For many years leading up to 2014 when the Progressive Liberal Party Government, under Perry Christie, officially designated January 10, a national holiday called Majority Rule Day, and the subsequent three years, the recognition/celebration factor seemed one-sided.
The PLP, we hold the view, fostered an imbalanced social culture, regarding the all-important date, when after a mighty long struggle, the will of the majority finally prevailed. Accordingly, there was never a full national commemoration of the day, but rather a sort of PLP celebration.
Come January 10, 2018, and, for the very first time, there was another government in place, primed to officially speak to the occasion. However, because of how the Free National Movement had seemingly distanced itself from the PLP-led Majority Rule celebrations in the past, the jury was out as to just what a Dr. Minnis-led central administration would do.
We, in the weeks leading up to January 10, 2018, became aware of discussions emanating out of both the FNM and PLP camps. The mood within the PLP fraternity was gung-ho. Majority Rule Day is a comfort zone for the PLP and plans were made to celebrate in kind, no matter what the FNM Government did.
Over on the government side, there was total non-interest or a laid-back approach on the part of many. However, there were those who felt inclined to have a meaningful presence on Majority Rule Day.
The Freeport News ventured further.
We challenged PM Dr. Minnis and his colleagues to transform the nation’s mindset towards Majority Rule Day. While in general, Bahamians understood the essence of Majority Rule Day, there was still a distorted view, because of the “territorial” impression one got by watching the PLP.
Thus it was heartening when the FNM Government determined it would be fundamentally involved in the main ecumenical service to commemorate Majority Rule Day. The service took place on Wednesday at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in the capital island of New Providence. In place was Prime Minister Dr. Minnis and Governor General, Dame Marguerite Pindling heading the list of dignitaries. There was a strong showing of Dr. Minnis’ Cabinet as well. On hand, as expected, was Official Opposition Leader Philip Davis.
It was as it should always be.
Majority Rule Day should always transcend political persuasions. We feel the lengthy Majority Rule Day statement issued by the prime minister was quite meaningful and set the stage to transform the general thinking about Majority Rule Day in The Bahamas.
“Majority Rule belongs to all Bahamians! We should celebrate this day as One Bahamas, as one people united in love and service to our commonwealth,” said PM Dr. Minnis, in part.
The FNM is now positioned to, in the ensuing years of the present tenure, mold Majority Rule Day into a happening whereby all Bahamians would feel comfortable expressing a connection to a very special chapter in the nation’s history.
Well done PM Dr. Minnis!