I wasn’t expecting to write today. I didn’t plan on it. But I feel like I have to now.
I woke up this morning, checked my WhatsApp, still groggy. I had to do a double-take because I saw a message that I really hoped I was reading incorrectly.
Loretta Butler-Turner quit. She dropped out. She took her ball and went home, ladies and gentlemen.
So, I’m trying to piece this together in my head, trying to make sense of it.
Why? After coming this far, why on earth would you quit? Why would you lift the hopes of so many Bahamians, take them so high, go so far…and then drop them?
I had to go hunting for this article in the Nassau Guardian explaining why on earth this was going on. I read it, and it was like reading a eulogy. After a convention night that had such highlights as Montagu MP Richard Lightbourn talking about women getting their “tubes tied” and Hubert Minnis dancing and prancing like an idiot the day before.
And in steps Loretta, ready to save us all. I thought she had an opportunity to save this faltering FNM party – a party that couldn’t save itself at that point. She came with passion and fire and presented some policy here and there.
She didn’t have to do much to surpass Hubert Minnis’s speech, if you want to even call that shuck and jive a speech.
And yet, I heard whispers that it wouldn’t even matter how well she spoke because Minnis had already been crowned leader behind closed doors, and the convention was just a show.
Maybe Loretta and Dr. Sands were aware of this. I had to read her quotes a second time.
She said the process was hijacked.
Hijacked in the interest of the party, and in the interest of democracy, apparently.
Or whatever that means.
We may not know the real reason Butler-Turner mysteriously told the Guardian she and Sands were quitting at 2 in the morning.
She did comment on having reservations with the convention process. This sounded eerily familiar to the many who voted “No” on the Gender Equality Referendum because they disagreed with the way the questions were worded, or found the government’s methodology to be ambiguous.
Whatever the case may be, it appears that Butler-Turner didn’t have a chance, once again, in the eyes of the delegates, so maybe she decided to resign from contention as opposed to getting obliterated and humiliated a second time.
Bahamians are loyal, we know that. Party loyalty has been a staple of the Bahamian voter for a long-time. So, of course the delegates would rally behind Minnis.
He is the FNM’s leader. Who would dare challenge his leadership?
Loyalty, ladies and gentlemen.
I was listening to Juan McCartney’s radio show, The Revolution, yesterday, albeit briefly. McCartney and his guest that day, Candia Dames, were critiquing the FNM’s convention, and Hubert Minnis’s performance. A fellow calls in to the show – it was apparent that he has called the show several times – and notes that the media should just report the news instead of taking positions.
This irritated me for two reasons. The first being that I found it difficult, as someone who has supported anybody but the Christie-led PLP, to defend Minnis after he made a mockery of Bahamian politics on national television, and considering his disappointing tenure as FNM leader.
The second being that I’ve found that particular talk show to be relatively bi-partisan, and yet the caller seemed to perceive the host as being biased towards the PLP.
This kind of blind loyalty, compounded with the exit of Butler-Turner from the race for FNM leadership, and the unlikelihood that Bahamians will take third parties seriously, has me disillusioned with Bahamian politics.
Grandpa Perry Christie is also running for re-election. I won’t even talk about that.
The track record speaks for itself.
The saddest part of all this is that for a brief moment, it looked like The Bahamas was ready to shake things up.
Maybe in another five years.
As Bahamians, who do we put our faith in now?