Credibility depends on transparency
Depending on the size of a government, or a country, the issue of transparency in serving the people can vary greatly, but the bottom line will always be a struggle for leaders to place truth, integrity and justice above political motives.
These days, just about every government in democratic jurisdictions is confronted with relentless inquisitions from not only the free press, but from people from all walks of life.
The overarching question is whether those in positions of power use their status for personal gain, rather than for the welfare of those caught in the daily struggle of maintaining a roof over their heads and putting food on the table.
It is not that people expect a government to deliver golden parcels to every family, as though life is a happy-ending fairytale. What happens in too many cases is that before general elections, some candidates make promises they know are not realistic, but give many a feeling that there is gold at the end of the rainbow if they support various proposals.
Not every political candidate engages in such tactics, but those who do make it difficult for others trying to serve with dignity and truth.
With cyberspace communication travelling at what seems the speed of light, people around the world are informed at times faster than news outlets can provide details about a particular event. The danger of so much information being flashed across the globe in seconds is that trying to decipher truth from fiction can be a daunting task — even for those with professional journalism skills.
This is why it is important for the electorate to be ever alert in assessing the performance of the government of the day, be it in Bermuda or in any country large or small where democracy is upheld as the process to protect and serve the people. The smaller the jurisdiction, the more difficult it is to hold a discussion on highly sensitive issues, where at times even family members differ on which side to support.
We are yet to reach the stage where, instead of which side you support, more emphasis should be placed on what community values are held higher than any political group.
Instead the electorate is constantly subjected to verbal clashes that make interesting news clips but leave much of the public wondering whether in the political arena, it is all about scoring points.
In dealing with any highly sensitive issue that could involve the Government, the electorate are usually prepared to wait for truth, rather than jump to conclusions based on support for one side or the other. In other words, most people want full transparency and only facts that reveal what the truth is. When the electorate suspects they are not being told the truth, it can create a credibility problem for any government.
Irrespective as to whether one supports the Progressive Labour Party government, or the One Bermuda Alliance, most Bermudians want truth to be the guidepost for all who serve if Bermuda is to move away from the political divisiveness of the past.
The ambition is to embrace a new day of diversity and, hopefully, an even brighter future. There are several countries around the world who are locked in bitter conflict with people dying to achieve freedom and justice.
We have much to be proud of here in Bermuda, even though we are not without problems that need support from all who serve in the political arena, and indeed the community.
Our politicians must strive for nothing short of transparency in keeping truth on the front burner — no matter the issue.