Posts Tagged ‘Bermuda election’

Some of the commentaries worth reading today after yesterday’s election:

“If we want a better Bermuda, we need to do much more than vote in a new government. We are going to have to demand more accountability from everyone, but starting with ourselves.  Succinctly, we must start practicing collective responsibility.” – Bryant Trew in the Bermuda Sun.

“This election … proved that appeals to racial loyalty are not effective. The PLP attempted to make this election about race, especially in the last days, and voters seem to have rejected that in favour of an improved economy. Unemployment knows no bounds and even the anti-business rhetoric which infused the PLP campaign at the end failed to mobilise the PLP base and may even have backfired.” – Analysis in The Royal Gazette

“The PLP is reflective of all the people of this island. Yet they wish to label us as a black party only to subliminally tell whites not to vote for us … We know there are many PLP supporters and members of many different races. However, for a multitude of reasons they seem a bit hesitant to come forward and publicly involve and engage with our events and activities … Persons such as Dorothy Thompson, David Allen, Zane De Silva, Jonathan Smith and Dr Barbara Ball must not be the exceptions .They must be the norm.” – Christopher Famous in the Bermuda Sun.

“The new team (OBA) must be genuinely — not rhetorically — transparent. It must be genuinely direct – not obtuse and non-commenting and non-answering. Above all else, this new team must genuinely embrace all residents and all Bermudians – and not just those who can be described as “our people”. – Larry Burchall in the Bermuda Sun.

“The hope of this newspaper is that this election will open a new chapter in Bermuda politics, which will be less divisive, less reliant on race as a motivating force, more open to problems all Bermudians face and more constructive. The next few years will not be easy, but they can lead to a better Bermuda, provided all people are willing to work together for the betterment of all.” – Editorial, The Royal Gazette.

“The first job for the new government is mending fences. Because the biggest threat to our economic stability is the massive debt and a dearth of ways to repay it, I believe the OBA government must make peace with our income generators and take clear steps to woo them back. This will not be an easy task because of the race-baiting that has been a dominant theme in how previous administrations beat up on their political opponents.” – Stuart Hayward in the Bermuda Sun.

“Posturing, arrogance,  hubris, defensiveness, an unwillingness to change policies that aren’t working out … the list of damaging side-effects of UBP-PLP hatred goes on and on. And it has gone on and on, for way too long. There were understandable historical reasons why it developed. But the great hope that the OBA has offered us this week is that it need not go on forever. Bermuda, Bermudians and the Bermudian political system can move forward, grow and mature. The time has come, and here is our opportunity.” – Tom Vesey in the Bermuda Sun.

The election is less than a month away but as yet, none of our local candidates have knocked on my door. Maybe they’ve done their homework and realised there is no point in canvassing someone who has lived on the Island for 30 years, owns a local business, is the father of a Bermudian child and pays taxes like everyone else but is still not permitted to vote in a democratic election.

It’s a pity they haven’t stopped by because I’d really like to hear what they think about the continued and unnecessary discrimination against long-term Residents and what their Government might do about it.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the few benefits that a Permanent Residency Certificate (PRC) gives me – for example, I can come and go as I please without needing a work or re-entry permit (albeit at the discretion of the Government) – but it falls woefully short of what most normal democracies would offer people in my position.

Without the right to vote and the absurd restrictions on buying property (more of which in a moment), PRCs are little more than second class citizens in the place that we and our children call home. In fact, we’re not even classed as full citizens in the same way that Bermudians and Status Bermudians (long-term residents who received citizenship up to the 1980s or obtained it through 10 years of marriage to a Bermudian) are – yet to even qualify for a PRC I had to have been on the Island before August 1, 1989, lived here for 20 years, and be over 40 years of age.

Between us, my wife (also a PRC) and I have 56 years residency in Bermuda, so our commitment to the Island is not in doubt – in fact I have lived here longer than I lived in my native UK – so why should we not have a democratic say in affairs that affect the lives of our family?