Bermuda has stepped towards political maturity
I would be remiss if I did not seize the opportunity to wish one and all Happy Holidays! But we had an interesting General Election this week. So what happened?
The OBA won this election fair and square. But for a party that is not yet four years old to destroy a sitting Government speaks to the grade that the majority of people have given the PLP for its performance.
Word on the street is that some 4,000 people are unemployed and some 4,000 more are underemployed. Staggering statistics. I meet people who are affected every day. It appears that these people and many others, did not feel that the PLP were doing anything or likely to do anything, to help them get jobs or get better jobs or to improve the economy.
The OBA promised some 2,000 jobs. I certainly hope they produce them soon, or people will start grumbling again.
Many people have used the words political maturity over the past few days, to describe what has happened to the electorate. Well, Ive been using those two words for several years.
Black Bermudians have become politically mature. Even though the majority of white Bermudians will always vote conservative and will not vote for the PLP, black Bermudians have always been willing to vote conservative. How else would the UBP have been in power for nearly 40 years given the demographics of Bermuda?
Black Bermudians have realised that they have the power to swing an election; the majority of white Bermudians will not and have not voted PLP en masse. But there is a reason for that.
The PLP has not said the kind of things that would make Caucasians in large percentages feel as if the PLP is really advocating for their interests. There are a lot of white Bermudians who are struggling too and who need assistance. There have been divisive comments made by members of the PLP over the years. So unless that changes the chance of masses of white people voting PLP is very slim. There will always be some white members of the PLP, liberal, freethinking people like Jonathan Smith and Dr Barbara Ball.
I say that Bermuda will only become politically mature when we all consistently vote on reasons other than race and when white Bermudians in large percentages are willing to vote for the PLP. We took a step this time but the step was only taken by masses of black Bermudians who voted OBA, so we still have much work to do. Dont think for a moment that the problem is solved. Lets be real, the majority of white Bermudians were always going to vote UBP or OBA; thats no surprise to me and shouldnt be to any honest and intelligent person.
Political maturity is also when an electorate is willing to vote a party out after only one or two terms in office; when the only criteria used to choose the Government is performance and results. I have never subscribed to the theory that a party needs two or three terms to make changes and deliver results you can make changes in one year.
So if a party is ineffective they should be voted out and should not be given additional time to mess things up further. Also, in a politically mature country, the leadership goes back and forth between the two main parties.
I heard a guy say that back in the day, when daddy was Labour, the whole family was Labour. That may have been cool 50 years ago, but what that is also saying is that people are not free to form their own opinions simply because of what their parents believe.
I used to wonder how Dame Pamela Gordon and Pat Gordon Pamplin could be the children of an icon, a legend like Dr Edgar Fitzgerald Gordon and then go to bat for the other team, the team he fought against! About ten years ago I realised that these women must have enormous strength of character as well as mental and emotional toughness and maturity to do such a thing and take such a stance.
Many Bermudians sent their kids to college so that they could learn. In a nutshell, college teaches people to think and solve problems. Lets take voting as a problem. An emotionally mature college graduate will never solve the voting problem with the logic of, Well my daddy votes OBA so I should too or My parents vote PLP so I should vote PLP. Thats the problem that old-school parties with dated thinking face.
Emotionally mature people vote on ability, record, credibility of platform, likeliness to deliver on promises; not race, history, legacy. It reminds me of that Janet Jackson song, the words of which go, What have you done for me lately? I submit to my readers that the people of Bermuda asked that question and voted based on the answer they perceived in assessing the former administrations performance.
In assessing the Republican Party, one person said to me, There are not enough angry old white men in America to sustain the Republican Party and vote it into power. It needs to rethink its strategy and be more inclusive.
This same person said to me this week: There are not enough angry, old black people in Bermuda to sustain the PLP in its current form and the kind of campaign that is based on race, legacy, history, previous oppression, white supremacy of the old days, white privilege, etc.
Let me be clear, Im in no way comparing the PLP to the Republican Party. That would be unfair, incorrect and inappropriate. What Im saying is that to become relevant for the future the Republican Party has to reinvent itself or at least change strategies and the PLP might like to do so as well.
People of both races want to move forward and create a Bermuda that is fair, with a level playing field, with equal opportunities for all and where a person is judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin. That goes both ways, for whites and blacks. We have to get there Bermuda. We have taken a step and I think we are on our way.
And now ..THE TOP 20
Holding at #1 is Gangnam Style by PSY, still the hottest song in the world at the moment, despite what some people may think. Making a massive jump to #2 is Rihannas latest hit, Diamonds. This song has grown on me and I am to tell you that her new CD is BANGIN! That is a nice, inexpensive Christmas present for anyone stuck. Tumbling to #3 is One More Night by Maroon 5, a pop anthem that is still atop the international charts and still getting a lot of play in Bermuda, in clubs and on radio.
Falling to #4 is Scream by Usher, a popular dance track by a veteran in the industry. Can you imagine? How time flies. Little Usher is now a veteran.
Falling to #5 is I Can Only Imagine by David Guetta featuring Chris Brown and Lil Wayne. Slipping to #6 is No Lie by 2 Chains featuring Drake.
Improving to #7 is a former must have new track Die Young by Ke$ha. Ke$ha always puts out hits. She reminds me a little of Lady Gaga and her songs are hot. On the slide at #8 this week is All Around the World, a popular dance track by Justin Bieber. Bieber is evolving. Slipping to #9 is a former essential new tune, Whistle, by Flo Rida.
Up to #10 is She Wolf by David Guetta featuring Sia. Tumbling to #11 is Lights by Ellie Goulding. Down to #12 is This Is Love by Will I Am. Tumbling to #13 is Mercy by Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz.
Let Me Love You (Until you Learn to Love Yourself) by Ne-yo, improves to #14. On the way up at #15 is Girl On Fire, by Alicia Keys featuring Nicki Minaj. This one is all over the radio; in Bermuda and overseas. Ive even heard it in the clubs. Locked Out Of Heaven, by Bruno Mars, moves up the list to #16. The original version of this one is different and creative. Looking forward to hearing the remixes.
Falling to #17 is Pop Queen Rihannas other long-standing hit, Where Have You Been? Word on the street is that she and Chris Brown have split again and that Jay-Z and her crew bought her a new car. Poor boo needs a good, consistent man in her life, but thats always going to be hard, given who she is.
Now some new hits. In at #18 is this weeks essential new track, Clique, by Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean. My 11-year-old who has autism is even singing this one. Track must be hot if it can get an autistic kid to sing it.
In at #19 its the new pop hit from Justin Bieber and Nicky Minaj entitled Beauty and a Beat. Creative, clever track featuring two of the hottest names in the business.
New at #20 is Anything Could Happen by Ellie Goulding.