Beware of election distractions

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The Bermuda electorate is bubbling with emotions never seen or heard before with a tidal wave of attacks and counter attacks over who should be given the right to govern this Island, in order to move away from a slide to an economic abyss.

No election in Bermuda’s history will be as significant as that which is about to happen later next month. The Progressive Labour Party Government has drawn powerful criticism from many who feel they should be removed from office for failing to conduct the peoples business with transparency and accountability.

A trail of highly questionable financial transactions over the years, highlighted by meticulous examination conducted by the Auditor General’s Office, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of much of the electorate, who are showing clear signs that something needs to change.

With the election date now set, and not a great deal of time before going to the polls, the public can expect a ferocious exchange of attacks between those who see nothing wrong with the PLP government and those who fear that keeping them in power will send the island into deeper economic troubled waters.

In the days ahead, things could become nasty which could become a distraction from major issues the people are really concerned about. Indications are that the populace these days is not prepared to keep any political party in power for sentimental reasons. The people want a clean Government that leaves no doubt that honesty, truth and integrity is their guidepost for steering this island in the right direction.

Democracy is wonderful, because it allows the door to be opened on a wide range of views that include positive and negative exposure. Let’s not forget the hammering the Republican Candidate for the US presidency, Mitt Romney, received ,after his remark captured on a hidden camera, that he would not be concerned about 47 percent of the population that would not support him.

It was a comment that traveled around the world, and caused him irreparable political damage. While that was not the only reason he lost against Barack Obama, it shows how devastating off the cuff remarks can be where the people are concerned.

Here in our small Island, even without the giant press machine available in large countries, the people still know which political group is playing games with the truth. Although our free press is often criticised, they do an outstanding job under challenging circumstances. Most Bermudians are in no mood for a mudslinging contest with divisive tactics that even include racial tones, when our diverse community is reaching out for sound good leadership to move forward.

If the Progressive Labour Party Government had performed as they pledged when first elected, ,the populace would be clamoring to keep them in the seat of power. The groundswell for change mounting every day is clear evidence that they have fallen short in delivering what they promised.

Of course the election will determine whether supporters for the PLP will have sufficient numbers to simply overlook party mistakes, and put them back in power for another four years. That too is a part of democracy one has to live with.

The One Bermuda Alliance, vying for an opportunity to govern will need to press their case with vigour, pointing out clearly why Bermuda stands to benefit if they are elected to the seat of power in running the island.

There is much work to be done in all areas of community life, and neither the Progressive Labour Party government nor the One Bermuda Alliance will be able to work miracles overnight. The people know this, but with a drastic change in the mood of the electorate their main concern is trust.

Every voter, whether he or she is faithful to this or that political group, should reflect deeply on what they really want for this island. In other words, voters should be aware of negative distractions before stepping into the voting booth. The future of Bermuda could depend on what they do behind the curtain.

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Published Nov 13, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm)

Beware of election distractions

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