Michelmore:Why Choosing BDA is Good For You

September 28, 2010

(Written by Dr Katherine Michelmore of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance)

In my role as a doctor, I am not always my patients’ favourite person. This is because I am often placed in the role of having to tell people what they don’t particularly want to hear. Sometimes this is because I have bad news……a test result or a finding on an examination…..which means that difficulties lie ahead. More often however, it is because it is my responsibility to advise people that their lifestyle is jeopardizing their health. No one wants to hear me tell them that “You need to lose weight.” or “You’re drinking too much.” or “It’s time to stop smoking.” Equally unpopular are the recommendations that a person needs to do more of something, “You’ve got to increase your exercise.” or “You need to eat more fibre.” No one wants to hear it, even when deep down they know that it’s true.

The reason such lifestyle messages are unpopular is because the solution rests with the individual themselves. We all know how hard it is to break a bad habit, or to stick to a new, healthier way of doing things. We can rationalize at length as to excuses for why it’s easier to maintain the status quo, but ultimately it’s because change is difficult and sometimes uncomfortable. All the same, we know that these changes are essential for us to live healthier, happier lives.

Turns out, politics in Bermuda is not so far removed from the problem described above. We find ourselves in a position where we need to accept that real change is needed, but many may find it difficult to make that acknowledgment. We cling to our old habits, our old rhetoric, and our old doctrines because they feel comfortable and safe, and it’s easier than stepping out to try a different way of doing things. The longstanding political parties, UBP and PLP are a “comfort zone” of familiarity, even when we realize that they are not serving us well.

So I ask you to take a look at your country and ask some tough questions. Do you believe that our current standing with regard to crime, the economy, education, and race relations is “healthy”? Do you believe that we can do better? Do you accept that we have to do better and that now is the time to act? Now look at your “comfort zone” and ask yourself if clinging tightly to old patterns of behaviour is going to achieve the change that we need as a country?

The Bermuda Democratic Alliance offers the “prescription” for a Better Way. The BDA is committed to achieving a Bermuda which is inclusive, transparent, responsible, secure, and which offers opportunity for everyone. It is in your power to make a change for a healthier Bermuda and to make a change for the future. The change may not feel easy, and I accept that some may not even want to hear that change is necessary, but deep down, we all know it’s true.

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