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A change of the guard

A true changing of the guard happened this week. The voters of Bermuda have spoken. We have selected the individuals who will represent us and our country for the next five years.

These individuals are assuming their leadership positions at the right time, for the right reasons, with the right attributes, and supported by the people as the absolute best candidates for the job. Congratulations to them all. We are grateful and sincerely thank them for their dedicated commitment to the people and the Island of Bermuda.

Now it is time for renewal of trust and high standards that make great people and great governments.

An ethical government

We want an ethical government; we need ethical leadership. There is no morality academy for practically perfect politicians.

Politicians are born and grow up in our society, not as we wish our society to be, but as it is. All politicians want to succeed. The great ones draw from their own experiences to provide their constituents with equitable and just decisions. We can learn from them. If we truly want change at the top, we will have to change — ourselves — in our perception of good governance to accept nothing less than the absolute best.

The truth, only the truth

Most politicians are viewed with scepticism and suspicion the world over. We’ve become so cynical (and downright discouraged) that we naturally assume that politicians in their political bias will modify the truth to get what they want (for themselves) and connected individuals. Paradoxically, truth is, even though we want the truth we often don’t want to hear the truth about ourselves, our budget, our economy, and others’ viewpoints. Please demonstrate truth in action by being honest with us, so that we can be honest with ourselves.

Transparency in all financial dealings

Let us solidly commit to the work of the independent Auditor General by providing all of the legal tools mandated for achievement of her mission. The Office of the Auditor General provides independent verification of financial truth in government finances that authenticates a high performing economy to global standards.

Impose and enforce

We need to impose and enforce the Register of Financial Interests for handling conflicts of interest and personal finances appropriately. Every chief executive officer and Senior Executive Team of a publicly traded company must publicly disclose all financial conflicts of interest and dealings. ‘Bermuda Incorporated’ is no different. Our rated position in international commerce reflects how all Bermuda elected authorities conduct themselves and their financial affairs.

Provide confidence and stability in our economic market place Our new leadership team has acquired deep skills through many years involvement in business, finance, law, taxation, international governance, and economics. Our representatives will be on a tenacious ongoing knowledge curve to meet these present and future challenges. The personal character traits required of the governing party of a country managing a multibillion dollar economy should be no different than those stipulated for any qualified professional manager: licensing, security background checks, adherence to a code of ethics, mandatory disclosure of conflicts of interest, and on going continuing education.

A few kind thoughts for our new leader We have every confidence in your strong moral code and uncompromising judgment to provide fair, impartial decisions in all aspects of this weighty job. Words are meaningless without actions. You should never hesitate in your resolve to make hard decisions. How you meet the tremendous responsibility, as leader of our country, will determine your legacy and your place in history.

Promote and unequivocally support freedom of the press

As well as access to information and the right of all individuals to express their opinions. Dissent and criticism versus assent and admiration are all part and parcel of a democracy. Welcome open discourse by encouraging the highest respect for one and another’s viewpoints. An open, free society is an economically successful society.

Lead by example with an exemplary life

Your greatest position, almost above and beyond that of managing the country, is that of a mentor, role model, and centre of influence for young and old alike. We know that you can bring a wonderful sense of empathy, propriety, and real class to this position. It is the only way to be as the leader of the country.

And above all, let your service be honourable service, for the good of all the people of Bermuda. It is the utmost tribute to any individual to be able to say that he, or she is indeed an honourable person.

We are seeing the renewal of hope, that will bring peace and prosperity to our Island.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not The Royal Gazette.

The new OBA Cabinet after being sworn in at Government House Photo David Skinner

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Published December 22, 2012 at 9:05 am (Updated December 22, 2012 at 9:05 am)

A change of the guard

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