Bahamian democracy is too narrow in scope.
1) We have one vote which must be cast for one of a slate of candidates that most ordinary citizens had no hand in selecting, vetting, or ratifying.
2) Once that vote has been cast, the citizens have no means to recall the “representative”. No matter what the political climate, whether we are enamoured of the candidates or the parties or not, this is true.
3) Before that vote is cast, we have no means by which we can meet with prospective candidates to hear their vision, their beliefs, their commitment to the country, or their ability to respond to citizens’ needs or concerns. There are no public debates and no primaries. There is no opportunity to engage in dialogue, no chance for evaluation of one’s representatives, no accountability to one’s constituents.
4) Despite the attainment of “majority rule” the old model of governance, a system of patronage, still obtains. Candidates are less democratic representatives than political appointees who function rather like under-lords or chieftains. I do not buy into this system, no matter what my personal political leanings.
#OutDaBox educates people that there can be a valid alternative. One can participate in the process while still refusing to select from the slate that is offered to one. This refusal should send the message that we are dissatisfied with the SYSTEM that obtains rather than with the party in power.
We are working for a revolution, not a replacement of personnel. Corruption is always a corollary of power. What we need are valid SYSTEMS that demand more accountability.
On May 10, think #OutDaBox.