Gibbons: demoralised OBA will regroup
The One Bermuda Alliance will battle back after its landslide defeat last July, outgoing party veteran Grant Gibbons predicted yesterday.
He said: “It takes time for a political party to regroup. It’s very demoralising to lose an election.”
Dr Gibbons, who announced his retirement from politics in the House of Assembly on Friday, told MPs that “recent unanticipated events” might affect public perception of the timing of his announcement.
He confirmed yesterday that he meant the departure of OBA MP Jeff Baron, who announced last week that he was quitting politics and the party.
Dr Gibbons said: “Whether there will be any more of those or not, it’s sort of hard to say at this point.”
But he believes both his departure and Mr Baron’s resignation will create opportunities for good young candidates to come forward.
He said: “I think that kind of turnover is important.”
Dr Gibbons felt the OBA had done a “reasonably effective” job as Opposition.
But he added: “I don’t think we have — sometimes it’s a little more difficult when your numbers are reduced — been perhaps as vocal as we need to be.
“And I will take some responsibility personally for that.
“As far as the PLP saying we’re not an effective Opposition, what else would you expect them to say?”
Dr Gibbons said there was an adjustment period for the losing side after an election as well as a “honeymoon period” for the winner.
He added: “To some degree, the current Government is still enjoying a little bit of that honeymoon period.
“But there are a lot of expectations out there that they’re going to have to meet — particularly from their supporters.
“If those expectations aren’t met, then it’s going to be a little bit more difficult down the road.”
Dr Gibbons said during his resignation speech that although he was leaving the front line of politics, he would remain a member of the OBA.
He reflected on the advice he was given when he became Opposition leader in 2001.
He explained: “Some of it was useful, and some of it wasn’t.”
“It’s not my particular responsibility right now to give the party or the leader public advice.”
But he added: “If the party or leader would like my advice, I’m quite happy to give it to them.
“But I don’t think it’s fair for me to reflect on what they should or shouldn’t be doing.”
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