Branville McCartney has been quite busy making the rounds on the radio talk shows as of late. He told a host on a ZNS morning programme that the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has began its 2017 general election campaign. It looks like McCartney and his supporting cast are attempting to catch the two major political parties off guard by getting a three-year head start. McCartney’s most revealing statement during the nearly two-hour broadcast was that his party has swelled to 20,000 members since the 2012 general elections. A DNA insider recently told me that as of January 31, 2014, the total membership for that party stood at 23,689. I wonder if McCartney and the DNA insider grasped the magnitude of their claim.
The two are claiming that their party is experiencing phenomenal growth and will be a force to reckon with come 2017. The DNA leader warned on another radio programme that the Free National Movement (FNM) could end up being the third party in 2017.
Some DNAs seem to have a chip on their shoulder for the FNM, and are more determined to usurp the FNM as Her Majesty’s official Opposition than in defeating the governing Progressive Liberal Party. The DNA got 13,186 votes in the 2012 election despite being under a year old. If McCartney and the insider are telling the truth, then this would mean that the DNA party has increased by 10,500 members in a little under two years. And at this current rate of growth, the DNA could easily exceed 38,000 members by 2017.
As one on the outside looking into the DNA party, there’s no way for me to verify if this claim in credible. However, I am willing to give McCartney the benefit of the doubt. So let’s just say for the sake of argument that the DNA is a party with a strong base of 23,000-plus members.
The thing that should be troubling to these members is that their party, which is approximately three years old, has never held a convention to elect its leader. McCartney is the undisputed leader of the DNA and has held a firm grip on the reins of power. This bears all the hallmarks of a dictatorship.
In 2013, the DNA reportedly elected a new chairman, Mark Wilson, after former Chairman Mark Humes was asked to resign. One wonders if DNA officials were directed by McCartney to make this decision. It is interesting that the chairman in this party is elected, but not the leader. Moreover, who appointed these nameless and faceless officials anyway? Was it McCartney?
Another question: How did Chris Mortimer become deputy leader? Was he elected or was he simply appointed? If he was appointed, who appointed him?
Say what you will about the FNM and the PLP, at least their respective leaders were elected by their council members during convention.
I have noticed during the limited times I have listened to McCartney during his radio interviews is that none of the interviewers have dared to ask if his party will hold a convention to officially elect a leader and other officials. This is the million dollar question that I believe he fears the most. Maybe his 23,689 members should pose this question to him. I am of the view, however, that McCartney is hoping that they won’t.