Former OBA member set to run as Independent in Pembroke

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  • Independent candidate for Pembroke South West, David Petty (Photo by Akil Simmons)

    Independent candidate for Pembroke South West, David Petty (Photo by Akil Simmons)

Pembroke South West voters will now have four general election candidates to choose from with news that David Petty, a former candidate for the United Bermuda Party, has thrown his hat in the ring.

The management consultant had most recently been a member of the One Bermuda Alliance.

He resigned from the party on Friday.

He joins Jonathan Starling, also an Independent, and the Progressive Labour Party’s Marcus Jones, in contesting the seat in the general election.

The One Bermuda Alliance has not yet announced its candidate but says it will do so around Nomination Day.

Mr Petty describes himself as a “liberal socio-capitalist” and said he hopes to be a balanced voice in the House of Assembly.

His political philosophy embraces “equal rights wherever possible” and Government’s role in protecting the vulnerable.

“There needs to be a degree of regulation. There needs to be solid governance,” he said.

“You protect the people who can’t necessarily protect themselves. You look out for the young, you look out for the sick and you look out for the elderly.”

In 1998, he ran for the UBP in the PLP stronghold of Pembroke East.

He joined the OBA shortly after its formation last year, and served on the Shadow Finance Board and, later, the Shadow Transport Board.

Mr Petty said he had sought the Pembroke South West candidacy under the OBA banner but was told that the candidate had already been selected.

He said he disagreed with the party’s policies in a number of areas.

“Rather than working behind the scenes, I’ll be a real proponent for change as an independent,” he said.

He believes the PLP’s victory in 1998 came about because many Bermudians wanted the Government to “look after their needs more”.

But the OBA had taken a “sledgehammer” approach to addressing the resultant problems with policies like a two-year moratorium on term limits,” he said. “I can’t see how swinging the pendulum of protectionism to blanket moratoriums is the way to go.”

A more balanced approach, Mr Petty said, would be to apply the moratorium selectively instead of across the board.

“There are people coming here on work permits as service providers who are essentially taking on roles we need to empower our countrymen and women to do,” he said. “For example we have cleaners and housekeepers coming from abroad and they are not really contributing a huge amount to the economy and probably shipping their funds back to the home countries.”

On the other hand, he said, “We’ve all heard of the guy who packed up his entire company and shipped it abroad because his nanny couldn’t get a work permit.”

“I believe there’s a balance between the PLP approach, which is protectionism across the board, and the OBA approach, which is throw out term limits altogether for two years across the board. These are both sweeping gestures. We need balance.”

As an independent he will be able to “speak my conscience” in Parliament and bring bills to the attention of fellow legislators.

Louise Jackson, who is retiring from politics, won the seat for the UBP with 81 percent of the vote in 2003 and 83 percent of the vote in 2007.

The One Bermuda Alliance did not respond to requests for comment last night.

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Published Nov 20, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 20, 2012 at 12:31 am)

Former OBA member set to run as Independent in Pembroke

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