Our future is questionable unless Bermuda is put first
One can almost feel the undercurrent of building political tension within the community, as the weakened One Bermuda Alliance government is confronted with a General Election at a time when it would have needed a more commanding position to ensure continued support in carrying out objectives in serving the people.
On the other hand, the Progressive Labour Party, still reeling from a legacy of shortcomings in the handling of the public purse, is bristling with what appears to be an opportunity to regain sufficient support to climb back into the political hot seat.
The electorate will have to wade through oceans of political rhetoric in the months ahead, as both sides are expected to unleash a barrage of material to convince the people why they should vote in their favour. What makes this upcoming election perhaps one of the most important in our history is that when momentum mounts between supporters on both sides, and that can get quite feisty, political victory becomes the priority instead of what is best for Bermuda and its people.
Political pundits will have a field day trying to read the tea leaves of a complex situation where both sides will launch attacks and counter-attacks over various issues in the struggle to gain or maintain support. Both camps have supporters that are locked in as to who they will vote for, but in a changing Bermuda, with diversity constantly expanding, both the Government and the Opposition know much could depend on the undecided voter in tipping the scales.
With Bermuda poised to project itself on to the world stage through the prestigious America’s Cup, coming up in eight weeks, along with an expected boost in tourist activity that our economy badly needs, switching the crew on the political bridge during a crucial period of our journey will take considerable thought under circumstances.
Democracy provides for the people to decide on how they feel about that move through the ballot box — whatever the outcome, it must be respected.
It is an uphill battle for both the Government and the Opposition because neither have had a great spell when it comes to public relations outside of media soundbites, and various public meetings that only a handful of the general electorate attend.
Public relations is always a challenging task for any government, apart from a dictatorial system. Most Bermudians want to be informed about any matter in a clear, concise and timely manner so that they may weigh how they feel about what should or should not be done about an issue.
In the world of politics, it is not uncommon for a politician, in the interest of protecting an image, to make statements in such a manner that cause more confusion than provide a clear picture of whatever the situation really is. This happens the world over, with America in a storm of political upheaval over the new administration of Donald Trump, and a nation massively divided over its direction.
These are extremely challenging times in a world that is so interconnected in dealing with significant economic issues and a global threat of terrorism that puts everyone at risk. With yet another act of terrorism in the heart of London with lives lost, the world needs to combine efforts in doing everything possible to protect people from those whose objective is to harm and destroy. Every terrorist act is aimed mainly at destabilising peace and order to gain power through fear.
Such tactics will never succeed as long as good people are willing to unite in the quest to build strong, free and healthy societies. In Bermuda, we certainly have our differences and nothing brings those differences to the surface more than a General Election.
Our social history is always reflected in the racial tones that emerge, despite the significant progress over the years in having a more diverse and inclusive society to see ourselves as citizens of Bermuda, instead simply being attached at the hip with this or that group, showing no willingness to respect outside views.
Bermuda is also experiencing a type of antisocial violence that many are deeply concerned about, and they are not prepared to accept this as the norm. They want our leaders to place solving these problems beyond party allegiance because criminals could not care less about political persuasions when committing an unlawful act.
We need our Bermuda to grow with strength for the next generation and we collectively need to take advantage of opportunities. With the America’s Cup, if we keep our cool and make the most of it, there could be more events down the road that would help to keep Bermuda a place for the world to admire.
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