Bran McCartney wants to schedule a debate between himself, Perry Christie and Hubert Ingraham.
At BahamasB2B, we don’t think Bahamians can benefit as much from a debate between these three individuals, as they can from voter education.
This is a country where a turkey or a ham can sway a voter’s allegiance. Where people vote along party lines, not even considering the integrity of the individual candidates.
Unlike the United States, voters in The Bahamas are not given an opportunity to vote directly for the president (Prime Minister), so a debate between party leaders is not as important as debates between individual candidates in a particular constituency. That is why the debate that took place prior to the Elizabeth by-election was considered beneficial to voters in Elizabeth. A debate between Messrs. McCartney, Christie and Ingraham is rendered moot because all three candidates are running in separate constituencies. No Bahamian voter will be given the opportunity to vote between the individuals, they will only be able to vote for the candidates in their constituency. If Mr McCartney was interested in scheduling a debate between candidates in the Bamboo Town constituency, we would support that.
However, a debate between current party leaders is useless and effort should be put into voter education instead. Having a debate between party leaders only reinforces the terrible trend of Bahamian voters to vote along party lines while disregarding the merits, accomplishments and integrity of their individual local candidates.
It is not surprising that Mr McCartney and Mr Christie would be interested in a debate. It would provide free TV time and an opportunity for each of them to exhibit their skills at showmanship and grandstanding, something they both love to do. But would it benefit voters? You tell us.