Now is the time for solid plans
March 14, 2012
It has been some time since I last wrote to you, however given the election will be soon upon us, I wish to share my views with your readers. Since the last election we have seen a split within the United Bermuda Party that first caused a third party to suffice as the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, which then dismantled to combine with others within the UBP to form the One Bermuda Alliance, which by right of seats in the Honourable House of Assembly became the Official Opposition, leaving the UBP a weak, yet still relevant party, in the House. Where does this leave us in the upcoming election? The simple truth is, it leaves us pretty much in the same place we were in the last election, which was a choice between the ruling Party and the Opposition made up of the same base as the UBP, with an influx of new faces. The difference being the desire of the OBA to distance themselves from the UBP and be seen as a new party.
When looking at the roll out of candidates from the OBA it is clear that the grass roots of the UBP remains within their ranks given the former UBP MP’s remaining in the UBP “safe seats”, and new faces being presented in marginals and PLP “safe seats”. One might argue that those who occupy the seats deserve to contest them again as they have a proven track record, another may say it is an attempt to keep the status quo while attempting to deceive to public by having them believe they are a new party with their new faces, yet another would say that it is simply a political strategy, given the reality that many voters in PLP “safe seats” would never vote for anyone who had anything to do with the UBP, it would only be wise to put forward a new face with the ability to garner votes from different segments of the community (young people, single mothers, black Bermudians etc) in those seats. These are all perceptions to be left up to the voters to take on.
The most important factor in the election however, will be what bases you are voting on. While I will admit that the PLP have made mistakes in their governance I will also stand by them for the many achievements they have made. We are dealing with vary hard times due to the economic downfall felt around the world and many of the electorate are at a vulnerable state. They should not be taken advantage of by being given false promises and empty rhetoric (by ether side). Since the formation of the OBA the people have received nothing from them besides negative responses to anything put forward by the PLP. Whenever the OBA is asked what they would do differently the answer is always the same “we will put out a platform when the election is called”. This is in no way an acceptable answer. That is akin to someone telling me that the chef I employ to cater dinners I host is preparing unhealthy meals that will affect the health of my guest and that I should hire them instead, yet when I ask what they would prepare differently their reply is, “I will present the menu at dinner time and you can compare it with the current chefs and make a choice then”.
I already know what I can expect from the current chef, yet you want me to make a change before I get an idea of what you will prepare? I don’t need to be constantly told that fried chicken is bad for me and that I need a new chef, I need to be told what your alternative will be before I sit down to eat. The procrastination of the OBA has me believe that they have yet to develop a plan, and are simply buying time by presenting excuses as to why they will not offer solutions until an election is called. The last point I would like to touch on is balance. It is clear by the roll out of candidates so far that the PLP lead in respect to a balanced slate of candidates. The PLP have a broader mix of experienced candidates and new faces, as well as young and more seasoned candidates. This is important because in order for a government to truly represent all of the people they must have representatives of all segments of the community. If three men were on a boat and one fell off and was drowning and out of the two remaining, one was a doctor who never learned to swim and the other a swimmer with no medical experience, both would have to work together to make the save. The doctor would need the swimmer just as much as the swimmer would need the doctor. This is equally as important in governance, the educated person is needed to make educated decisions on matters that require expertise, and the layman is needed to make common sense decisions on matters that require knowledge vie experience and the ability to relate to the matter at hand.
The same goes for those who have political experience versus those who are young and new to politics. While the more experienced politician has a proven track record of getting things done they will still lack in the knowledge of how to address the needs of the youth today. The issues of their time of youth are not the issues of today’s youth, therefore they are needed to show the young people how to put forward their ideas and turn them into reality and to continue on with the work they have started, and the young people are needed to use what they learn from them to address the concerns of their peers. In closing I will simply say that now is not the time for party rhetoric to win votes, now is the time to present solid plans and utilise all segments of Bermuda to truly move Bermuda forward. I see this within the PLP, the OBA have yet to remove the milk from their breath and show Bermuda what they are truly about and present an alternative to what we the people know. As it stands the PLP is the Party for the people, an honest look at what the debt entails will prove that.
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