Bermuda Industrial Union President Chris Furbert commented on the election results today, saying he feels the people who didn’t vote gave the government to the OBA.
Mr Furbert said: “On behalf of the BIU membership, I would like to congratulate Mr Craig Cannonier the new Premier and leader of the country, and the OBA for winning the recently concluded general election. Allow me to say also, of course the BIU is extremely disappointed the PLP was not able to retain the government.”
He commented on the low voter turnout, saying the 67.4% voter turnout in 2012 was the lowest seen in many years. Mr Furbert said 1993 saw a 75.8% turnout, 1998 had a 81.4% turnout, 2003 saw a 75.4% turnout, and the voter turnout in 2007 was 75.8%.
Mr Furbert said: “While I understand the OBA is the new government, I honestly think they didn’t win the government, the people in this country who didn’t vote gave the government to the OBA. That’s my opinion.”
“I guess frustration, people have been saying they are not going to the polls to vote this time around,” said Mr Furbert. “Because they were upset with Government about certain things they had not done, or they were concerned about the unemployment rate…”
Mr Furbert continued: “While the unemployment rate in Bermuda went to lengths it had not gone to since the great depression of 1929, I would like to give the Government some credit that they did preserve the unemployment rate from going even higher.
“Had the Government not stepped in and bailed out the Bank of Butterfield…800 more jobs would have went. Had the Government not stepped in and gave the concessions to the hotel sector…you know there are over 2000 workers in the hotel industry…
“Unemployment could have went to 20%. While I understand the unemployment rate went to 3500 – 4000 people I like to think the Government does deserve some credit for trying to keep unemployment to a certain level… recognizing that Bermuda doesn’t export anything…”
Asked the OBA’s plan to create 2000 jobs, Mr Furbert said: “If the OBA is saying they can create 2,000 jobs…..have they been holding off on jobs all this time while the PLP has been on power?
“You have to ask yourself this question. Because how all of a sudden can we create 2000 jobs as we have a new party in place. That’s scary.”
Mr Furbert said: “There is a party that formed, been here 15 months, don’t have no platform, you don’t know where they will take the country, and all of a sudden they are in power.”