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Dictatorship? Far from it

Former One Bermuda Alliance senator Vic Ball is at it again. This time, he penned an opinion saying that we live in a “dictatorship”.

Really?

Just because you don’t win, Mr Ball, doesn’t mean that we live in a dictatorship.

Owen Darrell is a government senator and the Junior Minister for the Cabinet Office, Education and Public Works

Fair-minded people can have disagreements and debates over policy, but to insinuate that Bermuda is a dictatorship goes across the line.

The fact of the matter is the internet is not confined to Bermuda. People all over the world are reading what we write. When businesses and investors are looking to do business, when they see articles that brand us a “dictatorship”, it is bad news for our country’s reputation, especially when it’s wholly untrue.

We can have our disagreements on policy. Some think we should open up faster. Some think we should open up slower. Many think the vaccines are a good idea, while it isn’t right for others. We can disagree about immigration policy or ideas for creating jobs. But, at the end of the day, we should be truthful about our country — what it is and what it is not.

The fact of the matter is Bermuda has a robust and functioning democracy. We have free and fair elections. We have a free press. We have freedom of assembly and speech. People can campaign and present their ideas without fear of government reprisal. We have no political killings. We have no political violence. We are blessed to live in a functioning democracy.

Dictatorship doesn’t occur just because your side doesn’t win, Mr. Ball.

Our reputation as a country is at stake. So let us have our debates. Let us have our disagreements. But let us not say untrue things about Bermuda and our democracy, for that reflects poorly on our country and creates a chilling effect around business and investment.

We may have our disagreements, but we should all be on Team Bermuda.

Owen Darrell is a government senator and the Junior Minister for the Cabinet Office, Education and Public Works

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Published June 04, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated June 03, 2021 at 2:06 pm)

Dictatorship? Far from it

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