Some twenty years ago, I ran for class rep in my school under the slogan, "Don't vote Loose or Gay, vote Baley." For those not in the know, I'll leave you to determine the context but suffice it to say, it wasn't a shining moment in my limited political career. But I've been reflecting on that bit of smear campaigning as I play witness to the train wreck that is the Bahamian campaign process.
Tomorrow is Election Day in the Bahamas. Featuring pretty much everything from Norah Jones' song on the subject except perhaps for the final verse. In a previous post, I likened the campaign to two vultures fighting over a carcass which is still mostly accurate depending on the carcass. The Bahamas hasn't quite rotted through completely and there's still a chance it could come back to life. More on that in a future rambling.
While I'm proud of my little analogy, the incumbent party, the PLP, has gone me one better. Their slogan is "No Turning Back" which, coincidentally, is the same advice given to Lot's wife about Sodom and Gomorrah. I'm not the most religious man in the world but they started it with a commercial making comparisons 'twixt their party and Moses (with Chariots of Fire playing in the background, no less) so I have no qualms extending the religious connotations.
And judging by the gangsta rap coming from the impromptu rally in a shopping mall yesterday, one could also compare the election to a gang war. Nothing says "we can lead this country" like a thumpin' bass line accentuated with lyrics that would make Quentin Tarantino blush. To quote my daughter: "Daddy, when will the election be over? It's hurting my ears."
The campaign has made me shake my head so many times, I feel like a bobble-headed toy. Both the PLP and the FNM have submitted their fair share of little ditties designed to sway the Bahamian public with their incisive wit and acumen (sample lyrics: "Who ya votin' for? Who ya' votin' for? Who ya' votin' for? F! N! M!). After all, we can't have the people thinking their leaders speak Queen's English now, can we?
And the most common campaign material I've seen is, of course, posters. Except that they are taped/stapled/nailed/crazy glued on to streetlights, trees, and pretty much any object that isn't nailed down, including several comatose drunks. I suppose if the tactic works for advertising that the circus is in town, it's bound to work for a federal election.
The other thing that baffles me is that there are forty seats in total in the Bahamas House of Assembly. For a population of 323,000 people. That's one MP for every 8075 people. But as I dig deeper, I also notice Prince Edward Island has a provincial assembly of 27 for 135,000 people. Must be an island thing.
Anyway, D-Day looms and I look forward to it if only so that traffic will go back to normal.
And they really should just let CNN come in and take over anyway.