Column: “There Is No Place Like Home”

January 14, 2016

[Opinion column written by Chris Famous]

There is no place like home” - Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

Forrest Gump once said “Life is like a box of chocolates”. A possible interpretation is that one has an opportunity to make choices as to what they wish to; taste, consume and subsequently digest.

So too is the case with how one chooses to vote.

In any democracy it is expected that governments will change every so often. So in that regard it is fair to expect the electorate to vote for change every so often. It is also fair to expect that when persons vote for that change their opinions of how they voted is fully respected.

Chris Famous 160114

Political chocolates

In the December 2012 General Election a percentage of Bermudians choose to vote. Whilst another percentage choose not to vote. Of those that voted, depending on the constituency in which they lived, their choices were: an Independent candidate, a PLP candidate or an OBA candidate.

At the end of the election 19 OBA candidates were voted in vs 17 PLP candidates. To date this was the closest election that many can recall.

Fast forward two years from that election, residents of Constituency 33 had two chocolates to pick from. On November 18, 2014, they picked PLP candidate Jamahl Simmons over OBA candidate Georgia Marshall.

Fast forward one year plus from 2014, the residents of Constituency 13 now have another choice to make between OBA candidate Andrew Simons and PLP candidate Senator Diallo Rabain.

Listening ears

As we have gone about canvassing for both bye elections we have met untold amounts of Bermudians who have stated that they either chose not to vote at all or voted OBA in the last election.

Many have voiced these specific reasons why they chose to abstain from voting or voted OBA :-

  • Could not bring themselves to vote for either party
  • Did not like the particular PLP candidate
  • Did not think that their vote counted
  • Had not been visited by any candidates
  • Just wanted to see what a change would bring about
  • Never thought PLP would lose an election
  • Thought the OBA would follow through with their promises
  • Were improperly registered to vote
  • Were swayed by OBA Campaign

The list can go further than above, but needless to say the fact that so many are now speaking up openly is indicative that those chocolates that they picked 3 years ago are not quite what they expected.

As such, it is heart-warming to us when persons express that yes they voted OBA or did not vote at all last election, but now have realized the power of that one vote. Many have spoken of how they have their challenges with any number of PLP decisions but never in their wildest dreams expected to see Bermudians become second class citizens in their own country over the last three years.

Numbers do not lie

Recent polls indicate that 82 % of young persons, 18 years – 34 years of age, felt that they have little to no confidence in the economy as is. This comes as no shocker with the recent annual Labour force survey stating:

“Notable job gains were reported among non-Bermudians in 2015. Non-Bermudian workers posted an increase of 5% or 377 positions for the year. In contrast, there was a 2% decline in the number of Bermudian workers with 413 jobs lost in 2015.” - Bernews Jan 4, 2016.

At least 413 Bermudians lost jobs in 2015, whilst 377 non-Bermudians gained jobs in that same time period. This essentially suggests that OBA immigration policies are working against the best interests of Bermudians.It is figures such as these that make many realize the OBA has not and will not follow through with the promises made 3 years ago.

To those that have spoken with us we appreciate you taking the time to explain your past positions. We understand and respect your decisions. Most importantly, we look forward to you joining us and others with your ideas and energy to ensure that Bermuda works best for Bermudians.

“There is no place like home”

- Chris Famous can be contacted via email at Carib_pro@yahoo.com or Twitter at @ryderz777

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Comments (7)

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  1. inna says:

    Is this only half of the op-ed?

    I was waiting to read something of sustenance, but am let down… again… and not surprisingly.

  2. I heart 441 says:

    The stats on non Bermudian vs Bermudian gaining and loosing their jobs is atrocious! I’m curios though, which field where most gains in non-Bermudians taking jobs, I hope the international business sector and not the low income blue collar jobs.

  3. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    Good column Famous that’s why the Milkman is hesitant about calling a snap election.

  4. Vulcan Trash Cleaner says:

    Famous,if you spent more time on your job at belco inside of moonlighting around on the media life would be so much easier for everyone’s eyes!

  5. Cup Of Tea Anyone? says:

    what his is position at BELCO?
    how does he get away with spending so much time on FB?
    Is this what we are paying crazy high prices to belco for?