Political soul searching
In the middle of an economic storm, that has impacted life throughout our communities, Bermuda now finds itself embroiled in complex political soul searching, in order to assess what is really happening between two political parties and management for the future.
While it is no secret that our island remains deeply divided racially in the political arena, many Bermudians have become disgusted over what appears to be a lack of growth in the new world of diversity which continues to sweep across most of the globe. No longer can we have a hush-hush attitude on the issue of race, and neither should we as a people remain stuck on sending signals that prevent real progress based on moving collectively in the right direction in all aspects of community life.
It is also no secret that there are lingering deep emotional scars from many Progressive Labour
Party supporters, who were shattered when their party who some thought would be in power for life, were ushered off the stage by the electorate in one of the most shocking political upsets. However the PLP had themselves to blame, because they allowed a series of incidents, including one that clashed with international protocol, to damage their credibility. Many of the supporters they had, openly moved away from what seemed a path of political arrogance which some attributed to being in power too long. That of course is a matter of opinion. The key factor was their support base had been eroded to a point where the door was opening for a fresh approach, and that did not include the United Bermuda Party, which also crumbled from a loss of faith from the populace that even crossed racial lines.
The One Bermuda Alliance, emerged with old and new faces and took advantage of a disgruntled electorate which was eager for change, and managed to drum up sufficient support to gain victory and stake their claim to lead Bermuda on a brighter path. However in the world of politics victory is one thing, but being able to uphold promises made to the people is another.
The most difficult aspect of politics is that too many politicians rely on statements that sound good with the hope they will resonate with voters, while beneath the surface there are other motives afoot. This is not to say politicians are not trustworthy, but just at the people throughout history can switch sides between morning and afternoon, political fragility remains alive.
The One Bermuda Alliance, has through actions of its own, stumbled into that area of questionable tactics and have themselves to blame for causing doubt over just how transparent they are in conducting the islands business. One would have thought they would have learned from the previous administration that the public has low tolerance for anything that has the slightest sign of game playing.
No matter how well intentioned it may have been, for Government top officials to board a private jet to meet with officials in America over potential future investment, is laced with scepticism over maintaining transparency and credibility, because the jet was owned by those seeking to do business here. Nothing wrong with their wanting to invest, but such a meeting should have taken place on our soil without question.
The Government explanation about how the trip came about, leaves more questions than answers. To begin with no matter how much money would be involved, our integrity calls for clear good judgement in laying the ground work to avoid the appearance of deals being struck without public knowledge. The simple truth is that no matter how busy officials were abroad, they should have been made to come here. Otherwise they are free to take their business elsewhere. Yes we want jobs for Bermudians, but not at the price of our integrity.
The OBA should be aware that the Opposition will jump at any stumble they make, and should have had their guard up against anything with the slightest potential for causing a drop in confidence, which is essential to running a successful Government.
Most sound thinking Bermudians want the Government to succeed, because when that happens Bermuda succeeds. People are fed up over the ongoing battle about which party should be running the island. Whether it is the OBA, PLP or some other party, all people want is transparency and honesty on all matters that matter to the people. They sent the PLP a message in the last election and they still have the power to demand the highest performance from elected officials.
Surely that is not asking too much.