On Wednesday July 19, Bermuda woke up to a new and aspiring government. The Opoosition Progressive Labour Party had just won the general election in a landslide 24-12 victory over the previous One Bermuda Alliance government.
I’ve seen the debates online just like everyone else and for me it's pretty simple. They failed to bridge the gap with everyday Bermudians. Yes, the PLP ran with the slogan 'Two Bermudas' but honestly I feel like the divide goes in several different directions.
We have the obvious black and white divide, but there’s also the financial divide. The upper and lower class. There used to be a more prominent middle class but as the years have gone by it is slowly dissipating. We have more Bermudians struggling to get by than ever before.
People who work just to afford to get to work. There is no more living comfortable; everywhere we look prices rise on food, gas, housing, electricity etc. To make matters worse these things cause people to stress more than normal. Majority of these people find themselves addicted to things like cigarettes and alcohol, and they are highly taxed.
Bermuda is one of the most expensive countries to live in in the world, but the only ones who truly feel it are those in the lower spectrum of the pay scale.
So where does the OBA go from here?
I feel as those they should take a page out of the PLP’s book. If they go younger with a more diverse party they may stand more of a chance of getting back into power in 2021.
Too many people look at the OBA and see the United Bermuda Party but who can blame them when it’s the same faces with the same mindset that all of us have seen for years? For me the sooner they start on changing their identity the better.
Their first step should be selecting Sen. Jeff Baron as their new party leader he is well respected, listens to peoples' concerns and does a lot in the community. I can see him being a pretty good leader for them presently and into the future.
From there they desperately need to look outside the box; maybe try to bring in people that you wouldn’t assume would be involved in politics but those are the people that will bring in fresh ideas and new ways to get things done. There are a lot of very ambitious Bermudians who would love to have their voices heard outside of a polling station, and on a more frequent basis. You see it everyday online whether it’s on Facebook or some other form of social media.
I am one of them and I take notice of others and truly respect their opinions and how they feel. Technically they have 24 candidate positions to fill 24 new faces guided over the course of the next year or so could do them some good.
Once they figure out their new identity it will be time for them to get into the communities and try and connect with as many people as possible listen to their concerns and reach out to whomever may have won that seat and try to resolve issues together.
It’s time for all of us to come together and break bread; resolve our differences and get us back to the island I used to love so much.
It saddens me to go online and see the amount of hatred spewed from every corner of the community. It’s been nearly two years of increased racial tension across the whole island and it is about time we start the healing process. I want to congratulate the Hon. Premier David Burt and the PLP on their victory and I look forward to seeing what you can do.