Voters must take responsibility for their decisions

  • Into parliament: the Progressive Labour Party’s Jason Hayward (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Into parliament: the Progressive Labour Party’s Jason Hayward (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Dear Sir,

Guilden Gilbert’s opinion published on November 25 pretends to be about what’s good for Bermuda by way of having a balance of power driven from a viable Opposition. However, his parroting of stock racial rhetoric shows that it was little more than cathartic trolling of the One Bermuda Alliance — especially former United Bermuda Party MPs.

Consider the following: if the Progressive Labour Party was doing a great job, the Opposition largely becomes irrelevant. It’s only because things are not going great, and in many instances have become incredibly worrisome, that the discussion about the balance of power is coming up in various circles.

To be clear, let me stress that voting for the OBA was not the only option that voters had for holding the PLP accountable during the recent by-election.

If PLP members were unhappy about the blow-up over the choice of Jason Hayward, they could have withheld their vote; they could have gone public with the breakdown of the process; and they could have been transparent about the emergency meeting that took place after.

Leaking documents to the media is not enough.

Further, if the public at large are unhappy with the PLP’s performance, then they, too, have multiple ways in which to hold the PLP accountable: they can withhold their vote; they can start petitions; they can protest; they can call in to talk shows; and they can write letters.

They can also ... gasp ... create their own political party!

None of these options has been exercised in any significant way.

Yes, addressing race is absolutely critical to Bermuda’s future. However, we already know what happens to organisations/individuals that are critical of the PLP, regardless of which way integration flows. Any integration that isn’t PLP integration will be maligned as anti-Bermudian, selling out or racist. Any new political party that involves whites will likewise be demonised, leaving voters with the same fundamental choices they have now.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most people have more than enough courage to gleefully attack the OBA, but completely lack the intestinal fortitude to hold the PLP accountable for its failures.

There are good reasons for this, mind you. Nevertheless, all we have now are murmurings of disappointment expressed behind closed doors. Let’s just call this déjà vu!

Given this political reality, blaming the OBA and white Bermuda for the PLP’s failure to govern wisely, and by extension the voters’ failure to hold the 25-11 PLP government accountable, is political cowardice at its worst.

If voters want a better balance of political power in Bermuda, they first need to take responsibility for their own political decisions. But genuine dissent requires courage — first by looking in the mirror — not pointing a finger at others.

In other words, the government we have is precisely the government we want.



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Published Dec 4, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 4, 2019 at 7:35 am)

Voters must take responsibility for their decisions

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