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Show us you are worthy

March 21, 2012

Dear sir,

I write in response to the letter Nandi Davis has written in defence of the One Bermuda Alliance in response to Makai Dickerson’s letter titled “Now is the time for solid plans”. I commend Nandi for stepping up and putting her name forward as a candidate for the OBA. However I do feel inclined to offer her constructive criticism on her response to what Makai had to say. Makai like Nandi, is a young person who has decided to play a part in the political arena and has shown his willingness to represent the people. While their political opinions and allegiance differ, it is only fair that what they both say is taken in full stride. Nandi conveniently picked out parts of Makai’s message to speak on, while leaving out the points he was making. Yes, he did mention the OBA’s obvious connection with the United Bermuda Party and the fact that their voting support base is made up of 90 percent of former UBP supporters and the base of their representation in the House of Assembly is made up solely of former UBP MPs. However it is deceiving for them to state that he was trying to paint the OBA as the UBP by doing so. Can they deny what he said? I think not.

Nandi also speaks to the fact that the OBA often points to their web page and encourages people to check it out to view their plans vie the reply to the Throne Speech and Budget Report. I like many others have looked at these things and for the most part they are full of negative criticism towards the Progressive Labour Party’s actions. The “solutions” they offer are without any form of detail of how they plan to incorporate them. Anyone can say what they want to do, it’s

how you are going to do it that’s important. Thus far the OBA have yet to present any form of solid plan for anything. Martin Luther King had a dream. Yet he also planned his work and worked his plan. I would like to know Nandi’s opinion on other parts of Makai’s letter such as the balance needed in candidates and solid plans needing to be put forward. It’s all good for her to have so much confidence in the OBA, what she and others need to do is show the electorate why we should have such confidence.

Also I see that Nandi speaks on education being neglected under the PLP government. Yet what they failed to take into account is that their candidate is currently enrolled in a public funded education institution known as the Bermuda College. Additionally she is enrolled in the PACE programme to further her own education which was devised under the PLP administration. So on one hand Ms Davis gets to take full advantage of the public education system, yet for politically expedience decides to criticise the same system that she is now benefiting from. The PLP government has expanded the amount of public funding for grants, bursaries and awards available to mature students like Nandi Davis. This is a salient fact that cannot be denied. Ironically it is the same public funding that the OBA would probably cut, that has assisted many young persons with financial support to attend Bermuda College and institutions abroad to further technical professional training as well. Had the OBA ever been in power persons such as Nandi would not have some of the opportunities she enjoys today.

Another interesting fact, Ms Davis was announced in

The Royal Gazette as a single mother. In light of her criticisms of the PLP, It might be assumed she discounts the value of the Day Care Allowance and free bus pass programme launched by the PLP in 2007, to assist qualified families to save money and allow them to dedicate time and resources to their children. Does she deem these programmes as wasteful spending in need of being cut, just like her OBA colleagues suggest should be done? Nandi really needs to articulate her personal position on this, as it appears she is attempting to connect with other young mothers. There seems to be a large degree of “mixed signals” here. In any healthy democracy it is vitally important to have an injection of fresh blood into the political process. Without this new blood we would never have had a Paula Cox, Donte Hunt, Makai Dickerson, Marc Bean, Kim Wilson, Shawn Crockwell, Nadia Hamza etc etc. These are potentially the next generation of “young turks” to lead our country through these challenging times. However it is incumbent on anyone entering the political fray that they have solid grounds on which to state their own personal platforms. Let us see your stamina. Let us see if you can truly go the distance in the marathon.

Ms Davis and all other new candidates must be able to squarely debate the facts put before them. They must be able to learn to counter argue on the points provided by their counterparts. We have seen far too often as of late when OBA candidates Peter Barrett, Glen Smith, Jeff Sousa and Alexis Swan are asked to present their case on several topics, inclusive of but not limited to an independent Tourism Authority, affordable housing for Bermudians and plans for revitalising Bermuda’s economy they merely repeat “ask Bob” or become like the proverbial deer in headlights. Is this how they intend to contend with the people’s business in the House? It is all well and fine to say one is a neophyte and we should given them chance to grow. Grow they must, but for all intents and purposes this is not opposing high school debate teams. This is the House of Parliament they are attempting to show the public they are worthy of entering. This is not the sandbox, this is the Thunderdome. It is incumbent on anyone entering the political fray that they have solid grounds on which to state their own personal platforms. One cannot merely recite the school song and expect to pass your GCSE. And one cannot copy and paste their way into parliament.

CHRISTOPHER FAMOUS

Devonshire

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Published April 03, 2012 at 5:00 am (Updated April 03, 2012 at 9:35 am)

Show us you are worthy

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