Can the Progressive Labour Party reform or rebrand?


December 26, 2014

Dear Sir,

A new poll showing that if a snap election was called now 40 per cent of the responders would vote OBA and 33 per cent would support PLP with 26 per cent unsure should come as no surprise. The recent capture of the America Gold Cup 2017 and the promise of hotel developments, while it does not spell the end of a negative balance sheet, it does mean jobs and a recovery that is moving in the right direction. At the same time the PLP has done little to help its own image and in boxing terminology offering little resistance to the effective punches thrown by the OBA.

While there is plenty of reasons for smiles in the OBA camp, a seven per cent margin with 26 per cent undecided, is no statistic to have jubilation because that 26 per cent donít sound like OBA supporters, rather seems more like still disaffected PLP. The OBA window of opportunity was created by the PLP and nothing tells the story better than the Finance Minister and Premier Paula Cox losing her seat which up to that point was known as a safe seat. It was a clear signal that even the PLP support base did not like how they, in particular Ms Cox, ran the economy.

There is still a lot of pride left in the community and just like many gain a sense of pride out of the leadership of Barack Obama who took over an economy that was losing jobs and running out of steam and has turned it around to the point that America is now creating jobs and leading the world in growth once again. No small accomplishment which on its own aside from the Cuba deal puts the Democratic party in a formidable position something which many would have preferred to see the PLP have accomplished and if not at least accredited for having the vision.

Confidence is what drives investment and itís a clear fact that confidence reoccurred with the OBA government. Governance is a separate matter and over the past two years the OBA suffered some serious incrimination that caused a huge disappointment and even at one time speculation by some that they would capitulate before completing their first term. While that seems unlikely now, still they cannot sweep the image problem under the carpet.

The UBP folded and the old members rebuilt themselves during the last term of the PLP. Whether one argues it was a scam and they only re-branded, whatever the case it worked and the newly constituted OBA are legitimately the party in power.

The question is could the PLP reform, re-brand or could the support base transform behind something more contemporaneous. Did the PLP learn anything from the UBP experience. I think the gut reaction is no because the thought is that there are too many core supporters who are entrenched in a methodology they have become comfortable with and forms their identity. So all I can do is ask the question, because if they could, now would be the time to begin the consideration.

KHALID WASI

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Published Dec 29, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 29, 2014 at 9:01 am)

Can the Progressive Labour Party reform or rebrand?

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