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Bermuda’s untrustworthy boyfriend

Politics sometimes looks and feels like a game for men in which women, especially women voters, have a minor role.

But that's at odds with the role women play in this community. Those who know acknowledge that we are the backbone of Bermuda's society. We make or heavily influence the decisions families make about most things of importance.

We think differently than men do. We believe that we process information better than they do. We communicate better. We are less likely to do things on impulse. We think our decisions are less likely to be motivated by aggression than men's are. We are more likely to understand the emotions at play when things go wrong, and to act out of concern for the well-being of others.

From a woman's point of view, the Progressive Labour Party's new outlook on life, as articulated by their leaders and shadow ministers, is very confusing. Sometimes they talk about the lessons that they have learned by their defeat in the last election, and about dedicating themselves to helping the new government rebuild Bermuda for the sake of those who are suffering. They boast of having supported most of the legislation the government has taken to parliament.

But almost in the same breath they talk about an OBA government that has broken its promises, cares more about its foreign business friends than about suffering Bermudians and has no plan to improve the economy.

Those two things don't sit together very well. If the government is so bad, why would the PLP support its legislation?

Why would the PLP say it's trying so hard to cooperate with the government to improve the economy if, as it says, the government truly doesn't care about the people, and is focused instead on making it easier for “vulture capitalists” to make money?

I don't think the PLP has learned very much from their defeat at the last election at all. Deep down, they must know how badly they let Bermuda down. They must know they are to blame for the mess Bermuda is in.

But I think they desperately want to find a way to avoid taking responsibility for it. They've started to play a passive-aggressive role, saying through one spokesman that they've learned their lessons and are trying to do better, but getting other spokesmen to attack the government aggressively, twisting the facts to be able to point a finger of blame somewhere other than at themselves.

It's as if they think they have to pander to two different audiences at the same time.

In people, passive-aggressive behaviour comes from a personality disorder. I'm not sure about groups of people, but like most women, I trust people … and groups … who are consistent and reliable in personal and professional matters. Constantly being given contradictory stories or being told one thing in the abstract, but seeing another in action sounds like the untrustworthy boyfriend most of us have experienced and, thank heavens, been able to grow beyond.

What the PLP needs to do is acknowledge its mistakes honestly and comprehensively. Cut out the blame game. Stop twisting the facts.

By all means, if the PLP see the government doing something wrong, they should call attention to it. They do have a job to do as the Loyal Opposition. But right now they should focus more on getting our problems solved than on scoring political points and ducking blame.

Bermuda really is in need of leaders we can trust. Now. We encourage the PLP Leadership to be a part of that leadership — which must include consistency in both words and actions. Surely the result of the last election must have shown them that the electorate expects no less of them.

Toni Daniels

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Published November 05, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated November 05, 2013 at 8:29 am)

Bermuda’s untrustworthy boyfriend

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