Video: Referendum Petition Presented To Premier

May 30, 2014

The petition calling for a referendum on casino gambling was presented to Premier Michael Dunkley and Opposition Leader Marc Bean today [May 30] at the House of Assembly, with the Premier thanking the organisers for the petition, while stating that “there will be no turning back on the referendum.”

photo 1

During the run up to the 2012 General Election, the One Bermuda Alliance pledged to hold a referendum on casino gambling in Bermuda, and in November 2013, the Government tabled the Referendum Act 2013.

However in December 2013 then Premier Craig Cannonier announced that instead of holding a referendum on gambling, the matter will be decided by a vote in Parliament.

Earlier this year a group — consisting of including former Independent political candidate Jonathan Starling, former UBP Leader Kim Swan, BEST Chairman Stuart Hayward and Michael Ashton — announced a petition drive calling for a referendum to be held.

The petition — which the organisers vetted to remove any duplicates and/or names of people who are not registered to vote — contained some 2,000 signatures.

10 minute video of today’s presentation:

Mr. Starling spoke as did Mr. Swan, Mrs Swan, Premier Michael Dunkley and Opposition Leader Marc Bean.

Cindy Swan referenced the incident in February of this year where a “hot mic” caught Michael Dunkley — then the Deputy Premier — saying “Starling, Kim Swan, and Cindy Swan, were talking to ZBM on camera for about ten minutes, and I thought to myself, ‘what a waste of f****** film.”

Mrs Swan said, “If I had F-ed off a policeman I probably would have been taken to task and been taken in. But the former Deputy Leader can F a female off and not have the courtesy or do the honourable thing.

“He is very lucky my father has passed,” added Mrs. Swan, “As he would come down from wherever he was and take care of him personally.”

Premier Dunkley said, “This Government was elected to lead. This Government was elected to listen and take advice from people and, after we take that advice we have to make decisions.

“I can tell the people of Bermuda very clearly, that we all know we’re in a real mess here in the island, and we all know we need some strong leadership, we intend to provide that and move this island forward.

“There will be no turning back on the referendum. We have got to move forward,” added the Premier, who declined to comment on Mrs. Swan’s remarks.

Opposition Leader Marc Bean said, “The fact of the matter is on December 13, 2013 the people of this country had that democratic right stolen from them. And as you just heard, apparently the Government has no intention of restoring democracy to the people of this country.”

Noting that there are Parliamentarians from both sides of the aisle who support the introduction of casino gambling, Mr Bean said, “The fact is we cannot have political expediency and the robbing of democracy to get to that goal. A house built on sand surely will fall at some point and time.”

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Comments (98)

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  1. aceboy says:

    Well done Mr. Dunkley.

    Even Marc Bean agreed that the govt. should just “bring it”…and they did.

    • Hug says:

      Will Jonathan Starling aka Doom and Gloom just go find a tree to hug. That guy has nothing positive to ever say. He criticizes everything.

      • Rayki Emery says:

        Obviously you don’t know what a political commentator does.

        Also, Mr. Starling has always shown support to grassroots programs.

        I don’t think he’s all doom and gloom, he’s the only person who got off their a– to do something about our government taking the piss over our right to a refferendum.

        So go hug your own tree being that you couldn’t find time to get off your a– and assist with an issue that presses our rights as citizens on this commonwealth!

        • Raymond Ray says:

          On how many occasions did the Progressive Labour Party deny the voters / the public their “rights” to have a referendum…saying indirectly, it’s their way and that’s it?

    • Steve Biko says:

      Mic check, Mic check, deep down inside I bet he’s saying “What a waste of F@#%#@ing film” !!!!!!!!!!

  2. aceboy says:

    Mr. Swan…he didn’t F your relative off. He simply said it was a waste of f-ing film. Nice try at twisting his words.

    I thought the petition was over 4,000 signatures? I guess they needed to remove duplication. lol How many deceased people were on that petition two months ago?

    • Hmmm says:

      4 months for 2000 signatures.

      • Hmmm says:

        Democracy has spoken, and we are in favour of just getting it done !

    • terry says:

      Thanks for the kick in the a** ‘aceboy’.
      Spot on.

    • Same old ubp says:

      Mr. Swan the ubp/oba used to love you as the #surrogate, now your just another brother who got played by them. Wonder who else will jump in Craig’s seat. Sylvan wake up and stop being used as a tool.

    • lucky 7 says:

      @aceboy, I think they were hoping to get 4,000 signatures….clearly they failed! :)

      • Rayki Emery says:

        And you find that amusing?

        • Sad says:

          I do.

          Just shows their cause isn’t the majority’s cause

  3. terry says:

    A house built on sand.
    Yup. Many on south shore.
    As for the Swans…..just pissed off.

    More propaganda from the Communist Stalinist Starling.

    Just stirring it up along with Marc Been.

    Kisskadee ratings.

    Rum thyme.

    • Rayki Emery says:

      Sterling is a socialist.

      • Rick Rock says:

        His name is Starling and he’s a communist.

        • J Starling says:

          They’re interchangeable as far as I’m concerned, but it depends on what people understand by them.

          Perhaps the better term would be a democratic socialist.

          • aceboy says:

            Basically you are a champion of “free stuff”. The “people” should be relying on government to provide them with free housing, free education, free health care and free transportation.

            The problem with that is how to pay for it.

            The only way your ideal system would work is if people were all likewise democratic socialists and cared more about government and the people it serves than themselves.

            That is idealistic in the extreme.

            In any case, we are supposed to be a tourist destination trying to lure wealthy capitalist to our island to spend their money here, you do realise that right?

            Eugene Levy, in his brilliant but largely unrecognised role as Barry Steinberg (Smoked Meats) in the film Club Paradise summed it up brilliantly when he said

            “I don’t want to get into a political discussion here, but Communism will not work in a country like this. Communism will not attract women 18 to 26 for instance”

  4. Joonya says:

    Are the Swans filming the Bermudian version of Meet The Fockers or something…?

    • Querry says:

      No that’s the OBA that’s filming “Meet The Fockers” staring OBA cabinet and backbenchers, narrated by Leah Scott – who will tell it all because she’s seems to be the only one with testicles to keeping it real – of its a b rated comedy. Stay tuned for part 2 “How we Fockers them” scripted from the secret document.

    • Anon says:

      Why do I hear banjo music when I see these two in this photo?

  5. Cow Polly says:

    er…… I don’t feel like my democratic right has been taken away from me Mr Bean. I listened to what the Premier had to say at the time and I agreed with him. The PLP were planning to make the whole referendum a vote down party, racial, religious and any other lines they could find. If there is any blame to be had it is with the PLP who were making a mockery of the whole plan. Good on the OBA for not falling for it. Now in the words of our new Premier “lets not waste time”

  6. Yahoo says:

    Starling and Swan have been out of the spotlight for a couple weeks so time to call yet another ridiculous press conference to satisfy their egos…

    • Luke says:

      Starling and Swan are unemployed….they need some income ,that is why they are holding these press conferences……they are trying to sway a segment of the community…..Ayo bye what’s up .

  7. Starting Point says:

    LOL 2K signatures……to me that is a clear sign to the government to forget a referendum and forge ahead lol, thanks to the committee for affirming governments decision….

    Obviously the opposition does not want a referendum on this issue either, if so they would have put some effort behind the group to get more than 2K signatures….unless the opposition has less than 2k supporters which is prob more accurate.

  8. Hmmm says:

    Government should bill these guys for the disruption caused!!!!

  9. Different Strokes says:

    I am no fan of this Government or politics in general, but it is a stretch for Ms. Swan to claim that she was f’ed off…If Dunkley would have said f-that woman or f-those people (i.e. Swans & Starling) then yes I agree…but to claim that he personally f’ed you off is just silly and diminishes your ultimate cause and dsitracts from tehe main purpose of your petition…IMO of course

    • PBanks says:

      It was still insulting to them to have heard the comments; on the other hand Dunkley had no idea his words were recorded.

      Dunkley could have apologized to the persons offended off-camera or whatnot, but the fact remains that no campaigning was going to change Government’s mind on the matter.

      What’s done is done.

      • Toodle-oo says:

        At least he accepted the petition graciously . Unlike Alex Scott who took a petition presented to him on the steps of the HOA and tossed it on the ground right in front of the presenter and supporters.
        The equivalent and symbolic of tossing it in the trash .

  10. Sandgrownan says:

    Once and for all, there isn’t a “democratic right” to a referendum.

  11. Andrew Little says:

    …. they met on the steps of Referendum Gate….Lol!

  12. Joonya says:

    Enough already! We’ll build a casino (which is probably too late anyway), we’ll put strict regulations around it and control it, and the economy may or may not benefit from it. But guess what, it will be an OPTION for tourists and vistitors. Enough bickering!

  13. Coffee says:

    Never loose sight of the fact that the referendum on gaming was an OBA pledge and promise to the people of Bermuda during the last election . It would be interesting to know the amount of voters who actually bought into the lie ?

    • Bdablack says:

      Who built the first Mega-high school? What did the opposition say? Who built the second?

    • Hmmm says:

      Smell the Coffee, folks want the gaming bill passed.

      • Coffee says:

        Do you want a say ?

        • aceboy says:

          If I support the granting of casino licenses…why do I want to waste a whole bunch of money on a referendum? My “say” was to NOT sign the petition.

        • Navin Johnson says:

          I would have like a say on the BILLION DOLLAR Hospital

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Wouldn’t be the first party to back out on an election promise. I am glad they did though, saved taxpayers a large unnecessary expense. Despite what the Mr. Bean and the PLP would have you believe, the fact that after all the time they had the petition out for signing and the most they could muster was 2,000 signatures, it highlights that the OBA was actually listening to the people and in touch with what we needed.
      Everything about what Mr. Bean said was so blatantly hypocritical that it is becoming impossible to take him seriously, I don’t believe for a second that the PLP wouldn’t have done the same. The only difference is that they lost the election, so they never had the chance to.

  14. Raw Onion says:

    Cindy, (initially I was going to use Mrs. Swan) I think you just destroyed your credibility. Taking a comment that was made indirectly to you and turning into something more than what it really is, is very childish.

    Go into a corner and think about what you have just said. You sound so stupid especially after Dunkely made this comment months ago.

    • 2cents says:

      It wasn’t even made indirectly to her. The adjective was describing the waste of time, not her. And f’ing off a police officer is very different then using that particular word as an adjective in an f’ing sentence.

      • 2cents says:

        *waste of film

      • Colgate for Dunkley says:

        They disrespected this petition from the beginning, recall them destroying the ones send to the OBA office?

        Remember all the jetgate was regarding casino gambling.

        Remember 2 senior members including the PRemier had to resign and the AG

        Remember all this and you all are attaching the female messenger? She’s had a right to an apology, not matter if it was 6 most or 60 years. Dunkley is WRONG. We should start a petition to get potty mouth Dunkley some colgate, no more jet gate its now colgate for Dunkley

        • Raw Onion says:

          Booooo Colgate, go join Cindy in the corner.

          • Recall dem all says:

            Dunkley it is now colgate and jetgate, lmao. Dunkley needs to resign. He was in cabinet when all the jetgate and colgate took place. Let’s see is he can beat Craig’s record.

    • Ostrichs says:

      Your disrespect to Mrs. Swan is expected as you just are too scared to Dunkley (look he had everyone present, ever see Cannonier command them like that?).

      You are all trying to buy the jetgate issue and point fingers.

      Ok if she said to a policeman that stopped her: You can’t look into my “F’en” car or “why the “f” did you stop me.- He could arrest her. Why does your great white hope get to use the word and not apologize?

      • Sad says:

        So he should be arrested for swearing in a private conversation?

        F&xk half off BDA would be in west gate.

        And f-you for your racist remarks in our post.

  15. Luke says:

    Cindy, you have made some stupid remarks in the past….I think it is time for you and Kim to get a life.

    • Mark & John says:

      LUKE you and the devil is a liar. Mrs. Swan has the utmost genuine integrity. They have a life, fighting for all of us and even those stuck on STUPID

      • Liuke says:

        Mark,and John,if I am stuck on stupid maybe you are stuck on mute..

    • lucky 7 says:

      Nicely said!!

  16. Observer says:

    Somehow Cindy has managed to threaten the Leader of our country with her dead father. I reference our country because she’s from Belize. Arrest this woman if not for the waste of time but for her lack of regard in her comments for the leader of the country she now calls home. Kim Sawn also needs to tune in to reality.

    • Way to go Mrs. Swan says:

      LMAO no actually ROTFLOL

      You don’t understand – Caribbean fathers don’t take lightly to grown men using “effing” in conjunction with referring to their girl children. I know her she’s proudly hails from Belize and so what? She gives back to the community, not only take like some of you all and don’t help no one but yourselves.

  17. nuffin but the truth says:

    much swanning about for nothing

  18. Anon says:

    Why am I suddenly hearing banjo music when I look at the two of them in this picture?

  19. Pebblebeach says:

    Seriously Cindy…

    Kim, give it a rest…your done…

    • LMAO East West says:

      Pebblebeach, tell me something,were you the 4th passenger on jetgate talking about golf etc.

  20. non political says:

    They have stolen our democratic rights. They have been caught lying, had to rid themselves of their leader and you all attack Mrs Swan. She is our hero

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Sure about that, the OBA saved this country $100′s of thousands of dollars, listened and heard the want of Bermudians and acted decisively to do what was right. The Swan’s, Starling and Bean all seemed to have missed the fact that they are following the will of more voters than voted for them in the first place, that means they actually listened to and followed PLP voters wishes too.

  21. Navin Johnson says:

    Mr Dunkley was right……nice outfit Kim

  22. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    this whole subject is a waste of effin time…bunch of effin wannabees…now ask me to effin apologize!

    • LMAO fi reel says:

      Won’t because you are not REAL – No need to apolozise, stupid can help being just that stupid.

  23. Ringmaster says:

    Marc Bean puts on his hypercritical hat to say peoples’ democratic rights have been taken away. Wrong. That would be true if the right to a referendum had been cast in stone or law, and not part of an election manifesto. Then see his next step, not to support the petition but to agree with the Government to go ahead without one. Any connection to his owning a gambling shop and therefore has an interest in getting this passed in the House? Of course, and if he had integrity and principles he would support the call for the referendum and reinstate the “democratic right” but then that wouldn’t help him personally.

  24. whatdoesthefoxsay? says:

    Referendum out. Plain and simple. Check the timings and the expectations. The Cannonier train got derailed along the way however so it didn’t quite work to plan. Whatever all the bloggers say, this will go down in history as the deprivation of a democratic right. The irony is that 18 months since the election and more than a year since the tide turned from a referendum and the apparent ‘urgency of now,’ and there is still no casino. The people could, and should, have voted on this in 2013.

  25. Huh? says:

    A generation of ppl who are quite content to ignore unscrupulous behavior, lies, deception and manipulation as long as they can get their desired end result! What are we teaching our children and grand children? Whether you or I like it or not, what Mr. bean said about houses built on sand is the TRUTH for us as a country, a government, a community, family and as individuals! Translation…you shall reap what you sow, regardless of who the sower is and regardless of what kind of seeds you’ve been sowing! Because the last time I checked, the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie no matter who is telling it whether they are OBA, PLP, Bda or Ubp! Wait until the broken promise is one that you expected to have your voice heard on and then maybe we’ll see the light come on in your soul about integrity, truth, honor and respect for the electorate and about politicians being servants of the ppl as opposed to self serving mini kings!

  26. paperonion says:

    I thought the point of this presentation was to present a petition for a gaming referendum, instead it seems to have become an opportunity for Mrs Swan to vent her built up anger on what she saw as a slight against her personally – which anyone who wasn’t as angry as she appears to be could see was no way near a personal attack on her or on women specifically. She rather detracted from the whole event, but maybe that was what she wanted to do. Don’t take this personally Mrs Swan, but you need help.

  27. Marge says:

    Kim , what has happened to you ? you sound and look like fool.

  28. Infidelguy says:

    Great start (NOT!) Premier Dunkley!

    My guess is that they will be calling for your resignation by the end of the year.

    This country is really in need of good leadership.

    The PLP have not presented one viable suggestion on how we can get ourselves out of this downward economic spiral. The OBA do not appear to have a clue either but at least they appear to be trying.

    The PLP is however doing a remarkable job of making the government look like a bunch of politicians who are out of touch with the wishes of the electorate. With today’s fiasco in front of City Hall, the OBA have once again played right into the hands of the PLP.

    We are in some serious doo doo right now!

    • Double Standards says:

      What fiasco? The petition was presented to the Government and the responded that the referendum will still not be occurring. Hardly call it a fiasco.

  29. Evie says:

    You people are funny as hell now you give the OBA a pass for lying about the referendum and they tried to blame it on the PLP when they PLP exposed them OBA somehow the PLP is to blame who is really drinking the kool-aid SMDH hahahahaha WTH

    • Anon says:

      Are you sure you name isn’t Evil instead of Evie, cause it ought to be.

      • Evie says:

        What’s Evil about that,???? Is there truth in what I said

        • John Thorne says:


          • Evie says:

            Mmmmmm selective memory typical no surprise here SMDH hahahahaha to thine self be true

  30. JUNK YARD DOG says:

    It has to be Sin Island.

    Sin City has already been taken.

  31. Double Standards says:

    Good work guys.

    But unfortunately if you could only muster 2,000 signatures in four months out of a total electorate of circa 45,000 then I would venture to say that most people just want it done or simply don’t care.

    As long as there are strict regulations concerning who can enter to gamble and who can work in the casinos I have no issue with it being passed in the House.

    And a referendum is not a guaranteed democratic right. The right to vote, speech, assembly etc. are all rights guaranteed for us and not referendums.

  32. Cleancut says:

    The government needs to push this gaming bill through fast, and now. No referendum!! forget the “PEOPLE”…… i don’t trust the “PEOPLE” anymore. It was the “PEOPLE” that voted in the PLP, so the ‘PEOPLE” are responsible, not the PLP. So at this point the “PEOPLE” are not to be trusted. The “PEOPLE” have made bad decisions, and i have trust in this OBA government right now. Let this OBA government do their job of restoring our economy. The “PEOPLE” have failed us miserably.

  33. John Thorne says:

    The presentation of the petition was a waste of time and the effort to obtain only 2,000 signatures was also a waste of time and proves that the majority of Bermudians no longer care about the referendum and in hindsight agree with the OBA. A lot of Bermudians use the F word in every sentence so what MP Dunkley said was nothing unusual and was taken out of context to try and make a mountain out of a molehill. I am so sick and tired of people playing politics when there are people out of work and struggling to pay their bills. I have been out of work for 29 months and counting. The 36 so called honorable MP’s sitting in the house work for me and every other registered voter in this country so they better start doing a good job and make the best of a bad situation or we will get rid of all of you in the next election. Put UBPgate, PLPgate, Jetgate, OBAgate, Fgate and any other gate behind you or we will show you the DOORgate.

  34. The microphone should be edited,turned off,as words inpertinent are just that non subjective and personal….I’ll be honest with you though….I send all political speeches to when they get done withit it is far more interesting than the real thing anyway….and far more believable!

  35. Hurricane says:

    I am no fan of the Premier, and that’s putting it mildly, but oh my God, this lady sure made herself and her husband look like a fool.

  36. Steve Davis says:

    Democratic right? Voting in the General election is our democratic right, that is it. Bermuda is already the most over represented political system per capital in the world.

    Bean, if the government agreed every petition given to them, half the former PLP cabinet would be in jail and weed would be legal by now. So what you want, every time someone gets a couple thousand signatures that we make a decision? I am sure I could get everyone to sign a petition that included a $$ cheque for each and every citizen to compensate the misuse of their public money under the PLP.

  37. Poker Face says:

    what a JOKE guess the petition shows people want to have it. all you got in all that time. what a waste, do you 3 get the message?????. CONGRATS MR DUNKLEY! Wait for the plp spin on it though, sure they will claim some sort of victory out of it. NOW GET THE HOUSE going or will it take a year hand a day as usual. WE can not wait. The island needs ANY possible income to get us out of vthe hole we were put in.

  38. Unbelievable says:

    OMG Marc Bean said “politricks”.

    Then ended his speech with “cool?”

    • Navin Johnson says:

      He can say poltricks but he cannot say with

      • Anon says:

        At least we know theres one word he’s able to say without sounding like an idiot

  39. Unbelievable says:

    Oh what faux outrage! Where was the outrage from 1998 – 2012 when there were letters ripped up, legislation run roughshod over, when journalists were banned and told we don’t care what you think, when the former auditor general was unjustifiably arrested, when SDOs were issued left right and centre, and the long list of other things that should have had ‘outrage’ directed at?

    What a joke some people can be.

    OBA, you have a MOUNTAIN to climb.

  40. Terry says:

    Kim Swan.
    Opposition leader.
    Get it.

  41. Ringmaster says:

    Marc Bean says that people had their democratic right stolen from them. Pure rubbish, but then goes on to support the vote in the House without a referendum. How hypercritic of him. Why didn’t he show his support for the petition and force a referendum? Could it be he wants the gambling legislation passed to help his own business?

    • Anon says:

      Because i honestly think the guy is bat sh&t crazy and a liitle possessed when he’s off his meds. I’m just waiting for the day when his mouth froths on camera

  42. CommonSensenBda says:

    Well, well! Cindy Swan and husband Kim MUST be sore that they are no longer in the “Limelight” as THEIR ENTIRE PARTY gave them the finger and a warm “F You” when they all left the UBP and formed the OBA right under Kim’s NOSE!


    Oh and Mrs. Swan, the “Propaganda Arm” of the PLP was sure to replay the ACTUAL RECORDING and AT NO TIME were you AS A FEMALE VOTER singled out as you asserted in this OVER-DRAMATIZED excuse for a press conference! Bravo! Bravo!

  43. Really says:

    Two thousand people is hardly the whole island

  44. Rockfish#1and#2 says:

    The”fight” between Swan and Dunkley was just a preliminary bout. What I want to know is, who won the Championship fight between Scott and Burgess?
    They both took place in the HoA, therefore I have a democratic right to know. Correct?
    Just joking, time to move on to more serious matters!

  45. J Herald says:

    Nothing to see here – move along please….

  46. becky says:

    Whoow, never thought our premier would speak so low. hope he won’t fart at the table next dinner time, to amuse his friends.

  47. joel says:

    disgraceful to bermuda. : (

  48. becky says:

    Mr dunkley needs to apologyze, next he will be farting at table to amuse his friends.

  49. jules says:

    An apology is correct!