Following in their parent’s footsteps
On Monday night, Alex Scott and Louise Jackson were veteran MPs bidding farewell to their careers and watching their parties exchange the reins of power.
But more than that, they were proud parents cheering their children on to victory with the knowledge that they will carry their family legacy forward.
Mrs Jackson, who represented Pembroke South West for the One Bermuda Alliance, watched with tears in her eyes as daughter Susan Jackson stormed to victory in that seat.
Mrs Jackson’s nephew, former Premier Alex Scott, also had an emotional night watching his son Lawrence Scott win for the Progressive Labour Party in his former constituency, Warwick South East.
Mrs Jackson, 82, said yesterday: “I am so proud and honoured to see another Jackson achieve.
“She’s worked hard and canvassed her constituency for over a year and has built a strong relationship with the constituents — so much so that she knows more than I do at this point.
“She’s bringing a fresh young perspective and I feel she’s going to inspire other young people to become involved in politics.
“I was at the count, and I was overwhelmed by the number of votes (654) she won. My eyes are still filling up with tears now thinking about it.”
Mrs Jackson was first elected in 2003 and most recently served as Shadow Minister for Health and Seniors.
Her late husband, Albert Jackson, served as Senate President and they have an elder daughter, Deborah, as well as Susan.
Mr Jackson’s great grandfather, John Henry Thomas Jackson, became the second black Bermudian to be elected to Parliament in 1887.
“It’s quite a legacy,” observed Ms Jackson, 50, of her family background.
She has two children, Samantha, 18, and Scott, 21, who she raised as a single mother.
She currently works in communications for HSBC Bank, Bermuda, and describes herself as “very much a communicator”.
Asked how she will fare in the sometimes tense atmosphere at the House of Assembly which sometimes saw her mother mocked and heckled by rival MPs — Ms Jackson replied: “I’m quiet and calm, probably even a little calmer than my mother is, and I understand the political process.”
She described women’s issues and education as those she is most passionate about.
“Right now I’m feeling a little dazed and exhausted but there’s a sense of calm and I’m so ready to get into action and get to work,” she said.
Also getting down to work yesterday, Lawrence Scott, 33, said of his victory: “It still hasn’t really sunk in yet. It all happened so fast but it’s a good feeling because Constituency 24 are the real winners.
“They know what they had (in my father) and they are not getting anything different — they are just getting an upgraded version!”
Mr Scott, who is single, said his father has offered him some good advice about life as a politician.
“He has advised me never to make a permanent bad decision based on a temporary emotion. To always think things through and don’t rush,” he explained.
Mr Scott Sr, 72, said: “I’m proud and pleased with his accomplishment.
“He’s a natural, with good political instincts and a good head and a good heart. He really has the right orientation for serving Constituency 24.”
He encountered mixed emotions on election night, as his son claimed victory but the party he has served for decades got ejected from national power.
“It goes without saying that it was a bitter sweet evening - on the one hand there was Lawrence’s success but on the other hand the party has to now regroup. It was a very close election,” he said.
Asked if he would like to see his son follow his footsteps as Premier one day, if the PLP wins back power, Mr Scott replied: “Of course that would be good, but my suggestion is to take one step at a time.”