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Bermuda’s turn to vote

Today it is Bermuda’s turn to vote in a general election. And unlike the USA and UK polls, the ones here think it’s going to be close, which probably means it won’t be. The One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) are the incumbent, who dramatically came to power in 2012 beating the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) by about 5% of the vote and gaining 19 of the 36 available constituencies, which in truth individually are no more than small towns, with around 1,200 or so eligible to vote in each.

Tragedy overshadowed the early days of the campaigns with the sudden death of ex OBA MP Shawn Crockwell. Crockwell was to run as an independent as is former Premier Paula Cox, and four others which when constituencies can be won by less than 10 votes, will almost certainly have an impact.

The OBA came in with big ambitions but they have been weak in leadership, and have also been embroiled in a few of their own unsavoury internal issues, for which they loudly accused the PLP off when campaigning against them 5 years ago.

Tourism has been turned around though, which was akin to a Titanic turning circle, but turning it is and on the back of a very successful Americas Cup, the OBA will be hoping that goodwill will be enough to allow them to finish the job they belatedly started.

As new businesses open and Hamilton and St George’s are busier than they have been for all the time I have been here, there are shoots of a promising future under the OBA but the PLP have attacked everything they have done ferociously, but admirably of course are promising a better future for Bermudians. Of course both parties are big on headlines but vague on policies.

One thing neither party has any particularly good ideas about is reducing the countries national debt which stands at a scary $2.37 billion. The last two governments have somehow taken that debt from $196 million to $2.37 billion in the last 10 years, which tells you pretty much everything about the leadership and financial acumen of the people that are supposed to lead this island.

Still Bermudians, 44,000 of them, get to choose today and as someone that has no right to vote but happily lives here and contributes to the economy I have every right to care.

Do the right thing Bermy’s….

UPDATE Wednesday 7am: PLP return to government convincingly beating the OBA by a 24-12 majority.

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