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New leader could re-energise support for PLP

Next in line: is it David Burt’s time to step to the front as Opposition leader in the wake of the unsurprising resignation of Marc Bean? (File photograph)

While Marc Bean in political years has had a relatively short life, in cricket terms it was an aggressive innings. He has done the right thing for himself and the party.

In spite of his desire to clean the deck, the deck did not belong to him and perhaps he came to terms with that reality. The best thing for him is to take care of his health and family, and leave the politics up to natural forces.

The larger issue for the Progressive Labour Party is who will be his replacement. Will it be a new look with a new vision for the party or the continuation of pre-2012. Not being close enough, I have seen the elements of both possibilities. However, it would seem that a new makeover-type leadership does not have enough momentum.

On the other hand, it must be worrisome to the One Bermuda Alliance because a new leader could spark a revival for the PLP and re-energise its support. Leadership should inspire hope and that is why the choice is so critical for the PLP at this time. The by-election is also critical because if there was an opportunity to parachute a new leader as a change agent, this would be the time and place to do it.

Likely there will be those — even the unpopular and those linked to everything thought to be bad for the PLP — who will surface to challenge this coveted Warwick seat. Let’s say Bean took the high road and recognised his own possible detriment. It remains a question whether others would take the same lead in this by-election to favour someone new who could bring greater credibility. The same, of course, applies to the upcoming General Election, where there are many others who would do the party and the country a favour by not standing again.

The operative word should be “cleansweep”. The operative modus operandi for the party should be “let’s finish the job that Marc Bean started but for his own constraints could not finish”.

Truthfully, no one should oppose Bean’s vision. It may be for many other reasons that he is not the one to bring the needed reform, but without any doubt, reform is vitally needed — not for the party’s sake but for that of the country.

The OBA would much prefer a soft target to shoot against in the next election and may have been relying on Bean.

The PLP would have to consider that there are many soft targets sitting in their ranks with aspirations for leadership. In any event, the next month will be very interesting.