Pedro vows to raise independents’ profile
Independent MPs are needed more than ever to break Bermuda’s two-party political deadlock, a former campaign adviser has warned.
Jen Pedro, who worked on independent candidate Christina Storey’s bid for the House of Assembly in the 2017 General Election, said the experience taught her that voters needed to be educated about alternatives.
Ms Pedro said: “I found during that time a lot of people were unaware of independent candidates and what they bring to the table. There hasn’t been enough talk.”
She added: “The current government in power calls the race card too often, and I think that distracts people. I don’t think it’s necessary. People need to move along. At the end of the day, it’s the human race.”
Ms Storey ran as an independent candidate in Constituency 32, Southampton West, against Scott Simmons of the Progressive Labour Party and Charlie Swan, of the One Bermuda Alliance.
Mr Scott took the seat with 645 votes, or 70 per cent, followed by Mr Swan on 263 votes and Ms Storey with 19.
Ms Pedro created the Bermuda Independent Candidate site on Facebook in October last year to foster “real talk” about the options for representation.
The site was designed to highlight media reports on topics from homelessness to unemployment.
Ms Pedro said she found it “scary” for voters to think they were “obligated” to vote PLP or the One Bermuda Alliance.
She added she did not support the idea of a third political party to challenge the status quo.
She added: “It’s not the way. Independent candidates can bring people to the table, because it’s more the people’s voice, not just the party.”
She added: “I am just advocating for change; that’s what my page is set up for. We have a choice.”
Ms Pedro said: “Over the two years since the Progressive Labour Party has been back in, I thought it would be interesting to hear what people think about independent candidates.
“I just want to get it out there — there are alternatives.”
There were only independent candidates for the House of Assembly before the start of the party system in 1963, but their success record in General Elections since then has been poor.
Only Stuart Hayward, who won in the former dual seat of Pembroke West Central in 1989, has mounted a successful campaign.
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