OBA ‘needs new blood’
A One Bermuda Alliance caucus meeting last night set about “picking up the broken pieces” of the party and charting a new course.
This is according to Dwayne Robinson, the cohost of an online political comedy show who hopes to launch a political career with the party.
Mr Robinson, 23, one half of It's That Type of Party, told The Royal Gazette that it was time for new blood and that he believed incoming Opposition leader Craig Cannonier was the man for the job.
Mr Robinson said: “I think the way Mr Cannonier is going about trying to reach out to younger people and bring them in is exactly what we need to shake up folks who have been in power since I have been in diapers.”
Mr Robinson, from Somerset, was speaking after an OBA caucus meeting held at the party's Reid Street headquarters last night.
He was flanked by Mr Cannonier and Mr Cannonier's son Trae, who he partners on the show.
Mr Robinson said he would step down from hosting the “politically independent” Facebook-based show if he was successful in joining the ranks of the OBA.
He added: “This meeting was necessary because I think the OBA has not been truthful to itself for a few years and I think that the people realise that. It was about looking in the mirror and saying, hey, we really messed up — here's what we need to do.”
Ms Atherden was not at the meeting. Patricia Gordon-Pamplin and Sylvan Richards were also absent.
Scott Pearman left alone, telling The Royal Gazette: “It was exciting. He [Mr Cannonier] set out his vision. It was very exciting.”
Ms Scott left the meeting at about 7.40pm with Cole Simons but neither would comment.
Outgoing chairman Justin Mathias left with acting chairwoman Nandi Outerbridge but would not comment on the content of the meeting. Ms Outerbridge described it as “a regular caucus meeting”.
Mr Cannonier described the event as “one of the best meetings the party has had in a while”.
He said: “It was a very, very good meeting. It was nice to see so many people out to caucus and interested in what's next.
“We are in this position and I will say this — for some of us it was a bit of a reality check that I believe was necessary.
“People got to really air their feelings about who we are as a party and where we are going. It was very encouraging — not just the turnout of members but new people.
“They did ask about my vision but this was not a meeting necessarily about my vision per se, which I did give, but it was certainly about where the party goes from here. A large part of our vision was stated in 2012 and many of those things still stand.”
The meeting came after a tumultuous fortnight for the OBA after former leader Jeanne Atherden and party chairman Justin Mathias resigned.
Mr Mathias called for the resignation of acting leader Leah Scott after a clash about the way eight MPs had ousted Ms Atherden.
Party insiders had said that Ms Atherden's removal of Nick Kempe from the Senate contributed to a rift within the party.
Mr Robinson, who is preparing to study remotely from Bermuda for a commerce degree from Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada, added: “People can cry over spilt milk about how Jeanne Atherden was ousted, but at the end of the day, as a leader, if you can't bring your people together then this is the outcome.
“I feel there are a lot of things being put out by the MPs who support her but that has to be put aside. A lot of the infighting had distracted them from doing their duties. A healthy opposition is one that the people can have faith in.”
Nominations are being invited for party leader.