In the final analysis, the votes when counted from the May general elections will end up being the ultimate proof of the general desire of Grand Bahamians.
However, last Friday when the two leading political organizations in the country, the governing Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) and the Free National Movement (FNM) squared off with same time frame events in Freeport, it was quite clear which got the greater response.
It was the FNM.
We specifically monitored the happenings at the old Bowling Alley complex, just off East Sunrise, where the FNM’s Roll Out Rally was staged and the Jubilee Cathedral where the PLP conducted a religious service and made a political appeal for support. The argument was made by a PLP stalwart that their event should not be compared to the FNM rally in numbers. In his view, a Church gathering understandably would be less than what a rally atmosphere would draw.
Well, we beg to differ with that position.
The PLP held a political event under the cover of a religious service. That’s plain and simple. All pretense of the event being purely religious went out of the window with the electrifying, but FNM-targeted delivery by Minister of Tourism and sitting Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Obie Wilchcombe.
Also, the PLP poster/flyer that was widely distributed via social media clearly invited “the people of Grand Bahama to join its five candidates at the religious service.” At the very least, it was a politically flavored event. Therefore to downplay the difference in the lower attendance numbers at the PLP event is weak indeed.
The bottom line is the two parties went head-to-head, with events they preferred, and the FNM’s turnout was greater.
What was established is that the island is now caught up in the excitement of the election campaign. Those two events have caused the enthusiasm build-up in Grand Bahama about the lead-up period to the general elections. Our insiders have informed that around May 2, Bahamians will go to polling stations to decide which party governs for the next five years.
In Grand Bahama, it is expected that the battle will heighten, as opposing teams converge on the five constituencies to solicit support for their respective party candidates.
For the most part, traditionally, Grand Bahama voters have favored the FNM. Presently that party seems to have the edge once again. Round one is over and the ensuing days and weeks are highly anticipated.
Published Monday, March 21, 2017