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How a new way of doing politics could be devised

Veteran politicians like former premiers Sir John Swan and Alex Scott should be invited to sit in a new cross-party Senate

The easiest part of observing politics is to sit on the sideline and criticise it. However, I recognise that it is a greater challenge to offer advice and an even greater to offer advice that will actually work.

In recent times, particularly during the Trump Era, which isn't really over, the news and journalism changed drastically and reached a new level of both style and substance. In the past, news was simple reporting and many journalist took pride in not offering their own opinion.

The gloves came off five or six years ago. We got not just personal opinion, but also profanity and plenty of attitude becoming mainstream, and talk about that personal thought - “well ... it’s a, I will tell you how I'm feeling” becoming the order of the day.

I would watch CNN and say, well I heard that earlier, must I hear it again and again? Some channels had no compass at all, anything they needed to publish it seemed, if they could not find it, they made it up and became not just news, but the truth. I know I have been critical and I believe my criticism to be true, but it doesn't help us to move in the right direction if we can’t transform criticism into positive action.

I have never been a protestor. I prefer action plans and initiatives to resolve or dissolve problems. A friend reached out to me saying I think the vast majority are in the same place now and want "none of the above" but what do we do? Truly I don't know, but I have a feel for what should be done.

Firstly this is not a PLP problem or an OBA problem needing to be fixed. While they are part of the problem, this is a Bermuda problem. In the past I've shared the view Bermuda needs a period of time to fix its problem. Where we determine to go as a future, and how we get there, must be everyone's task.

Believing the delegates or the Central Committee or any party sub-group can bring Bermuda together to determine its future is unrealistic and if there was a wave coming from any of those places, it would have been seen or felt by now.

In real time, the political pragmatists are pondering over likely or potential successors to the premiership. However, the bigger question is not just “who?” but how and through what mechanism that succession is achieved.

If the official party route is taken, it will mean a delegates’ conference in the autumn, if that late, and the party will want to heal its wounds. I have the thought that the partisan approach wont be sufficient to stir any renewed confidence in the overall society, but may in fact become instead another “wait and see”.

We need an all hands on deck approach that engages the entire populace as widely and diversely as possible. Additionally, it need not be on the basis of favouring a party, even if the majority party dominates.The impetus would be to commit to facilitating a national dialogue on where we need to be as a country and a body politic that sustains our future momentum. In other words an interim government that will lay the format for the future of governance in Bermuda. Naturally two to three years from now there will be a general election and what we do now to pre-stage that election may resemble 1963 to 1968, but hopefully with more thought having had the experience to draw from.

So in succinct terms, there needs to be 20 MPs willing to say to the Governor, our leader is Mr or Ms X, they have our support and: "We command the majority in this parliament". From there they form the premiership and the premier than has the privilege of selecting five senators, but additionally given the new arrangement aside from the three senators selected by the Governor there would be an additional three senate seats to be chosen, so the privilege of establishing eight senators.

I would propose that rather than the crony type selection of the party design, here is an opportunity to bringing back some older more seasoned veterans for one or two years to have a real Upper House filled with experienced persons rather than neophytes and poppets. The likes of Sir John Swan, Alex Scott, former speaker Randy Horton, Bob Richards etc come to mind. With that configuration and a new national agenda to establish a new Bermuda, we will have an engaging to and fro between the House, the Senate and the people of Bermuda.

I know for a short period it will look like a witch hunt for those who would dare step up, but it is truly necessary for the good of the country.

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Published May 09, 2022 at 8:08 am (Updated May 09, 2022 at 8:08 am)

How a new way of doing politics could be devised

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