Conflict at every turn
By Al Seymour
Our narrow winding roads throughout Bermuda keep us ever alert, or they should, about what to expect around each bend, as we move about doing business, and visiting relatives and
A significant increase in vehicular traffic of all types over the years, has made this challenge more than just a daily concern.
Not enough emphasis is placed on how Bermuda has evolved into a very noisy island, and the impact this must be having on the moods and attitudes of so many people who seem always to be
racing somewhere, at speeds that place every other road user in danger.
There are those who say this is a part of the new Bermuda, and we should be willing to accept it as the price of progress.
The big question hanging over Bermuda these days is what should we accept as progress, and what should we really be concerned about in the area of protecting good values, so once again Bermuda can be that place, yes, even with problems, where peace and civil order is a key part of life.
For starters, our small population lends itself to the ability to solve problems with a more co-operative spirit, with just about everyone knowing each other, far from the case in large jurisdictions.
Most are aware that our current economic situation is a major problem, and similar to our traffic situation, few know what to expect around the next corner, although many of our best financial minds warn that unless we watch our speed, and move with caution, rounding the next bend might send us toward that proverbial cliff. Such warnings cannot be ignored.
While this is not a time for political or industrial conflict at every turn, Bermudians are aware that whenever there is an issue of concern especially in the political arena, there is little room for error with public sensitivity running high on so many matters dealing with job losses and day to day survival of many families.
People have every right to ask questions over this or that policy, whenever they sense a direction move that seems off course in helping the people.
The new Government has an uphill struggle, since Bermuda was in enormous debt when the electorate placed them at the helm, hoping for a positive change in direction. It would be unfair to say in their relatively short time, that they have failed to meet expectations.
However, it is also fair to say that too many feel we are waiting for the current to change, instead of steering the ship better. No right thinking person wants any Government of the day to fail.
This is why it is crucial for the new Government to avoid unnecessary political or industrial conflicts even though it is expected that there will be disagreements which is a part of any democracy.
It is a public relations tight rope the Government must walk, fully aware that a wrong move especially without a financial net could be very unpleasant.
The Bermudian people never wanted the United Bermuda Party, or the Progressive Labour Party to fail, but the people who are always there, determine whether they are being served in a way that builds support, or creates doubt and a lack of trust.
All democratic Governments face this dilemma which prompted the US President Barack Obama, to say recently, that if you don't like certain policies, go out and win an election, instead of trying to break the system.
He was perhaps referring to the Tea Party influence over the Republican Party, prior to the recent Government shut down over various issues including his health care programme, which has been encountering problems getting off the ground.
The One Bermuda Alliance, was expected to have a rough time trying to restart the engines with a fuel shortage. However they must be extremely keen in making certain whatever fuel is available is used to keep the engines of every Bermudian family running.
This is also a time for every politician regardless of party affiliation, to think very deeply before speaking, because it only takes a few words to set off a fire storm if they are not chosen carefully.
Although the most pressing challenge is getting our financial ship stable, there are several issues still needing careful thought and discussion, such as casino gambling, illegal drugs, crime, education, in addition to seeking ways to boost tourism, while maintaining a hold on international business.
The road ahead will not be smooth for the OBA, but if they can keep that flame burning that got them in office, and the people see improvement in their daily lives, the road will eventually get smoother.
The Government must keep close contact with public sentiment, and avoid having their focus taken away from what should be their principle objective, serving the Bermudian people.