Bahamas: Election Discussion

Bahamaians go the polls on May 7 in the country's 2012 general election. Bloggers have already started talking about it. In this post, the discussion continues…

Blogworld, in a post in which she summarized her Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-04-15, responded to a Twitter user wondering about whether or not to vote:

@nicobet: RT @KnowlesAsh Should I even vote? All 3 parties seem inadequate. >>> My dilemma exactly. We still have one more document to go though #PLP #

In fact, much of her highlighted tweets in the post focused on the upcoming elections, dealing with everything from the quality of party manifestos to the need for political debates. As an educator, she was also interested in other key issues, which she drew attention to using the hashtag #DemandDebates. Other observations from Blogworld about how the elections race was developing included:

@nicobet: Disappointed. No real faith in people expressed. A conservative, cautious manifesto when we need radical vision. Train citizens not servants #

@nicobet: Looking for some real alternatives in the economic arena but saw more of the same. Investment in servitude not creativity. #DemandDebates #

@nicobet: Are we going to see governance in next 5 years rather than continued political point scoring? Not an auspicious beginning #DemandDebates #

@nicobet: #DNA talking issues. #FNM Manifesto up. #PLP we're waiting – #DemandDebates #

Which brings us to the three political parties who will be fighting it out with the hope of emerging victorious come May 7. The two main contenders in the parliamentary democracy are the incumbent Free National Movement and the opposition Progressive Liberal Party. But this year, it may just be a three-party race with the Democratic National Alliance, which, whether or not some like its style, at least seems to be getting attention. Bahama Pundit made a few election forecasts here, but with a few weeks to go before polling day, it remains to be seen how everything will play out.

In the interim, bloggers are looking at issues. At Weblog Bahamas, Rick Lowe wondered about the opposition's ability to deal with crime:

I'm usually wary when people in the political class keep repeating that a programme they've designed worked as planned but the country just needs more of it. Just more resources (taxpayer money) are required for the bureaucracy to solve all our problems.

And this is the case with the PLP's Urban Renewal 2.0.

I'm not a sociologist nor a psychiatrist, but I know the rhetoric we're getting is not the solution. If political parties must get involved all they need to do is agree that crime is a national issue that affects all Bahamian's, FNM's and PLP's alike and work together for possible solutions.

Maybe a joint political rally on crime? There will be lots of people there at least.

How about starting neighborhood crime watches in constituency offices?

I don't think Urban Renewal 2.0 will solve crime just as Urban Renewal 1.0 didn't.

The country deserves more than cute slogans.

The blog also questioned policy recommendations, and compared the pros and cons of Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Leader of the Opposition, Perceval Christie.

As expected, the Internet and social media have been facilitating important discussion about the elections (quite apart from the political entities themselves making use of micro-blogging sites like Twitter to get their message out). The site Bahamas Elections 2012 allows netizens to make their picks for the successful candidates, and this post examined how discussion on Facebook could impact the outcome.

The thumbnail image used in this post, “Voting”, is by League of Women Voters of California, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Creative Commons license. Visit the League of Women Voters of California flickr photostream.

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