OBA seeking to consolidate power for itself
Writer's note: On June 7, 2013, I had this opinion piece published in the Bermuda Sun. It spoke to actions that many had predicted that the One Bermuda Alliance would embark on. Reading the points, one can see the paths that the OBA was and is still on to consolidate both political and economic power for itself and its circle of select supporters.
“See them fighting for power
But they know not the hour
Through political strategy
They keep us hungry
And when you gonna get some food
Your brother got to be your enemy”
— Bob Marley
The government of the day is slowly marching our Island into becoming a corporate town owned and operated by non-Bermudians with the aid and assistance of a few select Bermudians.
“We will expand the voter base.” Please recall the removal of term limits by Sen Michael Fahy to allow non-Bermudians to attempt to stay here indefinitely. What is the long-term goal of the OBA? Is it to rush through legislation to get non-Bermudians the right to vote? And hence try to change the balance of voter dynamics?
The logical fear of the OBA is that once working-class and middle-class Bermudians stick together in sufficient numbers, they will vote for the Progressive Labour Party.
Logically, the OBA must bolster the numbers of its voters.
Well, we know from census data that Bermudian birthrates are low. So the next logical step is to facilitate non-Bermudian “upper and business class” voters aligned to the OBA. Hence the Permanent Resident's Certificate vote.
Sir John Swan said: “Status should be available for people who have made a significant contribution.” — Bermuda Sun, June 5, 2012
In 2012, the vote for the corporations of Hamilton and St George was given to the voting-age residents of these areas; Bermudians who previously were excluded from voting, while others were given the centuries-old “property vote”.
In May 2013, Sen Fahy strikes again, and is attempting to rush through legislation to allow business owners to vote in these elections.
Essentially giving Hamilton businesses owners, in particular, the overwhelming numerical advantage over residents. There are hundreds of residents within the city limits, mostly North Hamilton aka “back-of-town areas”.
They will now have to vote alongside every business owner in Hamilton. Now ask yourselves who owns most of the businesses within Hamilton? Any question as to how the vote will turn out?
Bear in mind, the proposed waterfront development is in the hands of the present Corporation of Hamilton. Who do you think wants to take that from them?
The Sage Commission has but one primary objective: to tell the OBA how to cut government costs. Whether it be jobs or services, it is a high chance that the OBA will do exactly so.
It will most likely take the path of privatisation of many services such as garbage collection, park maintenance, vehicle upkeep, heavy trucking, IT and postal services, etc. These may be tendered out to their business colleagues to bid on.
In the merger of Logic and North Rock, nine persons were made redundant. So ask yourselves: if privatisation occurs, do you expect these “savvy business owners” to keep on all or any of the staff previously employed by the Government? Or do you expect them to trim jobs to ensure that their personal businesses make maximum profit?
As the late great Yogi Berra once said: “It's like déjà vu all over again.”