The massive Progressive Liberal Party connection with island voters, through the captivating rally last Friday, should serve as an awakening for the Free National Movement (FNM) family in Grand Bahama and indeed the organization in general.
There are denials from the FNM camp, but it would be true to say that finally, it seems that the PLP, as a prominent political entity in Grand Bahama, has come alive.
A clear and strong message has been sent to FNMs in Grand Bahama. There is a lot of work to be done. The Freeport News has done a good bit of canvassing of views since the huge ‘gold wave’ descended on FNM Country and it is, in fact, an upbeat PLP environment in Grand Bahama that is countering early advantages the FNM had on the ground.
The FNMs would be minded to recognize the need to consolidate efforts to rise up against the PLP surge.
The battle is on indeed, with “vote day” less than a month away, May 10. The truth be told though, the same level of leadership complacency the PLP suffered from on Grand Bahama prior to the Friday explosion of support, seems to have crept into the FNM fold.
It is our view that the FNM leadership in Grand Bahama had been taking the PLP for granted. Individually, Michael Pintard, Rev. Frederick McAlpine and Iram Lewis have been very much on the ball in their respective constituencies, Marco City, Pineridge and Central Grand Bahama.
In Grand Bahama though, there is Peter Turnquest. He is the FNM Deputy Leader and outgoing Member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama. Party folks have questioned his general leadership. In truth it has appeared as if he has been operating, as though secured in his status with the voters of East Grand Bahama, with no outward concern for projecting the FNM in the island as a whole, and assisting the movements of other candidates.
In observing Turnquest, he has appeared to be a bit of a premadonna, with an inflated perspective of his personal political value. Maybe, he is not actually in that mold, but we are speaking to a particular perception. While other leading FNM candidates in GB have been marketing and advertising themselves, and accordingly generally carrying the FNM message, Turnquest has been quite low-key in that regard.
On the other hand, Pintard has been a giant of a presence for the FNM in Grand Bahama, a man of the people, all of them, FNMs, PLPs and all else. Rev. McAlpine and Lewis have been touting the FNM message in the media as well.
Turnquest has not, based on what we have observed, been leading the FNM charge in Grand Bahama and if he does not “get with it” he might indeed live to have regrets. Whether he and others wish to recognize the reality of the PLP’s grand event last Friday, let it be known that it was the sort of happening that could end up being the game-changer.
Turnquest has the good fortune of being well positioned in what is considered a safe FNM constituency. He will likely win East End, but just how much will he contribute to successes in other constituencies is questionable.
His ability to be a vibrant leader of FNMs in Grand Bahama will be severely tested going forward.
Indeed, the PLP in Grand Bahama, is on the move!
Published Thursday, April 13, 2017