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‘More solutions’ as OBA concludes election platform

The Opposition One Bermuda Alliance yesterday completed the release of its platform proposals. The electronic document — “More OBA Solutions” includes promises to “help seniors, strengthen public health, support young Bermudians, protect the environment and build a new system of governance to give people greater say in the business of the country — such as fixed-term elections and the right to recall MPs,” according to an accompanying press release.

The document is the fourth in a series put out by the OBA. Its proposals on governance include promises to introduce “Integrity in Public Office legislation”; to “fully support the Auditor General’s role as the watchdog of the people’s money” and to “ensure that the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament has all the resources it needs to assist the Contractor General and Auditor General in their review of Government expenditure.”

An OBA government would also set minimum standards of disclosure by MPs who have financial dealings with government and adopt a “zero tolerance” stance toward unethical behaviour by public officials.

The party also promises to “establish clear guidelines on what constitutes corrupt practices whether by parliamentarians or civil servants” implement Freedom of Information legislation and introduce whistle blower legislation.

And it will “promote inclusiveness” by extending the days for advance polling, introducing absentee balloting and giving voters the right to recall MPs.

The party also supports fixed term elections every five years and will establish a mechanism whereby citizens can initiate a referendum.

An OBA Government could also include a member of the Opposition, according to the document which promises to invite someone from the other side to sit in Cabinet.

Cameras would be installed in Parliament and the OBA would “strengthen Bermuda’s commitment to human rights for all, prohibiting discrimination in employment, goods and services and housing.”

The document contains a number of promises that are already being pursued or promised by the Progressive Labour Party.

Under tourism, for example, the OBA says it would reopen St George’s Golf Club, hold a referendum on casino gaming and modernise the Hotel Concessions Act.

A publicly accessible register of sex offenders is another of its proposals to improve public safety. But an OBA Government would also reopen St George’s Police Station, implement a “fully operational” CCTV system in the town of St George’s, and establish a St David’s Parish Council.

“Ultimately, Bermudians want a government that’s going to work better for them. The fact that more than 10,000 Bermudians are unemployed or underemployed is astounding — never before in our history — and it tells us something has gone very, very wrong. More and more, people are looking for a lifeline,” OBA leader Craig Cannonier is quoted as saying in the introduction.

“It’s fortunate that this election should be held now, because you finally can have a say about the direction your country is heading; whether you want more of the same with the current Government or change for the better with the One Bermuda Alliance.

“The plans we have put forward can help people do better — whether it’s a new job that wasn’t there before, better educational opportunities or safer streets and homes. We are ready to help out. We are ready to build a Bermuda that works for each and every one of us.”

Useful website: www.oba.bm

OBA leader Craig Cannonier

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Published December 12, 2012 at 8:00 am (Updated December 12, 2012 at 12:28 am)

‘More solutions’ as OBA concludes election platform

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