Kim Swan: “Independents Offer Real Change”

December 10, 2012

The abundance of Independent candidates in the upcoming election offers Bermuda an opportunity for “real change and a move away from stereotypical voting, foregone conclusions and polarization,” C#2 St George’s West candidate Kim Swan said.

This election will see a total of 15 Independent candidates contest 12 different constituencies: C#1 St. George’s North Cornell Fubler, C#2 St. George’s West Kim Swan, C#4 St. George’s South Kingsley Francis, C#7 Hamilton South Gershwyn Smith, C#8 Smith’s South David Tavares, C#18 Pembroke West Central Philip Perinchief, C#19 Pembroke West Erwin Adderley & Meredith Stapff, C#20 Pembroke South West Jonathan Starling & David Petty, C#21 Pembroke South East Tillman Darrell & Leyoni Junos, C#24 Warwick South East David W. Burch, C#27 Warwick North Central Roderick Simons and C#31 Southampton West Central Charlie Swan

Mr Swan said: “My campaign as an Independent candidate – and that of 14 other Independent Candidates – offers many constituents the opportunity to move away from the tradition of voting for a political party and the division that it has encouraged in Bermuda for past decades.

“Bermuda no longer has to accept polarization as an option – when a viable choice presents itself – especially when we as a people see the adverse affect and results of repeatedly supporting one political party over another.

“The abundance of Independent Candidates offers Bermuda an opportunity for real change and a move away from stereotypical voting, foregone conclusions and polarization.

“In order for an Independent to win we must pull votes from All sides to be successful. Our message must embrace inclusion and we must be prepared to represent all people.

“Recently, I have been made aware that there is propaganda, to suggest that I [Kim Swan] would join a political party if elected – this inspite of a personal pledge to the contrary – unfortunately the misinformation persist.

“The irony, is that if such a pledge is required it should be universal and is most certainly needed amongst those candidates running who played musical chairs in the last session of Parliament and made a mockery of the electoral process – UBP to Independent to BDA to OBA; UBP to Independent to PLP; and UBP to OBA – this in the absence of a much needed electoral regulations governed by an electoral commission.

Mr Swan continued: “My experience over the past five years in particular, has clearly illuminated that Bermuda still desperately needs electoral reforms which, if elected, I will continue to push for:

  • Fixed Term Elections
  • Absentee Voting
  • Electoral Commission
  • Regulations governing the establishment, operation and winding up of political parties
  • Consideration of a composite system of Proportional Representation and First Past the Post
  • Consideration of an elected Senate
  • Campaign Finance Regulations
  • Continued Modernization of the functioning of House of Parliament and Parliamentarians

“Thankfully, my experience and commitment to improve Bermuda, will bode well for me to serve the people of Bermuda and to continue pursuit of these much needed reforms to our political system.

“Respectfully, I submit that a real opportunity to take a giant step away from polarization in Bermuda politics is being offered by my candidacy [and that of other Independents] which is demonstrated by my record and continued commitment to represent all people,” Mr Swan concluded.

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Comments (56)

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  1. Chilly says:

    Independents only offer real change if enough of them are elected to create a voting block in Parliament. If the winning party has a sufficient majority, they have little sway over anything.

    • Black Soil says:

      An independent cannot introduce a Bill. An independent can be largely ignore by the Speaker. An independent cannot affect change. Therefore a vote for an independent is a vote for the PLP. Wake up Bermuda!!!!!!! STOP listening to these fools who talk about independent candidates. These men are NOT stable. These men do not have Bermuda’s interests at heart. They are ego freaks. Vote for them and watch the PLP ruin Bermuda!!!!!

      • Vote for Me says:

        @ Black Soil
        I think your comments are overly harsh and personal, in addition to being incorrect.

        The impact of an independent depends on the constituency. They will generally have a negative impact on the incumbent, which is not always PLP.

      • Cornell Fubler says:

        Hi Black Soil,

        In response to your comments, the Opposition cannot introduce a Bill. The Opposition also can be ignored by the Speaker. Does this mean they cannot effect change? Please try not to let your fear of the PLP translate into such harsh language. This is precisely why we are in this mess. Your broad brush comments are not fair to those of us who are genuinely out here for the will of the people. Please try and accept that some of us are more than stable and are far from being ego freaks. Please also take into consideration that public service is a tremendous sacrifice of energy, time and money not to mention the toll it can have on one’s spouse and children. You have asked Bermuda to ‘Wake up’, Please accept this as your wake up call as well. There are many of us that don’t support the OBA or PLP agendas.

        Again, try not to put all of us in the same category. Bermuda has some genuine Independents that are running for office.

        If you truly want to learn more, please visit us at http://www.restorebda.bm

        • We the people says:

          Sorry, Cornell, you are not correct either. Neither the Opposition nor independents can introduce a motion or legislation that would require spending by Government. Both can introduce take note motions.

          I have a lot of respect for you, having known you for some time. But I think you were way too late entering this race and thus are seen as nothing more than another independent spoiler at a critical moment in Bermuda’s history. I have read your “platform,” and it is almost identical to the OBA’s.

          • Hi ‘We the people’,

            I don’t understand how you can say that I am not right but turn around and agree with my position. Black Soil was saying that we are powerless and I simply was saying that Independents are in the same position as the Opposition.

            Can I suggest that your pseudonym is a contradiction to your position. How can I be seen as a spoiler when more than 30% of the people are either undecided or will not vote. To me, ‘we the people’ should be a phrase that represents all of Bermuda, not simply a group that has been scared stiff into voting ‘against’ the PLP as opposed to voting ‘for’ the OBA. Some of ‘we the people’ are simply not drinking anyone’s kool-aid be it OBA or PLP.

            My platform is far from the OBA and is anything but identical. I don’t skirt around our biggest issue (race). I don’t promise jobs via a 10 point plan. I propose an economic authority to develop a 10 year plan that I might add was out ‘before’ the OBA published their recent economic plan. I don’t propose a longer school day. I don’t propose payroll tax concessions. I don’t propose a redirection of 20% of govt contracts. The list goes on.

            It is time to restore Bermuda my friend and I enlist your help. Don’t be one of those that are duped into voting based on fear. Vote for the real ‘One Bermuda’that our country so desparately needs. This is what ‘we the people’ deserve.

      • meredith says:

        Your way out of touch I am female and so is another candidate. I would not be running as a candidate if I didn’t care so much about my area. I also wouldn’t be asking for drug laws to be changed at the risk of drug dealers not liking this to put it mildly. One person to represent an area is the only way to go check out the isle of man

    • jt says:

      Chilly – “Voting block” of independents means they lose independence. That’s a party by another name.

      At the present time, under the present system, independents can offer little to their constituents or the country. The only way they would gain any ability to move forward with their own agenda would be to strike deals with either of the two parties in cases where their vote may be required. Essentially ‘selling’ their independance in the hope of attaining future support for their own ideas.

  2. Hey says:

    You have been independent effectively for some time in St Georges, what have you accomplished so far that could be considered “Real Change”

    • Eyes Wide Open says:

      Ohhhh! So that’s how it works? You have to become an Independent in order to produce change? Hmmmmm….

    • VOTE SWAN says:

      Recall the closed Police Station? Mr. Swan lobbied to get it re-opened. He’s visible every day 24/7 – 365 in the community helping seniors, the youth, sporting events. Vote Swan for St. George

      • Terry says:

        So what.
        He wants to get re-elected.

        • Integrity Man says:

          @Terry, Mr. Swan works hard for the community for years just not at election time like the others.

  3. Vote for Me says:

    Mr. Swan,
    Your legitimacy as an independent candidate is completely compromised byt the fact that you are only running as an independent candidate becasue you failed to resurrect the UBP. If the UBP would have survived, you would still be under that unbrella.

    • Mrs. xUBP says:

      Mr. Swan failed because Mr. Dunkley, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. Glen Smith, Mr. Mark Pettingill, Mr. Shawn Crockwell plotted behind his back to start a new political party, find a new black surrogate leader, Craig and reunite with new logo, colours thinking this would fool the less intelligent plp voters – not my words check the document.

      They followed that plan to the letter. They didn’t want Mr. Swan to be in power because Mr. Swan is too “black minded” as the committee in St. Davids and Fairylands stated this in their selection committees.

  4. theothersidebda says:

    I see no difference between Kim and all the other politicians. His attempt to capitalize on that whole ‘leaked’ plan for his own personal political gain is very telling. I not only question Kim’s ability to effect change, but I also question his motives.

    • Speak it says:

      What friggin motive from Kim Swan? Gary from ZBM asked him a question, was he to lie?

      The author of the document threaten to sue, stating he didn’t write it? We have not heard anymore from them, have we?

      Has anyone heard from Grant Gibbons regarding the plan and his part in the plan?

      Hs anyone heard from Glen Smith and Mark Pettingill Bob Richards or best yet Jeanne A and Jeff Sousa?

      Of course not! they won’t talk, because they don’t want us to know the truth behind in 2012 calling us black voters the names they call us in their country club settings.

      • Let me get this str8 says:

        They didn’t write the report, the consultant did.

        And it wasn’t a secret plan. It was a stratgic document written by an outside party, not any of the people you mentioned above. The PLP has commissioned election strategists as all policitcal parties have and will continue to do so as it is smart politics. Does that mean that all of the PLP’s strategic documents are also “secret reports?”

        But continue with the hate speech and lies. It is all your Party is good at, cause governing effectively and/or for all is definitely not your thing.

        • OBA Plan says:

          Its not my party plan, excuse me, it was the UPB/BDA/OBA.

          Agree – the consultant wrote it and the BDA/OBA adopted and completed the plan. It was a secret until Crockwell and Pettingill got their hands on it. The difference is that the author of the PLP plan said it was unsolicted and the BDA OBA’s consultant got paid and they implemented the plan word for word.

          • Who wrote the report? says:

            And the PLP use the exact same divisive and fear mongering tactics as described in the report authored by a long term PLP insider/member.

      • theothersidebda says:

        If you will recall, the whole saga came about by Kim bringing it up weeks before that call with Gary Moreno. Kim mentions the existence of a document and then a week later it surfaces?? Kind of a coincidence don’t ya think? I’m not buying it…

        And what exactly did they call you? They identified a voting block based upon factual and statistical information. They were not calling you uneducated. When they take the census they always take deomographic and education information. If any group is to win an election they must get votes from various ‘groups’. The fact is based on the census there is a large segment of the population that happend to be a) black and b) with little formal education. This does not make them less important or ‘dumb’ it is just a group. And it is a fact that if there are a large number of people in that group, BOTH political parties would vie for those votes. So stating that a party needs to get more votes from the ‘uneducated black’ portion of society is reflective of the fact that this group represents a large percentage of votes and IS NOT meant to be that this population is ‘dumb’ and should be ‘tricked’. Get your facts straight.

      • #LackOfOptions says:

        Don’t forget “to sow economic turmoil to discredit the governing party..” F%@k Bermuda if we can’t control it in other words..

        • theothersidebda says:

          me thinks the governing party requires no assistance in the department of economic turmoil….they are doing a fine job of discrediting themselves without anyone else’s help.

  5. We Can Hope says:

    I wish it were true Mr. Swan. Hopefully in the future the ballot will be comprised of nothing but “Independant” candidates and we can vote for the best person and not have party politics interfere. Bermuda is too small for this nonsense. Essentially we are a ‘city state’ and should vote/select the best among us to move our Island forward. We can hope.

  6. M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

    Kim , will you come over and join the PLP ? I guarantee that you will be a much welcomed member . Although I’m sure that as an Independent candidate YOU WILL retain your seat as a MP and be respected and effective . Good Luck my friend !!

    • jt says:

      Calling Hamish……..

      • The Truthsayer says:

        He smells some $hit and it’s coming from M.P.Mountbatten JP’s mouth!!

        • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

          Potty mouth , here take some change , ask for the orbits . The truth is not in you despite your privileged upbringing .

          • The Truthsayer says:

            Have some toilet paper for your dirty mouth! Funny, you have no clue who I am.

            • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

              And I have no wish to know such a foul person .. Continue on with your decrepit life and change your soiled panties every once in a while ..

      • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

        Thanks jt… So , I spoke to my friend Hamish earlier today , and he’s got a funny feeling that the OBA will be like the Titanic , you know , that maybe it will sink on its maiden voyage .

        • Terry says:

          Didn’t you say the same over on BIAW Monty?

          • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

            Terry , I sure was hoping that you were permanently lost in the labyrinth of your own a$$ .

            • Terry says:

              How can I be when you continually open your mouth and let me in.

              • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

                No sir , it’s impossible to stack sh!t that high . Unless you’re standing on your daddies balls you couldn’t reach my mouth .

  7. Frank Sense says:

    I’m sorry but every independent candidate will loose their deposit and the only change they will bring to the island is what falls out of their pockets when they are out campaigning. Several will be spoilers in their constituencies and the rest will be forgotten, in fact they already are.

  8. mixitup says:

    It would be nice to see the Seats Won where a few independents hold the Balance of Power! That is possible also.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The effect that independents have on the race is irrelevant. They don’t bring anything except for driving voters away from party votes. Although we do get an occasional good independent candidate most are ego freaks like someone stated before. What would be smart is if parties planted Independents that make a huge impact in swaying votes from the opisite party to ensure a win.

  10. Amazed says:

    I agree with Frank. It seems to me that most of these independents come with baggage from the two former major parties which raises questions about their motives. What we have not seen is a concerted effort by anyone to change or get rid of the present party system! It is adversarial by design and none of them have a plan to get rid of it. It might be because the UK indicated some years ago that they are not interested in any more constitutional changes for us so this means we would have to change it ourselves and we have already stated that we are not ready to do that. So here we are between a rock and a hard place!!

  11. Prayer for Bermuda says:

    My prayer goes like this:

    Dear God,

    The state of Bermuda needs to be improved. I Humble myself to thee on hands and knees praying to guide us through these hard economical, heighten crime and our forgotten youths from Somerset to St. George.

    My prayer dear Lord is to show the people of Bermuda that the Independent candidates can make a difference. Guide their hearts Please Lord to see how polorized party politics have become and grant that the quality independent candidates will not only win their seats but remain independent candidates serving Bermuda 1st.

    Let our voices be heard and not the political parties big government, private sector only voices. In Your name I pray. Amen

  12. Prayer for Bermuda says:

    1. My prayer goes like this:
    Dear God,
    The state of Bermuda needs to be improved. I Humble myself to thee on hands and knees praying to guide us through these hard economical, heighten crime and our forgotten youths from Somerset to St. George.
    My prayer dear Lord is to show the people of Bermuda that the Independent candidates can make a difference. Guide their hearts Please Lord to see how polarized party politics have become and grant that the quality independent candidates will not only win their seats but remain independent candidates serving Bermuda 1st.
    Let our voices be heard and not the political parties’ big government, private sector only voices. In Your name I pray. Amen

  13. Who wrote the report? says:

    Good luck to both Swans as I know both to be stand up men with strong morals.

    Wish I resided in one of your constituencies.

  14. Charlie Swan says:

    @All…In some of the responses above, I sense and feel invective that is unwarranted. Is it directed at people, systems, the government, a particular group???
    Sometimes, an opportunity presents itself that we should take advantage of.
    This 2012 election is one such opportunity.
    Think about what the word ‘change’ means in the context of Independent Candidates.
    To date, change has meant choosing between 2 political parties…the UBP and the PLP. In 1998, one party, the UBP, was voted out after 30 years – change was the mantra then. On December 17th, 2012, change is the mantra again…after 14 years of governance by the PLP.
    THIS TIME however, there is a REAL choice for change….with 15 Independent candidates.
    This fact alone – that there are 15 Independent Candidates – is an indication of the degree to which our view of ‘change’ has altered. Average citizens, from all walks of life, have decided to make the sacrifice required in running for public office.
    No ego’s, no favouritism, no clubs, no backroom dealing, no hidden agenda’s, no hiding…..REAL PEOPLE.
    1998 was the best thing to happen in Bermuda’s maturing democracy. 2012 presents another opportunity. If we continue with the same voting pattern each time …NOTHING will change. Your Vote is Yours (and some of us fought long and hard to gain the right)….USE IT – IT IS POWERFUL. Respectfully, Charlie Swan, Independent Candidate for Constituency #31, Southampton West Central.

    • M.P.Mountbatten JP says:

      Thank you Mr.Charlie Swan for a balanced view . I really appreciate you and wish you the absolute best . I hold you and the other Mr.Swan in the highest esteem , and encourage you to always hold on to your integrity in spite of the darts and arrows others might direct towards you .

  15. Balanced Facts says:

    Come on Kim:
    1) You only became an Independent after you found out that the Parliamentary Registrar would not put you on the ballot as “UBP” because it was not an organized Political Party!
    2)Bet If you could have cut a deal with the OBA you’d be on their ticket right now (Sorry Charlie) !

    Didn’t you try to get a group of PLP guys to join you in a no confidence vote on Premier Brown that back fired?
    Integrity? Kim Swan? Really?

    Whats your “secret Plan” now?

    • M. A. Jones 1969 says:

      As a returning officer that attending the meeting at the Bermuda College, we were told by the Parliamentary registrar the UBP was going to be on the ballot.

      The not the um um secret plan was disclosed by the then chairman to the bda breakaways and Dunkley snaked his way between both to broker a deal to make sure he maintained power. end of story until the real manuscript comes out on Friday.

      • Factural Fact says:

        an offer circulated in the inner oba circle of an offer to swan for jackson seat (note candidate only inherited the seat the eve of nomination day) sad you continue to try to tear down men of integrity whilst keeping the real transgressors on a high pedestal.

    • Factural Fact says:

      Try your best, but you won’t be able to ruin the reputation of the Swans. History will show them to be men of integrity.

      You can’t have it both ways. Ewart had disrespected the Bermuda constitution, Swan represented what the majority of Bermudians called for – unfortunately the lack of integrity for the party which you support didn’t see fit to respect their own constitution and traded integrity and transparency for lies, deceit and power.

  16. Cleancut says:

    “Oh! I wanna be somebody again”

  17. Charlie Swan says:

    @All…I’ve read the article about (loose use of that word)which all the comments have been written.
    In the article Kim Swan outlines some (mostly to do with electoral reform) issues he will fight for.
    There’s NOT ONE comment in this blog about what he raises in his article.
    I hope everyone goes back and (re)reads the article…and can then come up with opinions about what it actually contains/says.
    Reviewing our term in the House…elected as UBP but effectively as Independents….I’d like to make some points:
    ~ 2 UBP (elected) MP’s tabled and debated more Motions than the official Opposition (Tuckers Point SDO) (Gaming), ( CPA Parliamentary Reform), (Good Governance) etc.
    ~ 2 UBP (elected) MP’s submitted more Parliamentary Questions than the official Opposition (Ferry Maintenance Costs, Government Car Fleet costs, Hyatt Hotel opening, St. Georges Golf Course , to name a few).
    ~ The government re-thought the Queens Birthday Holiday change because of the efforts of the two UBP (effectively Independent) members….
    As Independents in a future Parliament, we have the same ability……to probe, ask questions, hold to account any government….
    As Independents, it is very conceivable that one of the major parties will NEED to engage one or more of us to form a functioning government…
    Consider this: 53% of the popular vote in 2007 gave the PLP 62% of the seats in the House of Assembly, and 47% of the popular vote in 2007 gave the UBP 38% of the seats (the remaining ones).
    In numbers, the 2007 election results for popular vote/seats:
    PLP 53% of popular vote = 62% (22)of the seats in the House
    UBP 47% of popular vote = 38% (14)of the seats in the House

    NOW note that between 2007 and 2012 former UBP MP’s (Messrs Tucker and Furbert) have moved to the PLP, and 2 (Kim Swan and Charlie Swan) stayed UBP and are now Independent.

    NOW the re-incarnate OBA, who have only 10 seats in the House….must win 19 seats to be the next government (almost double their current number of seats).

    The OBA has to take 9 clear seats from the PLP in 2012 to be government.

    For these two main parties, the end result of this election could be very, very close….

    Are the OBA really the ‘saviour’ they would like for you to believe they are?
    Can they accomplish what is, in this election, required of them?

    Is the PLP the party for growing Bermuda, for ALL Bermudians?

    Are they truly able to plan, direct and control our affairs?

    Can the OBA overcome the hurdles it has to within our electoral system?
    Can the PLP overcome the hurdles it has within itself?

    At no time in Bermuda’s Election history has YOUR VOTE been SO VALUABLE.

    At no time in Bermuda’s Election history have INDEPENDENTS provided a REAL CHOICE.

    Respectfully, Charlie Swan, the Independent Candidate in Constituency #31, Southampton West Central.

    • theothersidebda says:

      If change is about individual’s beliefs and actions then it shouldn’t matter whether you were personally elected as independent, OBA or PLP. If you indeed brought about change as stated in your record above as UBP/Independents, then surely you can bring about change regardless of the party you represent. So don’t you think you can be more effective in bringing about change by being part of the ruling party rather than an independent? As an independent, you will always be on the ‘outside’ even if you are not part of the official opposition.

  18. Vote for Me says:

    @ Charlie Swan
    You have a unique perspective unto yourself.

    For the electorate, please explain your knowledge of or involvement in the UBP reform report. It is a misnomer to refer to it as a secret report since that is not the case. As a former UBP stalwart, the public really needs to know the truth about the report.

    Of particular interest is Gibbons’ involvement. He has been absolutely silent on the matter. If we consider the depth of his family’s involvement in the economic, social and political life in Bermuda, it is quite damning to know that he would have been tied in any way to the execution of the report. What does it say for his influence over the family’s economic interests, what does it say for his level of respect for his fellow OBA colleagues?

    I do not beleive you should betray any confidences but both you and Kim Swan have a lot of explaining to do if you were aware of the document and still tried to keep the UBP afloat and force other Members to remain on board.

  19. Charlie Swan says:

    We continue to respect the United Bermuda Party under which we were elected and always believed that one should serve out their term on the basis of how/why they were elected . We even apologized on the floor of the House of Assembly for any transgressions of the UBP whilst also acknowledging the many good things done for Bermuda and Bermudians while they where the government.

    We would hold the same principles if we were elected and/or governed under the auspices of another party, or as Independents.

    It is interesting that very little attention is being given to the electoral reforms and much needed regulations listed in the article. Instead we see various and sundry shots being directed at the messenger.

    I released a statement which aired on VSB news alluding to the report, I also sent the same statement to other news outlets. It called on both parties to desist from the inter-party jousting.In the grand scheme of things, thats NOT what we are elected for, nor why we are elected.

    Bermuda deserves better.

    We support enhancing our democracy for the betterment of Bermuda and Bermudians, and are feel we are ideally suited to push for these types of reforms going forward.

    Respectfully…Charlie Swan, the Independent Candidate for Constituency #31, Southampton West Central.