Still time to save Bermuda

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Some years ago there was a film entitled ‘On the Beach’ which dealt with the aftermath of a nuclear encounter. One scene depicted a deserted street, with pieces of paper drifting about in a gentle breeze. What appeared to be a headline on a newspaper, simply had the words, “There is still time”.

Those words could hold significance for Bermuda as the clock ticks towards a general election charged with high emotions over a wide range of issues along with growing calls for a change in the Island’s leadership. In any democracy, elections usually bring out the best and the worst in how people really feel about one political group or the other.

Political victory too often is viewed by some as more important than victory for the people who are the ones left with having to live with the election aftermath, which always leaves the emotionally wounded, and the jubilant.

Bermuda needs to prepare not so much for the election, but mainly for the morning after. There will be deep disappointment in some camps, while others will be overcome with joy. Yet as Bermudians, we must find a way to wade through an emotional jungle to rebuild a better society. All political candidates regardless of party affiliation, should appeal to their constituents to respect democracy no matter the election outcome.

There are grave problems facing Bermuda, such as mounting debt, serious gun crime, education, health care, and almost daily job losses that impact just about every family. Unless something quite significant changes in how we conduct our business, our future indeed will not be too bright.

Despite disappointment openly expressed by some supporters of the Progressive Labour Party over their performance since being elected, the question remains whether the PLP have sufficient base support to keep them in power. After all, that voting base may have been weakened, since reality of economic hardship could easily shatter allegiance.

It is undeniable that a good portion of the electorate is deeply troubled that the dismal record of the current Progressive Labour Party Government over countless financial matters, has damaged their credibility. Although their die-hard supporters take exception to that point of view, the record stands for itself.

Should the PLP regain political power against a growing tide of cries for change, they will be confronted with major hurdles to convince the Bermudian public that they can do better. Times have changed, and many attitudes have as well. Political promises no longer hold water unless they are anchored in reality.

The reality today is that most right thinking Bermudians especially those in the daily struggle to keep food on the table, and a roof over their heads, could care less about political party allegiance. The Republican Party in the United States paid dearly recently for ignoring the cries of the people. Clinging to outmoded concepts they were swept aside by the onrushing tide of new thinking and attitudes.

We all know there are still people in this world who deeply resent others because of race or ethnicity, but their numbers continue to dwindle. The dream of the late Dr Martin Luther King, is still some distance away, although there has been significant progress in recent years in trying to reach that table of brotherhood where everyone is welcome. That should be the goal of every society.

There is still time for Bermuda to change direction from what seems a train ride towards a cliff of deeper economic problems. Surely we can and should do better. However in order to change course we need to be honest and truthful in dealing with all aspects of the people’s business.

Government should never be perceived as operating by their own rules, while changing the goal posts to score political points. Everyone knows the political arena is no picnic, but the people have a right to expect honesty and truth from those in authority.

There is still time to save Bermuda, but it will take more than clinging to outmoded concepts where a political party is placed above the concerns of the Island and its people. The voters will have the opportunity to decide who they feel will best steer Bermuda to waters of calmness, safety, prosperity, and peace. At least that is what most Bermudians are hoping for.

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Published Nov 27, 2012 at 9:07 am (Updated Nov 27, 2012 at 9:06 am)

Still time to save Bermuda

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