PLP & OBA Respond To Debate Invitation

June 21, 2017 | 98 Comments

[Updated] Law student Eron Hill has invited both the Premier Michael Dunkley and Opposition Leader David Burt to participate in a live debate, with Mr Burt accepting and saying he “looks forward to debating Premier Dunkley,” while the OBA said they were “surprised to hear that a flyer promoting a debate between Premier Dunkley and Opposition Leader Burt was circulating online.”

Invitation Extended

Mr Hill said, “Generation Next is pleased to invite the Premier, Hon. Michael Dunkley and Opposition Leader, Hon. David Burt to participate in a live debate. Topics will include education, the economy, immigration, and job creation, amongst others.”

“The event will be held at the Bermuda Industrial Union’s Sweeting Ball Hall on July 3rd at 8pm. The debate moderator[s] will be announced in due course.

“The Premier and Opposition leader were contacted at the beginning of this month [June 2017] and were informed that an open invitation for the live debate would follow.

“Young Bermudians deserve to know what the position of our leaders are on a number of matters. It is vitally important that young people not only feel a part of the process in shaping Bermuda, but that we also contribute to that process. There will be time allocated during the debate to allow for questions from the audience.

“We look forward to receiving the indications from both leaders that they will engage with our young people and address these matters openly. Our young people are eager to hear the leaders outline and debate their respective visions, proposed policies, and plans for the future and sustainability of our island home.

“All are welcomed to attend the debate at the BIU’s Sweeting Ball Hall on Monday July 3rd, 2017. The debate will be streamed live online.

“Young Bermudians are the youth of today, and the leaders of tomorrow- Generation Next.”

PLP Response

PLP Leader David Burt accepted the invitation, saying, “I am looking forward to debating Premier Dunkley and discussing the failed record of the OBA and the PLP’s vision for the future. Under the OBA, the divide between the two Bermudas has gotten worse.

“We’ve lost 2,000 jobs despite the OBA promising to create 2,000 jobs. Our public schools are being neglected and scholarships have been cut. The cost of health insurance has skyrocketed. And, the OBA has looked out for their rich and powerful friends while working and middle class Bermudians have fallen further and further behind.

“The PLP has a vision to build a better Bermuda and put Bermudians first. We pledge to pass comprehensive immigration reform that ensures that Bermudians will have access to jobs and promotions and scrap Pathways to Status.

“We will reform public education to provide specialized training, especially in the STEM fields. We will increase competition to bring down the cost of health insurance. And, we will work to reduce duties and restructure our tax code to put more money in your pocket, reduce the cost of living and making it easier for working families to live and thrive in Bermuda.

“I am looking forward to the Generation Next Debate with Premier Dunkley, where the audience will see the differences in the OBA and PLP plans for our country.”

OBA Response

In response, OBA Chairperson Lynne Woolridge today said she was “surprised to hear that a flyer promoting a debate between Premier Dunkley and Opposition Leader Burt was circulating online.”

She said: “The Premier and his colleagues are always willing to debate all issues. But the flyer promoting a debate has not been discussed between the two parties to make sure that any debates that are arranged are done so in a proper fashion taking all aspects into consideration including a neutral location with an unbiased moderator.”

Senator Woolridge said she would “reach out to the Opposition to discuss the possibilities of arranging debates between the parties”and added, “Furthermore, I urge the people of Bermuda not to be swayed by the fake news and propaganda of the Opposition’s political operatives – when announcements relating to the July 18th General Election are made, they will be made through official channels and not announced in the first instance on social media.

“I can assure the people of Bermuda that the Premier and his colleagues have no objection to any debate or discussions on issues to help move Bermuda forward because we have a record that we are proud of and we urge the people of Bermuda not to get caught up in the Opposition’s negative narrative.

“We would like to remind the people that this country was in serious decline in 2012 and slowly but surely we are on the road to progress and the people of Bermuda can see this progress from east to west.”

Update: Response

Update 10.23pm: Mr Hill said, “In full and open disclosure, Generation Next contacted the Hon. Premier and the Hon. Opposition Leader on June 2nd 2017. On that date we informed each leader of the proposed debate and both parties were invited to provide any feedback and/or suggestions. Subsequent correspondence with the One Bermuda Alliance was specifically addressed to Senator Lynn Woolridge with the Hon. Premier copied in.

“To date we have received neither feedback or suggestions from the One Bermuda Alliance. Nevertheless, both parties were informed on 2nd June 2017 that the formal invitation would be published in the media in the near future.

“Mindful of our invitation and suggestions, today Generation Next publicly invited the leaders to a live debate on 3rd July 2017. We were most grateful to the Opposition Leader, Hon. David Burt and his agreement to engage in debate. By contrast the objections of the One Bermuda Alliance government are quite unfortunate however the stated basis of their objection is not insurmountable.

“The focus of this event is a platform for the leaders to enlighten the electorate regarding their respective parties’ record, proposed policies and plans for our island’s future and sustainability. It is hoped that through this debate, the populace [specifically our young Bermudians] can then make an informed decision on July 18th 2017.

“Allowing our young Bermudians an opportunity to listen to our leaders and hear their views on issues of concern is of the utmost importance to us. The venue in which this debate takes place or the moderator of the event is of considerably less importance.

“As such and in the spirit of camaraderie and putting country ahead of perceived partisan politics, we invite the One Bermuda Alliance to identify and secure a venue, any venue. This will remove any stigma of partisanship and place the focus on the issues, free expression of concerns and healthy debate.

“Additionally, we also extend to the One Bermuda Alliance the opportunity to select a moderator of their choice who will work in tandem with a moderator selected by Generation Next with the details to be considered and agreed between the parties.

“It has been stated that the Premier and his colleagues are always willing to debate the salient issues affecting all members of our country, as such we are hopeful these changes will allow for engagement of both parties in the debate. We look forward to hearing from the One Bermuda Alliance by Friday 23rd June 2017.”

Generation Next Election Debate Bermuda June 2017

click here Bermuda Election 2017

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Comments (98)

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  1. So Tired says:

    Would be interested to see, but on neutral turf.

  2. Truth is killin' me... says:

    BIU is not a neutral place to have this. City Hall would be a better location. Gary Moreno as moderator. Somebody trying an ambush with this flyer.

    • BdaReally says:

      I totally agree. We are all very aware that the BIU is not neutral grounds. I also agree that City Hall would be a much better venue. Neutral location must be established before any debate is held.

      • David Burt did quite well at de Lions Club. So ya telling me a leader of a country feels uncomfortable debating in a environment that he is unfamiliar to.
        Dr.Gordon, Dame Lois Brown Evans and Roosevelt Brown are GOOD examples of Leaders holding their own on hostile territory.
        Talk about WEAK leadership.

        • be realistic says:

          David Burt did quite well at THE Lion’s Club….

        • Same old says:

          I would recommend that they include the IB specifically to ask questions not just “Bermudian” public. I recommend John Barritt as the moderator.

        • Same old says:

          How did he hold his own? were there questions? Did anyone show up?

        • wahoo says:

          I suspect that the crowd at Lions club know how to act and Mr. Burt was aware of that. At any rate I do not think that the Lion’s are a political entity they are more about doing good and serving the community at large so why would Mr. Burt feel reluctant to go there?

        • BBBERMUDIAN says:

          I’m very familiar with the venue. It’s an amazing tribute to Labour leaders, and I’ve always felt awed to be able to participate in this space. However, it’s not set up for a debate of this format. The two ampetheatres at both Princess’s used by all parties, and the PLP and BPSU, affordable to them, aren’t being considered?

          Regardless, the optics created by “Generation Next”, are disengenuis and appear thoroughly choreographed.

          Every organization has a mission statement, website, list of founding members, and core purpose.

          Why hasn’t “Generation Next” fought to get their founding message out there, prior to announcing a “Non event”?

          Enlighten us.

          Personally I favour a TV debate, but moderated by whom?

        • EB says:

          I saw Dunkley in “back of town” today. The OBAers just looking for excuses.

      • EB says:

        Neutral ground? Do we live in a war-zone or something? BIU is too close to an area you people are afraid to visit?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Erin Hill is not a neutral party (especially after his disgraceful and disrespectful treatment of the Crockwell family with his political conspiracy theory letter to the governor), BIU is not a neutral location and with no announcement about who the moderator will be, everything about this is a PLP biased politrick stunt.

      A debate should be held, but as with debates, they must be held with the agreement of the debaters as to where, when and by whom, not from some cheap political social media stunt. The youth of this country expect better than this, beserve better than this, and it is clear that Mr. Hill doesn’t represent that better bermuda, only the PLP.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        *Eron Hill*… damned auto correct

      • Nanny Pat says:

        Agree 100%. Enron, you disgraced yourself and I am no longer interested in anything you have to say. You showed your true character. You should be ashamed.

        • wahoo says:

          Yes Mr. Hill as a student of law you need to exhibit some form understanding, if you did not intend for this to come across as being obnoxious then maybe you should choose another path in life, perhaps that requires a little less brain power.

      • Herrsparkle says:

        Yes, he is still very much a student and if he thinks that being a political operative is going to help his yet to commence career he is mistaken…
        Whomever is grooming him down this path is not helping his legal, unbiased, future at all…

      • Um.... says:

        Elon Hill is a PLP troll. He does the party more harm than good. Be quiet, young man and finish your law degree. Work hard, learn, and work within your community. But stay out of politics for now. It is not your time. It may never be your time based on the path and pace you’re moving right now.

    • EB says:

      I’m going just to heckle Dunkley but too bad he won’t accept. How cowardly.

  3. Be Neutral says:

    Union Hall….really?
    Of all the places to consider, this would be the bottom of my list if the plan is to be balanced.

    • Curious George says:

      How is a hall not neutral? I note the suggestion of City Hall, however given the history of City Hall some would say it is not neutral. If you can go to a movie or a play at either building why can’t you attend a debate at either. For a representative of the OBA to claim a building is not neutral says a lot. I must admit that I find it interesting that the invitation for the debate was June 2nd, before an election date was announced.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        The BIU has long been a political extension of the PLP, so the fact that it is being held there is a clear indication of political bias but the organizers. Also given they haven’t announced the moderator is another clear indicator as to the lack of any real attempt to put on a real debate. If this invite has been since the beginning of June, it shows a lack of genuine desire to put on a real debate, just one where they intend to try and control the debate and it’s narrative. Evident both by its organizer and it hosting.

      • nerema says:

        So you tell us a hall can’t fail to be be neutral, and then go on to say that City Hall would not be neutral.

      • you are kidding right? says:

        This thread is laughable–BIU is the furthest thing from being neutral and you all know it. There is always natural tension betweeen the Union and any government no matter what country.

        To suggest that the Premier is runnig scred because he won’t support a non neutral location would be disingenious at best. NO leader of any country would agree to debate in a forum which is not controlled and considered neutral.

        If you all think otherwise–you have been drinking way to much of the whacky kool-aide-.

        Come on ya’ll sometimes the things you say are really just embarassing.

        I agree with a fellow poster–after Mr. Hill’s shenanigan’s with the suggestion for a review of the circumstance around thelate Hon Crockwell’s passing–he should not only be ashamed but his sincerety should be questioned–it really was cringe worthy–even in the Bermuda political arena–this found new low –well done and congratulations to you Sir–you must make your party and constituents very proud!!

        Blessings abound

      • Hmmm says:

        Ok how about having the debate in OBA Headquarters? The BIU and PLP have been one and the same since their inception. (How many BIU leaders have gone on to be PLP MP’s)

        I say Cedarbridge IF there is a debate, but, before there is there needs to be some rules and regulations in place,

        Eron needs to learn that ambushing someone with a social media advert isn’t the way intelligent people do things (but after reading his rant about Shawn.. Intelligence is questionable)

      • FFS says:

        Do you actaully believe what you just wrote?

      • In de street we call this “Punking out”.

      • I Hear You says:

        “I must admit that I find it interesting that the invitation for the debate was June 2nd, before an election date was announced.”

        Well, at some point there was going to be an election this year, as it was the OBAs 4th/5th year, and it was rumoured before the 2nd that there might be a vote of no confidence pending.

        Personally I think the Premier called the election on the 8th, to save face and feel like he had some control, because it was made known that on the 9th, Burt was going to put forth a vote of no confidence and the chances of it swaying in Dunkley’s favour was unlikely, especially with the independent voters,Mr. Pettingill and the Late Mr. Crockwell, may he rest-in-peace, who made it clear which way he would’ve voted.

      • Earth watch police says:

        Ya George this is an ambush they would just attack Dunkly and never answer questions about the 800 million.

  4. Transparent says:

    You have to be seriously biased (or just very dim) not to see straight through this for exactly what it is – an attempt for the PLP to force Dunkley in to a very one sided debate so that Burt can follow a prearranged script/game plan. Alternatively Dunkley will refuse and the PLP can then slate him for being a coward, afraid and everything else (obviously Burt would agree, he arranged the whole thing via his minion Eron Hill – ask yourself if Burt found out about this via social media).

    In what world would a genuine pre-election debate ever be organized in this manners?

    • So Tired says:

      I agree. But also believe it should be a prerequisite to every election.

    • EB says:

      What are you smoking? How can Burt follow a prearranged script when they haven’t announced a host/moderator? They will also likely take audience questions so everything is some mega-conspiracy?

      Since the OBAers are too scared to venture near Court Street let’s have it at City Hall or Ruth Seaton James with Gary Moreno hosting/moderating. Is that fair?

  5. Kevin says:

    its time to stop playing games this election is about real progress not about pie in the sky politics …really that is all Burt can spew out he was completely void 6 years ago and listening to him now he isn’t an ounce smarter. To be dead honest this should be a landslide election for the OBA they may not be public relation experts but they certainly have turned around the economy. Foreign investment has been inspired that will lead to more jobs and oppurtunities
    only one real choice for a real future for our beloved island

    • Onion says:

      Don’t forget the role of talk radio and conspiracy theories. That’s basically all the PLP has now.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    Eron Hill is not a neutral person but a PLP activist. He called for an investigation into Shaun Crockwell’s untimely demise with innuendo and rumour, with no thought that this was a private matter for the family.
    Of course David Burt would accept, he is probably part of Generation Next. A neutral debate? No way, just an ambush with the room filled with the usual PLP anti OBA group, shouting down free speech.

    • Hmm says:

      Agreed, nasty individual. Shame as he actually seems fairly bright.

      • far from it says:

        so young bright ppl are nasty get a life

        • Lualaba says:

          No young nasty people can also be bright!!!

        • Bullnoseh says:

          He’s nasty and callous. He had no regard for Crockwell’s family when he tried to spread innuendo and lies. He should be ashamed of himself. And now he is trying another stunt.

        • Mark says:

          Lol. That is not what he said but ok. A bit weird to be honest. And i am young person who thinks eron hill is nasty and even weirder than your comment.

        • hmmm says:

          His actions made him nasty. Bright people can be nasty…they are not mutually exclusive. Eron’s in attempts to manipulate peoples perceptions of events have proved him to be nasty.

          If I am wrong, then his PLP handler is abusing the youth.

          Take your pick of the two.

        • Spit Bouy says:

          @ far from it,

          No but Hmm’s comment is on point about Mr. Hill.

        • Hmm says:

          Nope just him. Trying to politicise someones passing is pretty high on the rotten list.

        • Build a Better Bermuda says:

          After the disrespect and disgrace he showed the Crockwell family, openingly publishing his letter that was crafted to try and propagate a hack political conspiracy theory, Eron Hill has shown himself to be on the same level of ‘bright’ as Alex Jones.

          For a young man that has so much potential, he seems intent on wasting it, propagating self-serving/righteous ideologies that have failed every community that have embraced them.

        • Sounds like they’re running scared.
          Just lovin it.

    • EB says:

      Then show up and support your beloved Dunkley and OBA.

  7. cpm says:

    So the plp have “paid” political Broadcasts on the afternoon show
    and Mike Charles instead of concentrating on our children is causing issues with the election looming
    Time to weed out poor teachers and dept of Ed officials

  8. Not having it says:

    This young man is doing this for attention. He wants to act as if he stands for something when really he just wants well I don’t know what he wants. As a young bermudian I pay attention to what’s going on but this “debate” is ridiculous it will end up being a room with a microphone and hecklers. I’m not saying he won’t be ready One Day but if he gives me the same feeling he gives me now I will continue to ignore the party he is linked to. He has not paid his dues. He’s actually quite irritating

    • EB says:

      What’s wrong with having a debate? I think it’s a great idea. Lets see who the better leader is, lets see who can think on their feet and not rely on paid help to write speeches and statements.

  9. Jiminy Cricket says:

    Debate? How can anyone take this farce seriously? Both sides need to agree on the venue and moderator. However, we have a biased venue and moderator unknown.

    I would really want to hear the platforms of each party.
    Please have a real debate with questions and answers by an impartial moderator. I plead with the Premier and Opposition leader, prepare for the discourse and let us know your vision for the next 5 years.

  10. 2025 plan says:

    And to think he could be running Bermuda next month…

  11. Rocky5 says:

    More fake news.

  12. The debate would only be fair if you allowed an Independent candidate in also. I select Paula Cox. Now that would be interesting .

    • Sickofantz says:

      Not sure how independant she is Rodney. Didn’t she used to be something to do with the PLP?

    • Alvin Williams says:

      And in whose interest she would be standing for ? Certainly not for the PLP.

  13. Coffee says:

    Probably best to have the debate in the Americas Cup Village . That way the average Bermudian could get to experience the wonderful ambiance and see/feel excactly what their $70 million bought . Free to all Bermudians and guest workers !

    Micheal could show off the great results of inward investment by very wealthy people interested in moving Bermuda forward .

    David Burt would be wonder struck , and he might forget to ask Micheal about the tons of asbestos still forgotten after four years of OBA governance . David wouldn’t recognize any of the former GP cars because the license plates were immediately changed due to imagined fear manufactured by the hypocritical new OBA ministers .

    Perhaps the neutral moderator could be the seasoned politician and former mayor of New York , MR. DAY AND NIGHT . I’d love that , for he has no skin in the game …. I know , I know this is serious business .. Not a game !

    Don’t be so quick to attempt to smack down Errin Hill … He is a Young Turk .

    • aceboy says:

      Nah. Let’s do it at the 50 million dollar white elephant called Grand Atlatic.

    • iuq says:

      Which sort of Young Turk, I wonder. The activities of the original Young Turks had a disastrous effect on their country and thee wider region.

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      jibberish lmfao…

  14. lexi says:

    I’m a bit confused as to why an invitation was issued before both parties had an opportunity to discuss this.

  15. Positive Pessimist says:

    The flyer clearly states that it is an INVITATION. Can people not read? This is a public invitation and if the Premier turns it down, questions should be asked as to why. My concern is not about the neutrality of the venue (what does where it’s being held influence anything?) but an issue of space. What about Ruth Seaton James Auditorium?

    • I Hear You says:

      THANK YOU! Finally some one gets it. So often people are caught up in the content and their personal opinions they fail to actually see what is being said!

    • EB says:

      Agree 100%.

  16. bdaboy says:

    “Don’t be so quick to attempt to smack down Errin Hill ”

    Are you a big fan? Maybe if you spelt his name right he’d give you his autograph.

    Coffee, why are you so racist? Why do you hate your fellow Bermudians? Did your momma not hug you enough? Is it a mental illness you fight, daily? I really feel sorry for you and would like to help.

  17. Hey there says:

    I would love to know how the two political leaders were informed of this event…? The premier got sent a email along with a million other emails, while Burt probably got a personal phone call and taken out for lunch XD, come on people!

    Lets have an actual debate! not a one sided town hall meeting where people will ambush the speakers

    • So Tired says:

      I agree and the Premier should welcome such a debate to showcase the OBA’s past, current and proposed future initiatives to support their ‘Forward not Back’ campaign. What’s the problem?

    • Earth watch police says:

      Burt wasn’t. Invited he planned it.

  18. hoodrich says:

    I say have two debates home and away. so nobody cries foul. If your record is that good debate anywhere. Who’s scared

  19. Starting Point says:

    You would think after his horrific treatment of the Crockwell incident, Mr. Hills first return to the public sphere would be to beg forgiveness….but nope, our young PLP member decides to go with the party play book.

    At least theres no debate now on Mr. Hills character.

  20. sandgrownan says:

    Eron Hill is such a little twerp isn’t he.

  21. hmmm says:

    What an evil manipulative nasty person Eron Hill is. You wait for an acceptance before publicly announcing an event. You don’t publish Beyoncé will be playing and advertise until Beyoncé has agreed to play.

    Still can’t get past his nastiness and political game playing using the extremely sad Crockwell death.

    why do the PLP and it’s cronies insist on abusing media for political gain through manipulating peoples emotions. It is SICK and needs to STOP.

  22. JH says:

    The debate won’t happen and the event will turn into a PLP rally with the same old oba bashing and calls of racism.

    PLP hav nothing else – so predictable.

  23. Spit Bouy says:

    LOL, debate what? I watch the US ones just for their comedic value and if you’re swayed by an hour or two of cached responses from those unfortunate enough to participate in these circuses I feel sorry for you.

    The OBA have got Bermuda moving in the right direction again and while it will never be perfect it’s better than what we had pre the 2012 election. It is also a better position than that which the plp are likely to move us into anytime soon.

  24. Nikon says:

    Have it at BAA Gymnasium inside a boxing ring…

  25. Unbelievable says:

    Check Elon Hill trying to ambush the Premier into doing something he’s never even agreed to. Stop playing games, bie, and keep your PLP accountable.

  26. Unbelievable says:

    Check Eron Hill trying to ambush the Premier into doing something he’s never even agreed to. Stop playing games, bie, and keep your PLP accountable.

  27. John says:

    Fake PLP news

  28. Alvin Williams says:

    The premier has bloc Mr. Hill now who is afraid to meet in a debate? A political debate before the people is the last thing this government wants to be engage in.

  29. EB says:

    Dunkley running scared. I’m not shocked at all. Burt would wipe the floor with him. C’mon milk man, do it.

  30. EB says:

    Dunkley running scared. I’m not surprised. Burt would wipe the floor with him. C’mon milk man, do it!

    • Ringmaster says:

      @EB. Remember to use the same computer when you post several times, or change your name. Proof of the multiple aliases used by the same person.

      • EB says:

        Its not multiple aliases if I used the same name, idiot. I used a different email address because the first time I sent it I didn’t see the pending message. Get a clue.

    • Earth watch police says:

      Dunkly scared ya right you just mad because he did not fall for Burt and hills tricks.

  31. Free Thinker says:

    Dunkley Running when substance is at stake. Punch a hole in a roof and roll the tapes and make an emotional case and he’d be all over it. Intelligence will outclass privilege any day, any time.

  32. Big Ruze says:

    Considering the PLPs past financing record!
    During the debate , one serious question should be asked of Burt.
    What are you scheming to do with our pension funds?

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