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The great thing about democracy

No matter which side of the political scene one chooses to be on, few would not agree that the political climate in Bermuda has sunk to disturbing levels when it comes to honest, clear, transparent accountability from those charged with leadership responsibilities.

Everywhere you turn these days, more and more people are openly expressing disappointment over a number of issues concerning Government's performance and how over the years so much has been pushed under the carpet that a mountain of suspicion has formed.

It is a troubling track record that should worry every Progressive Labour Party candidate who steps out on the roof top to explain how Bermuda stands to gain by keeping the PLP in power. Although that should be their mandate as members and representatives of that party, it is difficult to imagine that they have no concerns over the building wave of criticism over Government's part in Bermuda's current economic situation.

Even those not attached to any political group, are pondering what will become of Bermuda, if we as a people continue this slide deeper into doubt and mistrust that has overtaken the promise of hope for a better Bermuda.

Instead what we have is a party in power that in the eyes of many, has failed to live up to promised aspirations when they took office 13 years ago, and yet insist they are the ones to lead Bermuda to the wonderland of success and prosperity. This has lead to a foul political smell that has not been fully checked out.

No right thinking Bermudian wants this Island to fail simply because we choose denial over facing up to problems that affect our quality of life, and values that helped to build this Island. Although too often race becomes an issue, most people do not buy into this, but feel mismanagement of the public purse, along with bad decisions attributed to our current economic plight.

Everyone is aware of the global recession that plunged many countries into deep economic problems. However our leaders should have been more conservative in spending, in light of what were clear signs that it was only a matter of time before global economic shock waves reached our shores.

When you have political groups scrambling for the high ground prior to an election, one should be wary of glowing colourful projections by those in power that overnight they have discovered the golden recipe for success, after a lengthy period of blunders and stumbles that are well documented.

There are always those supporters who are unshakeable no matter what happens. In fact that is where elections can be tricky, especially if one side has an advantage in die hard voters who question nothing. The wonderful part about democracy is that it provides a window for expression of concerns from the people on any matter relating to their lives. That freedom is worth preserving if truth is to be valued by any Government anywhere on this planet.

Trying to paint Bermuda as a symbol of success without dealing with countless unresolved issues, is like pouring more icing on a cake knowing that so many wrong ingredients were used, the flavour will not be pleasing no matter what the cake looks like.

The other plus about democracy, is that the people not only have the right but

should replace any Government that disappoints or falls short in serving the people who elected them. It is also healthy for any society to take this step, if they truly feel a change in direction is vital to upholding the values necessary for success.

The list of issues including the never fully explained Uighurs dilemma, is still baffling to most Bermudians. Deception especially by those in authority, shatters confidence and creates a climate of mistrust. Most Bermudians have no ill feeling against the four men brought here from Guantánamo Bay in a cloud of secrecy.

How it all happened was not their fault. This incident still hangs unresolved. One can only wonder whether the truth will ever be told. Add to this the plight of our seniors and the questionable healthcare programme that still leaves too many on the sidelines scrambling to cope. Illegal drugs and violent crime continues to make many Bermudians feel unsafe even in their own homes.

The countless questionable matters of the public purse as exposed by the Auditor General's office raises even further questions about officials failing to keep a sharp eye on the taxpayers account..

No one should be ostracised or condemned for wanting to know more about these matters. The Ombudsman's recent report on a Government decision that impacted environmental concerns, was another case where questions arose over whether proper procedures were adhered to by those in authority.

The Bermudian people are entitled to know the truth no matter how ugly it might be for the Government, or how it might effect the image of a particular politician. When a growing number people feel that political games are being played to enhance the image of a political party, it is prime time to call for change. The populace is not seeking change for the sake of change, but the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance, has caught the interest of many who are not afraid to give them an opportunity at the helm. That is democracy.

Post election emotions always involve joy and disappointment between those who supported this or that group. That is to be expected. But Bermuda is so small that losers and winners must still live together. Political party's come and go, but the future of Bermuda will depend on keeping good sound values alive.

If we lose sight of that, future generations might find themselves in the cycle of having history repeat itself. That would be an awful legacy for this generation to leave. There is time to avoid that, if we do what is best for Bermuda while there is still time.

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Published March 23, 2012 at 2:00 am (Updated March 23, 2012 at 9:46 am)

The great thing about democracy

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