“Now you need rich people pay for everything. They pay for your
campaign t-shirts, your glossy brochures, your tv ads, your plane tickets, your expensive dinner parties, your free liquor and the DJ at the rally. They let you in on their investments. They slide you 100 grand when they get a contract. They give you gifts. Poor people want a handout, rich people give you a hand up”
-Honorable Men, Scene 8
The play Honorable Member by Ian Strachan is a prime manifestation of the representation of politics in The Bahamas. The dialogue between various characters appears almost parallel to common practices adhered to in The Bahamas and the belief system that leadership should not be challenged or questioned. Honorable Member is a captivating play which enthralls the remnant of corruption, cronyism and political prostitution, in that many of the political characters involved are willing to subject their entire existence to almost anything to enrich themselves even if it means trampling on their fellow man-the Bahamian populace.
Furthermore, the brassiness of the robbers in the play signifies the total disregard of the law both fictionally and realistically in Bahamian society today. The timeline presented is a prime illustration of what the fictionalized politician, both in the play and in real life, is willing to endure in an effort to regain and preserve governance . Strachan’s play addresses the realities of a society that is constantly pacified and lied to under political governance in an effort to present themselves as black Moses’ who have come to rescue “their people” from the grave infliction that often plague them. Honorable Member is also filled with hypocrisy as political leaders say one thing yet think, feel and believe otherwise in all actuality.
This system of catch or be caught, eat or be eaten depicts the true nature of the Unitary state or parliamentary system influenced by a Constitutional monarchy both within the play and The Bahamas at large. Strachan in essence depicts a system of control which holds the view that as one individual leads, all else must follow, even if this is not what they desire, or risk facing victimization or worse and is neither conducive for the leader and his supporters . This type of dictatorship is seen through one of the main characters “Fergie” whose main tool in governance is control, corruption and manipulation. Each character present, represents aspects and ideals of politics in The Bahamas and captivates the reality of a failing system plagued with lies, false hope and personal gain through temporary satisfaction.
Strachan’s play Honorable Member focuses on the severity of a failing system that is designed to inevitably doom its people through selfishness that can either bring turmoil or triumph, which in this case, brings turmoil for not only the leaders but the country and its people.