Phil Perinchief resigns from PLP
A selection of points from Phil Perinchief’s platform:
► Reorganise the education system, returning to between three and five secondary institutions, with Berkeley as a comprehensive school and CedarBridge as a technical institute;
► a variant of the proportional representation electoral system, with a maximum 27 parliamentarians; an independent Speaker of the House of Assembly; fixed election dates; longer parliamentary sessions with twice-weekly sittings;
► a minimum living wage which stays above the poverty line;
► resurrect the Workforce Equity Act “in an appropriate way”;
►Government-owned grocery stores, shared with and run by the unions and public, with duty-free merchandise
► price controls on staple goods, particularly in recessionary eras;
► expand the blue economy to include the sky, and develop satellite slots;
► cost-of-living adjustments for pensions, so those who need more get more, and seniors get an average $1,000 per month; all seniors get access to quality rest homes; tackle a culture of ageism that means employees aren’t wanted beyond the age of 65;
► single-tiered healthcare benefits along ObamaCare lines;
► referendum on Independence with a view to Bermuda becoming a Commonwealth republic.
Former Attorney General Phil Perinchief is today quitting the Progressive Labour Party to run as an Independent in the general election.
Mr Perinchief, 68, a PLP Cabinet Minister in 2006 and 2007, will take on Junior Finance Minister David Burt and the One Bermuda Alliance’s Nicholas Kempe in Pembroke West Central.
He said the ruling party has shown it’s not prepared to tackle an economic system designed to benefit the wealthy, and his platform ideas include a minimum wage, food price controls and Government-owned grocery stores with duty free merchandise.
Mr Perinchief first joined the PLP more than 40 years ago and was a candidate for that party at the last election five years ago, but he also ran unsuccessfully as an Independent in 1983 and 1998.
“I run Independent when I believe my party are not getting on with the core principles that caused me to join the PLP,” Mr Perinchief told The Royal Gazette last night.
“I have prepared a resignation letter, dated November 8, and will be resigning from the PLP as a member when I deliver it in the morning.
“I do so with many misgivings, of course, which tend to dissipate when I measure them by the principles by which I live.
“It’s my view that neither party at this point significantly reflects some of the pressing issues that I think need to be addressed.
“I take the view that one party has lost its vision and its way and the other party is in the process of defining a way. As such I can’t at this point in my life totally support one or the other.
“Further, neither of these parties appear to address the fundamental issues and reasons for the perennial inequities that beset our society.
“This Bermudian polity was designed as one mass Ponzi scheme, in that trickledown economics is systemically inherent in this design and it’s workings.
“It was designed by the merchant class to serve the merchant class and unless and until a given government is prepared to fundamentally uproot the mechanisms that maldistribute the wealth of this society, then trickledown economics is all that it will deliver.”
Government needs to gain control of its fiscal and monetary controls, he said.
“We continue to administer a regressive taxation system and leave the control and administration of our monetary policy, particularly in the form of the setting and operation of interest rates, almost entirely to the whims and fancies of the merchant class.”
Mr Perinchief describes himself as a “Point Boy” who attended West Pembroke Primary School and Berkeley, and has strong family connections in Pembroke West Central; his brother, National Security Minister Wayne Perinchief, lives in the area.
Local issues, he said, include the need for a neighbourhood park near Black Watch Pass, a neighbourhood watch scheme following a spate of break-ins, better street paving, a crackdown on speeding motorists near schools and measures to tackle environmental effects of Belco’s smoke stacks and tree trimming.
He said he will begin canvassing this weekend, adding: “This decision was made for me when I observed that the party of which I’m a member appeared to go off course.
“It’s been in the back of my mind for at least two years.”
Many consider Independents rank outsiders in a race dominated by the PLP and OBA, but Mr Perinchief said: “There’s a huge degree of dissatisfaction with Bermuda’s politics generally. I believe I might be taking votes from both parties.
“I firmly believe that at least a third voice should be heard in this community and that reflects my belief in proportional representation.
“Clearly the two major parties are gridlocked under the first past the post system.
“I believe there’s an independent voice that isn’t being heard. I believe I’m the voice.
“I know people in all three parties. It’s not a question of individuals — it’s the parties I can’t support at this time.”
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