Column: Youth Of Today, Leaders Of Tomorrow

March 28, 2016

[Written by Eron Hill]

Young people; you are the youth of today, but the leaders of tomorrow. You are Generation Next! We must be able to begin a new era of excellence, strength, and ability to march forth and provide our country and her people what they truly deserve, a better Bermuda for all.

I’ve canvassed the thoughts and opinions of various young people about the current landscape of politics and whether or not they’d vote in the next election; I’ve been met with intellectual and articulate responses that are indicative to me of the fact that the youth are well aware of the oozing divides within our community, the urgent need for fiscal responsibility, and investing in our young Bermudians. The government and opposition alike should take notice that young Bermudians are paying attention.

Eron Hill Bermuda March 28 2016

On the other hand, there are those young people who don’t care to vote because they don’t see the importance of voting and feel that it doesn’t affect them.  Although many may disagree, this is a legitimate concern shared by many young people. I ask these individuals to understand that their voice truly does matter and every vote counts. It is incumbent upon anyone when discussing the youth vote, and encouraging young people to get involved to briefly outline and discuss some of Bermuda’s voting history and the struggle fought on racial, gender, and socioeconomic lines.

1789- During this year legislation was passed to give statutory recognition to the property-based criteria for voters and candidates in general elections. This act established a minimum monetary value of forty pounds in order to vote and two hundred pounds in order to run for political office.

1841- This was the year that Bermuda officially recognized the United Kingdom Pound Sterling as legal tender. It followed that the property values legislated in 1834 for voting in general elections were converted to sixty pounds.

1944- Following Women’s Suffrage Act was passed by the legislature; this act ended the prolonged struggle to secure the vote for women. However, this vote was still restricted to property owning women who were to be subject to the previously established monetary values of forty pounds to vote and two hundred pounds to run for political office.

1946- Dr. E.F Gordon delivered the Bermuda Worker’s Association Petition to the Colonial Office in Great Britain requesting an investigation into the restricted franchise, segregation, and limited occupational opportunities ‘for the great majority of the underprivileged and suffering inhabitants of Bermuda.’

1960- Roosevelt Brown, later known as Dr. Pauula Kamarakafego led The Committee for Universal Adult Suffrage [C.U.A.S.] that campaigned for universal adult suffrage. This group sought the elimination of the property-based vote and the establishment of single-seat constituencies and strove for the democratic ideal of “one person, one vote, each vote of equal value”.

1966- The Parliamentary Election Amendment Act 1966 was passed during this year and abolished the “plus” vote and extended the franchise to include every adult Bermudian [by birth or grant] twenty-one years and over.

1968- This year saw the implementation of a written Constitution, which shifted most of the responsibility for the internal governance of Bermuda from the Governor to the elected representatives of the people and appointed members of the Legislature.

1989- The age eligibility of voters was changed from 21 to 18.

2003- It was in this year that the Constituency Boundary Commission’s Report received the endorsement of the House of Assembly which allowed the 2003 election to take place under the electoral format of thirty-six single seat constituencies. This year saw the implementation of “one man, one vote, equal vote”.

History is abundantly clear when it shows us that the powers in that day wanted to protect the elitist status quo of restricting the opportunities of a large percentage of Bermudians. In previously years, you would have to be a part of a certain racial, and economic class in order to vote. These struggles will be outlined and discussed in columns to follow in order to better understand exactly how far we’ve come as a country.

We have individuals like Dr. E.F Gordon, Dr. Hilda Aitken and Mrs. Edna Wadson to thank for their invaluable contributions in the fight for voting equality. The greatest way to honor those individuals and the many others that have fought for our right to vote is to exercise it.

It would be amazing to see a larger presence of young people vocalizing their concerns and input regarding the direction of this country. As a young person growing up in Bermuda, it is imperative to know that the government of the day is making decisions that will pave the way for a better and brighter future for Bermudians. Bermuda’s young people want to make a difference, they can make a difference, and together they will make a difference.

This country has a plethora of young people full of talent, potential and intellectual brilliance. With your input, effort and combined support there is nothing to stop you from achieving great things on behalf of our country.

I will be starting a voter registration drive concentrating on young people but open to all eligible to vote. We will assist in completing the requisite form[s] and submitting them to the Parliamentary Registry to ensure that as many young people are registered to vote as possible.

We will be handing out material regarding Bermuda’s voting history and parliamentary procedures. This literature will include two pieces entitled “The Evolution of Bermuda’s Franchise” and “How Bermuda’s Parliament Works” by Mr. James E Smith, former clerk to the Registrar.

We are looking for other young people who will volunteer their time to assist. If interested, please email me at eronhill@live.com. Among a number of other places that we will visit, we will also attend various sports and social clubs that young people frequent to hand out literature, engage in constructive dialogue with our peers, and assist anyone who is eligible and desires to be registered to vote.

We hope that through these efforts young voters will be motivated to get involved, to understand how the political process affects their everyday lives and inspire them to become the change they desire to see in our island home.

You can find the online registration form on the Parliamentary Registry website here

Together we can do this! Remember, you are the youth of today, but the leaders of tomorrow. Generation Next!

-Eron Hill

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Comments (29)

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  1. hmmm says:

    The Youth should be aware that the party that sold out their future was the PLP. The party that is stabilizing and recovering the country for their future is the OBA.

    So the youth need to vote, to vote for a future, to vote OBA.

    (I think you missed that bit Eron).

    • Good stuff young man, something our politictians should be teaching our youth, but they would prefer to hoodwink them.
      The U.B.P. dont give a S!@# about young Black Bermudians, well said young man.

    • eyes wide open says:

      You definitely have this wrong. It’s the OBA that are selling out Bermuda’s youth by diluting and marginalizing black Bermudian youth. There will be no opportunities for youth in Bermuda. They will never ever get my vote again. They only operate on their mandate and forget about the people. Good words Eron the youth feel you.

      • hmmm says:

        Without pathways legislation in place in some form by June, each individual can apply to the court and get status granted…there will be a free for all.

        The international laws were not created by the OBA.

        Why do you think you won’t be able to do what you want to do?
        what is it that you want to do, and how are you planning to achieve your goals?

      • jt says:

        The PLP did exactly as you claim AND sold our future to foreign lenders.
        Controlling and then reducing the debt is all that matters at this point. Vote for who you think can do it. Everything else is a side bar, like it or not.

      • Bermyman says:

        How are they marginalizing? Education is the biggest factor that has marginalized the youth.

        The economy relies on jobs to be created by foreign $$$, our recession happened because more foreign people and $$$ left the Island, that is a FACT. The money to run the economy does not come from Bermudians because we do not sell anything accept immigration and tourism (non-bermudians) to the rest of the world.

      • Onion says:

        The presence of foreigners here (especially high skill/high earning) creates opportunities for young people. They also lower the amount we (young people) are going to have to pay in taxes to support the un-funded pensions that the previous government left behind.

      • aceboy says:

        The PLP’s idea of opportunity for youth is what exactly? Potential Civil Servants? Have a gander at the Youth opportunities the AC have created.

  2. bee says:

    The youth today – all over the world, not just Bermudian youth – do not want to live in a Theocracy. They do not want to be dictated to by a bunch of religious extremists who believe that the colour of your skin or your sexual preference makes you more Bermudian than the next kid. They also want to explore the world and have experiences – work and personal – that Bermuda cannot offer and some end up never returning. That’s just the way life works.

    • Full Fuulish says:

      Well said!

    • Zevon says:

      That is a very interesting and insightful post. Well said.

    • Ya and when they finish exploring and experience that this is a racist world they would realize what their parents and fore parents had to endure.

  3. No to Votes says:

    Good Stuff young Dill, oops…I mean young Hill.

    Hopefully You will be rewarded by your efforts with a Senator post, but not for long.

    I am not voting for any of those two parties. Two wrongs don’t make a right!!

    Perhaps we should ask both parties to start sharing their manifestos and their true cabinet if they won. if my MP will not be in the cabinet when he wins, why vote for him.

    There should be the same number of winning MPs to fit Cabinet. too may constituencies.
    the losing party with winning seats can sit in parliament with the cabinet. all the MPs who lose become senators so they all are participating. enough free ride at taxpayers expense.
    Cut those constituencies down. there are places in the work with one or two constituencies with the population of Bermuda. Parish constituencies and one extra for Town of St.Georges and the city of Hamilton. 11 constituencies. save a whole lot of money.

    then i will vote.

    • Reg says:

      Your weak attempt to try and influence the young voters of Bermuda not to turn up and vote in the next election has failed miserably. There is no doubt that you will be one of the first to cast your vote despite all of the deceptiveness. Don’t worry the young Bermudians will be at the polling stations just like you.

  4. Young Voters says:

    The young voters of Bermuda clearly see what they are going to inherit (and know how and why we are in the current position we are) and I am certain (from talking with many) that they are not at all swayed by the current level of propaganda and media/blog rhetoric.

    They are seeing it for exactly what it is.

    That gives me great hope for the future of this country.

  5. For those among us who cannot bring themselves to vote for either side, please remember that there is a certain validity to spoled ballots. In and of themselves they say nothing but they are counted and if there are many of them, send a message. Voting is too hard won for too many people to just not turn out. You can still have some voice just by spoiling that ballot. Obviously voting for a person or party is preferable but not voting at all is to disregard all who fought so hard and in some places, are still fighting. You can disagree with both sides and still voice your opinion.

    • Mhm right says:

      Surely people must agree more or less with one side than another? Just because you don’t like everything about one party doesn’t mean that you should spoil your ballot. If you are undecided, do some more research! It should become abundantly evident that the OBA is out their fighting to create positive change for the future and to better the lives of all Bermuda’s people.

      • In the last election many PLP supporters were not pleased with their own party but could not bring themselves to cast a vote for the others guys. The whole belief in political party as family. The OBA squeeked by. The outcome would not have been any different but if there had been hundreds of spoiled ballots, it would have raised questions, sent a potentially powerful message about the level of discontent with both sides. Some OBAers have the same feelings: don’t like one, like the other even less. Spoiling ballaots is not ideal but, to me, preferable to not exercising such a hard won privilege.

  6. Onion says:

    2016 – Unions and the PLP marched to ensure that equal rights were not extended to a marginalised minority. Many advocated second class citizenship rather than full status using racial and nationalist justifications.

    • A marginalised minority who in a racist society have had the cards stacked in their favor for the last few centuries.

      • Glad to know you believe there are circumstances that allow for open discrimination. You will want to remember this stance on denying people their rights when you start complaining about discrimination against marginal minorities you approve of as opposed to those you selectively don’t approve of.

      • Iqbal says:

        OJ’s Dominican maid had a good laugh at this latest gem.

  7. franklin f says:

    this young boy needs to open his eyes and not be brainwashed by his mentors, the PLP.

    • Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

      It may be too late for such a promising young man…Unfortunately this young man is living in the past…who in their right mind wants anything to do with politics…even under the OBA reigns Bda. is and will continue to fail…until you all grasp the severity of being $2,000,000,000 in debt and trying to get out is next to impossible…I warned of everything that is now taking place years ago only to be called a fool…now I laugh as the real fools now come to light b!%@#ing and moaning about things which could have been avoided.

      Go vote PLP and seal Bdas. fate.

  8. Ms. Poli Tician says:

    There’s that nasty, dare I say racist, habit of calling a MAN a ‘boy’. In this day and age, you ought to be hanging your head in shame.

    • ricardo says:

      i am 58 and correct me if i am wrong but i believe he is 20 or 21. therefore in my eyes he is still a boy also

  9. wahoo says:

    WOW man like that is deep! You are a literary genius! A teacher of the masses! Truly inspirational!

    If you are trying to get young people inspired to vote plp you need to apologize to them for everything that happened between 1998 and 2013 and try to focus on economic and financial stuff (sorry that is important also). Soon the COMI will get started and we wait with baited breath for the explanation you will have for the “youth”.

    Every country has a plethora of young people “full of talent” as you say and a plethora of want to be politicians who want to exploit them …..hmmmm

  10. history says:

    to hmm

    You think these international standards just came about since the oba said so.
    fools.

    Next will be walmart saying they arediscriminating against for not being allowed to enter the Bda economy.
    We have Laws that restrict this.

    Each country has its own rules – some meet international standards – some do not.
    Its a fact of life
    Look at the tax treaties between countries – all countries do no meet its requirements.
    It’s not the end of the world. (like how these OBA dimwits trumpet about the “all of sudden” immigratio cliff.)

    Last year this time – the oba government were confirming to the bermuda people that all work-permit holders MUST sign mandatory “sworn” documents on NO expected status.

    ARE WE – ALL OF US – ARE WE FOOLS — .

    This guy erron has been saying the same thing when we were teenagers – nothing much has changed in Bermuda for the average bermudian.

  11. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Thank you Mr.Hill for the history lesson and the constant reminder.People who forget their past are doomed to make the past mistakes in the future.The past often repeats itself when the nature of man does not change.The nature of man does not change when he refuses to learn from his past mistakes.The vicious cycle of bad behaviour continues universally. Keep up the good work young man.We feel ya.Peace………

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