Philip Davis, the interim leader of the Progressive Liberal Party claims the resounding message sent out during the May 10 general elections, by a disgruntled Bahamian electorate, to the former government of which he was No. 2 in the hierarchy, has been received. We wonder about that.
In Grand Bahama last weekend, Davis had two missions. Firstly, he was a part of the delegation led by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis that came to visit officially and address the residents whose homes were damaged by tornado activity. Secondly, he took the opportunity to network with scores of party supporters during a meeting held at the Bahamas Union of Teachers Hall.
“We lost all of the seats here in Grand Bahama. Grand Bahamians sent us a very clear message. It is time to bring about positive change. It is time for hard work, heavy lifting, digging up the soil for new growth,” Davis told his partisan audience.
He is right. What the PLP has evolved to is no longer acceptable to voters. There is the need for “new growth” as Davis put it. However, Davis ought to realize that new growth will only come when there has been a complete purging of the power block within the PLP. When the party is rid of the political impurities, then, there will be a chance for acceptance by the voters once more. Davis, in the view of some, and here as well, sits presently as part of the impurities that were widely rejected last May.
It seems he is intent on going along his merry way, talking bout a positive change in his party, without acknowledging that perhaps, a vast majority of Bahamians see him as part and parcel of the Perry Christie brand. Davis might never be made to deal with the courts like some of his colleagues from the Christie administration, but, he needs to take personal responsibility, in general, for how the former government went wrong.
Until he does that, purges himself, he will not be believable, when he speaks about a positive change. We hasten to point out that his double portfolio under Christie, was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works & Urban Development. A lot that has been questioned, that went on under Davis’ watch, in his jurisdictions. For our part, Davis needs to be seen to come clean. The nation deserves a “Mea Culpa” from Davis. Does he expect Bahamians, particularly those in Grand Bahama, to think of him, as not being at fault in any way for what went wrong with the government he was significantly a part of?
How can the PLP be rebranded and given a “new flavor” with Davis in charge?
If he is to be accepted as the leader of a rebranded PLP, he must first take blame for what his government put on the Bahamian people. He talks about bringing about real change and progress for the Bahamian people.
Is he believable?
We say he has not yet reached the realization point that the message sent was in large part about him.
Is Davis capable of rebranding himself?
We wonder about that. In just about a month, the PLP will go into convention. It is highly likely that Davis will emerge as the substantive leader of the party. He appears to have more support within the PLP than any other. However his ability to make inroads with young voters and those who have become disillusioned with the PLP will be determined by just how he tackles the task of proving that this Philip “Brave” Davis is different from the one who served under Christie.