse settles in and the purchaser wishes they had bought the real deal.
The opposition forgets that the Bahamian people quickly experienced buyer’s remorse after voting for them in 2002. That’s why they were voted out after one term and Bahamians returned to the real deal with Hubert Ingraham and the FNM.
The Opposition is desperately trying out various slogans and false advertising to see what “resonates” with voters.
They have launched a marketing and public relations scheme to convince Bahamians of their care and compassion.
Bahamians saw this same advertising campaign in the lead-up to the 2002 election. One way to test for false advertising and fake goods is to check the claims of those trying to sell a product. Here’s a fact-check on the Opposition’s 2002 promises of the care and compassion they would deliver to the Bahamian people.
In 2002 the Leader of the Opposition said: “I see thousands of young children in overcrowded classrooms.”
His government did not complete a single school in five years despite a better economy and after borrowing $800 million.
Not only did the FNM build the Sister Mary Patricia Russell High School in Grand Bahama within one year after returning to office in 2007, the Ingraham administration also had to finish, furnish and open schools the Opposition could not complete.
From 1992 to 2002 the FNM reduced classroom overcrowding by building 8 primary schools and four Senior High Schools and expanded a number of existing schools at both the primary and high school level.
In 2002 the Leader of the Opposition said: “I see oldage pensioners still waiting in long lines to collect pensions that are too little to live on.” The Opposition failed to increase old-age pensions from 2002 to 2007.
Not only has the FNM increased old-age pensions, legislation passed this term by the FNM now means that these pensions automatically go up to keep pace with the rate of inflation. This is compassion in action, the real deal, not fake talk about being the “real thing.”
In 2002 the Leader of the Opposition said: “I see too many families who still have to fry fish and conch fritters out on Montagu Bay to raise money for major surgery because there is no National Health Insurance (NHI)”. Mr. Christie promised he would deliver NHI “as a matter of the most urgent priority.”
Mr. Christie and the Opposition don’t do “urgent”; they do late-again and never-never. They failed to deliver NHI to the Bahamian people.
Today, thousands of Bahamians now have greater access to lifesaving medicines after the FNM introduced the prescription drug benefit, a key component of NHI.
The Opposition is replaying the same campaign it ran in 2002 and with the same slogans such as hope and help.
It won’t work for a simple reason: Bahamians know that the PLP is a designer knockoff repackaging itself as the real thing. They are the same fake goods that was tried, found wanting and rejected.
Responding to the challenges facing The Bahamas requires decisive and competent leadership. Issues don’t solve themselves, which was the approach Mr. Christie and the Opposition tried last time around.
If someone solemnly promises and then miserably fails to reduce school overcrowding, seriously help old age pensioners and deliver National Health Insurance, it makes little sense to believe them when they make these same promises yet again.
This is Perry Christie’s failed record.
The FNM has a record of great accomplishments and of real care and compassion, measured in action and not words alone. Hubert Ingraham also saw the students who needed more classrooms, he saw the needs of oldage pensioners, he saw and felt the urgency of helping to lower health care costs for all Bahamians.
The essential and defining difference is that Hubert Ingraham did something even as Perry Christie continued to talk and talk and talk some more.
Free National Movement