Obviously, the title of this post is borrowed from former President Bill Clinton’s campaign of a few years ago, “It’s the Economy, Stupid”. After the crushing defeat of the PLP by the FNM two weeks ago, the public has turned its attention to the satisfaction of only one political promise – punishing the wrong-doers. That is the agenda being advanced by most of the people calling talk-shows, the hosts of those shows and letters to the editor.

But I have another agenda. My agenda is based upon the satisfaction of the things those same people were asking for just a few weeks ago. Then they were asking for three things:

  • Inclusion in the process of governance.
  • Accountability
  • Access to business opportunities

 

In response, during the campaign politicians committed themselves to providing all of these things. Unfortunately, the public believes the delivery of those promises is provided by a combination of executive integrity and resolve. But the sustained success of any political benefit requires a commitment to systems that themselves are based upon principles of governance.

The three principles underlying the demands listed above are:

  1. Inclusion in governance requires more than a single level of government administration.
  2. There can be no accountability without consequence.
  3. Opportunities are created for those prepared to take them.

The rhetoric of politics is designed to convince voters that individual integrity and resolve are the keys to delivery of the desired conditions, and while no doubt most politicians know that little is possible without the establishment and maintenance of systems, their agenda is often framed by the need to appear to “deliver” personally on their promises. But it is the systems that allow the delivery of the results needed, and attention to those systems is the key to successful governance.

My agenda for the moment, therefore, is a review of the systems intended to provide good governance generally, but immediate attention to the three systems necessary for the delivery of the most demanded items during the election campaign, as noted above: inclusion, accountability and opportunity. Those three systems are:

  • The creation of an autonomous system of Local Government
  • The creation of a recall system for elected officials
  • The re-definition of the education system as the preparation of all Bahamians for productive participation.

This is the foundational infrastructure for the development of a more productive Bahamian society. I believe the new administration is committed to this kind of agenda. I hope it is an agenda the public has the patience to adopt.

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