The much anticipated platform of the Progressive Liberal Party was released tonight by party leader Perry Gladstone Christie. Mr. Christie addressed a crowd of thousands at RM Bailey park this evening where he released “A Charter for Governance” the PLPs plan to govern The Bahamas for the next five years and beyond. You can read Mr. Christie remarks below. You can also read the Charter at www.myplp.org/charter
REMARKS BY THE RT. HON. PERRY GLADSTONE CHRISTIE
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
APRIL 23, 2012
BELIEVE IN BAHAMIANS: A NEW CHARTER FOR GOVERNANCE
LOOK AT ALL OF YOU!
Just two weeks to go, Bahamas! Only two more weeks of a Bahamian government that doesn’t even believe in Bahamians!
Let’s get right to it, Bahamas – let’s talk about what’s at stake here. Your decision is very simple: Do you want the Believe-in-The-Bahamas PLP? Or do you want the Bahamians-Need-Not-Apply FNM? That’s what this election is all about. Nearly forty years have passed since political independence, Bahamians. It took Sir Lynden and his brothers and sisters in arms great courage and vision to bring power to the Bahamian people.
In 2012, we must acknowledge their work is undone. Too many Bahamians are still left out and left behind, in a world that is changing quickly. The country is suffering from record levels of violence – one tragedy after another.
Too many Bahamians are still suffering, living in the dark because they can’t pay their bills, or living in cars because they’ve lost their homes. I know so many Bahamians who worked hard to make it into the middle class – Bahamians who grew up poor but worked hard so they could give a better life to their own children. Yet so many of them today feel like they’re standing over a trap door – one step away from falling back into poverty. For too many, their debts are going up but their incomes are going down. They’re looking at a pile of bills they just can’t pay.
Then there are Bahamians with first-class educations who are forced to move away, bringing their talents or expertise to another country – they say there is a glass ceiling in The Bahamas, that in too many places, Bahamians need not apply for the top jobs. We need real change, Bahamas. The current government borrowed nearly 2 billion dollars, Bahamians– but you are not safer because of it. The current government borrowed nearly 2 billion dollars, Bahamians – but a record number of Bahamians are out of work.
The current government borrowed nearly 2 billion dollars, Bahamians – but they have not used that money to stop the drugs and weapons and illegal immigrants overwhelming our shores. They ran up the national debt to record levels….but we all are worse off anyway! We need real change, Bahamas. And I’m here to tell you change is on the way! We have a new generation of leaders in the PLP – they are tough and smart and accomplished – and they join a team already loaded with talent and expertise. PLP candidates are business leaders, leaders in their church communities, champions of education, pioneers in the fields of law and medicine, founders of charities, world-class athletes.
Together, as a team, we are ready to govern. Together, as a team, we have produced this extraordinary Charter for Governance. This isn’t some campaign manifesto, Bahamians, this is a path to the future, an innovative national development plan, one which reflects our core commitment to putting Bahamians first. The Charter for Governance represents not just our own team’s expertise but many months of consultation with leading lights in the private sector, economists, law enforcement and defence experts, energy analysts, health experts and more.
We’re ready to go on day one, Bahamas!
We have an action plan for the first 100 days – because we know bringing real change is urgent! But this Charter for Governance isn’t just about the first hundred days of the next PLP government, or even just the next five years. The Charter for Governance provides a real vision for our future – we call it Vision 2030. Because you can’t plan a nation’s development five years at a time, Bahamas. We must look forward – it is only by planning now that we can build a truly safe and prosperous and self-reliant Bahamas.
And by the way….don’t look to the FNM for planning, Bahamas. These are the folks that couldn’t plan the roadworks – same roads dug up again and again – a disaster for our economy, an embarrassment internationally – nearly $100 million and 82% overbudget and no end is sight….no, this crew, the same one which built a court complex but forgot to set aside space for the prosecutors….they can’t plan their way out of a paper bag, Bahamas! Where we did the planning for them, like the Airport…or the National Stadium….well, they can follow our plans. But the minute they supposed to think for themselves – that’s when you get what you see with crime and with these failed and botched roadworks. Their big idea was to sell control of BTC to foreigners! That’s their idea of planning. That’s my idea of a travesty. In any case, Ingraham is too busy with his feuds and his vendettas and his nasty one-liners…he can’t be bothered to look ahead for you. And really, why would he? Unless your name is Brent Symonette, he ain’t working for you. Bahamas, it’s time for big change. We believe in The Bahamas.
We believe in a Bahamas in which the talents God has given each one of us are valued and utilized. We believe in a Bahamas in which we make fuller and more responsible use of our abundant resources. We believe in a Bahamas in which safety is to be expected and violence is rare. We believe in a Bahamas in which Bahamians own the economy.
Fourteen more days, Bahamas! Fourteen more days of a Bahamian government which doesn’t even believe in Bahamians! This Charter for Governance is on our website right now – please take the time to read it – it affects each and every one of you. PLP candidates will also be sharing it with you in your communities. The Charter addresses all the key issues facing our nation – revitalizing our economy….expanding Bahamian ownership…reducing crime…securing our borders…finally giving Grand Bahama the strategy and support it deserves…developing our Family Islands…and so much more.
We have been sharing many of these plans and proposals with you for many months. Last summer, after the bloodiest month in our nation’s history, with a new record set for murder, with families and communities shattered by fear and heartbreak… The Prime Minister took a vacation. Not us. We brought together our team and the experts and we launched PROJECT SAFE BAHAMAS. It’s a plan that calls for OPERATION CEASE FIRE, higher penalties for illegal weapons, increased border patrols, new outreach workers trained in conflict mediation, serious school policing, witness protection and—of course – Urban Renewal. Communities which had Urban Renewal under my government experienced a serious reduction in crime and violence, Bahamians.
The FNM took it away – because of petty politics. We’ll bring it back – better and stronger. Because we cannot accomplish great things in The Bahamas unless people are safe. The FNM”s fundamental failure on crime has had tremendous human costs. But when the US Embassy sends out an e-mail warning US citizens of violence here…you better believe it’s hurting out economy, too. After we launched PROJECT SAFE BAHAMAS in August, we followed it in September with a four-day Summit for Job Creation & Empowerment. At that time, we began sharing our ideas to revitalize tourism, to expand Bahamian ownership within tourism. We shared our plan to double the nation’s investment in education and training – because we believe in you, Bahamians. We shared dozens of new plans to create jobs, Bahamians – I know many of you have been discussing these in your homes with our candidates for many months. Now the Charter for Governance goes even further, offers an even fuller vision. Allow me to mention a section close to my heart – the initiatives which support our artists and musicians. This is about national identity….it’s about national culture…it’s about Bahamian pride…and it’s about smart economic policy, too. We will create the most vibrant arts and music culture in our region – one which draws as many visitors as our beaches and sea. I believe in you, Bahamians!
We will have a Bahamian Arts Council to fund and support arts and cultural events. We will have a National Performing Arts Centre that is the pride of the nation. We will nurture and support our artists…. Do you believe in Bahamians?! I know you do! Now, since so many Bahamians are in real trouble right now – let me tell you a little bit about what we’re going to do in the first one hundred days of the next PLP government: We are going to launch key elements of Project Safe Bahamas and Operation Cease Fire, including Urban Renewal.
We’re going to prioritize our massive new investment in education and training, with new and innovative reforms ready to go. We’re going to create a Ministry for Grand Bahama, to bring focus to expanding that island’s economy. We’re going to institute a mortgage relief plan in conjunction with private sector lenders to help struggling homeowners. We’re going to set in motion the plan to secure the nation’s borders, with steps to hire new personnel, acquire new technology, and initiate new training programmes. We’re going to reposition the Bahamas Development Bank, so it can be a key player in creating jobs and expanding small and medium-sized businesses. We’re going to re-establish the Ministry of Financial Services and Investments. We’re going to introduce pension reform to protect your hard-earned pensions. We’re going to make sure Bahamian women have access to state-of-the-art mammogram machines not just in New Providence but in Grand Bahama as well. We’re going to reduce the maximum level of stamp tax payable on real estate transactions. And more, Bahamas – these plans are ready to go! Please read more about it online and when you receive our plans in your home! You know, Bahamas, the FNM has been so insecure about their own record of failure – record national debt, record violent crime, record unemployment and record foreclosures – that they have distorted the PLP record of accomplishment. We created 22,000 jobs, Bahamians, and when the PLP creates jobs, we create them for Bahamians! We know how to do this. We’re ready to do it again, and do so much more, with a new generation of leaders bringing energy and smarts and tenacity to our team. We have new ideas for a new era. We are ready to build a Bahamas for you! For the FNM, election time is like Halloween. They wearing these masks now…masks of people who care. But you know what’s underneath those masks….and it ain’t pretty. This FNM did nothing as murder records were set year after year. This FNM gave hundreds of millions to foreigners while Bahamian contractors sat on the sidelines. This FNM is nearly $100 million overbudget on those roadworks and say it’s too expensive to invest in YOU! Ready for change, BAHAMAS? Ready for a new day? Ready to believe in Bahamians?! PLP….PLP….PLP!