Throne Speech is seen as electioneering by opposition MPs
Government’s political opponents have denounced the Throne Speech as electioneering.
The Speech is far from being “bold and decisive”, according to Craig Cannonier, Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance.
“What we see is an election document that throws up a lot of ideas without any real commitment to action. It is a 22-page verbal charade intended to pacify segments of the population into thinking their concerns and needs are going to be addressed,” he said.
“In dozens of instances, the Government takes pains to stop short of real action. And so we have lots of promises to examine an issue, assess a situation, explore an idea, consider an action and to look at something or to review it. We hear that Government is awaiting results, starting an exercise or advancing its work on a policy.”
Mr Cannonier called for “better direction than what is found in the pages of this Throne Speech”, which was delivered on Friday.
He said: “We appreciate the Government appears to be considering or adopting many of our ideas, but we remain sceptical. There is too much verbal hedging about its plans and intentions. Without clear, definitive commitment to action, people who are suffering today will not be given the hope they need; and this Throne Speech was an opportunity to give them hope.
“The time for action is now. Bermuda cannot afford more on-the-job training; we cannot afford more dithering, we cannot afford more finger-pointing, we cannot afford more time. We need a new team at the helm that is ready and able to chart a new course to national recovery and renewal, and to make it happen.”
Kim Swan and Charlie Swan, who were elected as United Bermuda Party MPs, shared at least some of the OBA’s sentiments. In a joint statement in response to our request for reaction, the pair said: “With anticipation of an election on the near horizon the PLP can be forgiven for coming with a list of promises in the form of initiatives and/or legislation to implement or consider to augment today’s Throne Speech. Indeed there were a few occasions where mention of hot button topics drew applause from the gathering.
“This Throne Speech is against the backdrop of a Bermuda that has been saddled with trying times economically and socially. Hence, election promises to address neglected areas can be like water to a thirsty man in the desert.
“At first blush, we are pleased that the Government is taking on board some recommendations that in the past have been put forward by the United Bermuda Party and the Bermuda First Initiative. We consider that to be encouraging as we look to be constructive in our criticism whilst continuing to advance solutions that are best for our people.”