Philip “Brave” Davis (Cat Island Rum Cay and San Salvador) is the Interim Leader of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP). Davis, Glenys Hanna-Martin (Englerston), and Picewell Forbes (South Andros/Mangrove Cay) were the only election survivors from the old Perry Christie order of the PLP.
Political newcomer Chester Cooper is the fourth member of the House of Assembly for the PLP this time around. Davis has appointed four members to the Upper House, The Senate. Former Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell who goes all the way back to the Sir Lynden Pindling leadership, is the PLP Leader in the Senate. Another old order Christie politician, Dr. Michael Darville is in the Senate as well, along with newcomers Clay Sweeting and JoeBeth Coleby-Davis.
How realistic is it for the PLP to evolve with the kind of newness that would be appealing to the voters, many of them a part of the new generations?
Davis, whenever the PLP holds its next convention, will offer for the official leadership post. We understand that former Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for West End/Bimini, Obie Wilchcombe, is the top contender for the chairmanship of the PLP, now that Bradley Roberts has decided to leave the position.
Roberts has said that while he does not intend to offer for re-election as chairman, he will remain involved with politics. One has to presume, he means, as a PLP.
So, what will the country be presented with?
Davis will probably beat back all other contenders, whether it is Hanna-Martin, or Alfred Sears who lost the leadership contest to Christie several months before the May 10 general elections.
Sears has new ideas, but it seems he has slipped below the radar in the PLP Movement. Hanna-Martin would be more of the same old PLP style.
So, from all angles, it appears that the PLP will not change much at all.
Davis has nothing in his political background to suggest he is capable of bringing about a new order in the PLP. He would have to undergo a drastic mindset change to refresh the PLP.
How likely is that?
If Wilchcombe becomes chairman of the PLP, what would be the change?
Mitchell, in the Senate, will preach the same messages he is known for. Quite frankly, the voters determined that they wished not to listen to Mitchell, Davis, Christie, Wilchcombe or Roberts. It is doubtful that anyone who subscribes to the old Perry Christie Order will ever again be palatable to the Bahamian voters.
At present, given the players at the forefront for the PLP in the political arena, it looks more like the same of what was dished out to the people over the last five years and from 2002-2007 during the first Christie Government.
Cooper has shown some spunk. He spoke out against racial comments made by a PLP stalwart recently. He now needs to be heavily in the survivor’s mold. He is a marked man. Mitchell and Dr. Darville will lead the PLP arguments in the Senate. Not much is expected from Sweeting and Coleby-Davis.
Thus, a new PLP image is not realistic at all.