Cabinet: “What Was Our Premier Thinking?”

November 4, 2010

craig.cannonier(Updated) (Written by Craig Cannonier, Leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance)

When I listened to the announcement of the Cox Cabinet immediately I said “What was our Premier thinking?”

As I walk the streets and hear the constant cries for a new approach, new faces and for healing the divisiveness in our beloved country I have asked “Was this the answer? Have the people of Bermuda not been heard?”

Rather than be emotive I thought it best to stop and think of the daunting challenge our Premier had. A challenge that she herself has created as Minister of Finance. The problem was the more I contemplated the more questions I had than answers.

What we have in fact seen is that most of same people have been appointed to the Cabinet. These are the same people who we placed our trust in to ensure the public purse would be protected and to ensure that cronyism and favouritism would be eliminated – but who have already failed at those tasks. The deck has been shuffled but it is the same tired game.Ministry name changes achieve nothing. It is not real change that you can believe in.

Thus like you Bermuda , I too question whether the most qualified people for the major tasks at hand have been selected.

Like you Bermuda, I too question some of our Senate appointments especially if the conversation and divisiveness is to change in this country.

Like you Bermuda , I query why the numbers in Cabinet have increased when the economy has been shrinking.Like you Bermuda, I wonder why our Premier has seen fit to micro manage the procurement process. Does she have no faith in the capability of her Ministers or civil servants to follow the existing protocols or her directions? Most businesses make such radical moves when they know they have a serious problem, however our Government has not admitted to this nor apologized for the mishandling of the People’s purse. No matter the office you create if you have the same managers in place the office will still be poorly run.

Why not extend an arm of inclusivity and capitalize on the intellectual capital that exists amongst the BDA and the UBP or to those outside political parties? This would be a major step in moving forward. The country has called for real change, the concern is, can this Cabinet deliver what Bermuda so desperately needs? I need some serious convincing as do the people of Bermuda.

Update 9:22am: Official statement from the PLP reference Mr Cannonier`s statement:

We note the comments from Mr. Cannonier and find them interesting. However, Mr. Cannonier and the BDA should realise that Bermuda is tired of politics as usual and the endless combative ping pong of disagreement for disagreement’s sake. It is ironic that Mr. Cannonier would be so disappointed in the composition of the Cabinet, when the public support so far that has been articulated has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Premier of Bermuda has unveiled a National Plan that will be further articulated in Friday’s Speech from the Throne and would certainly invite members of the BDA to listen intently so they can make meaningful contributions to the future well-being of Bermuda.”

(Editors note: You can view videos/bios of all the 2010 Cabinet and Senate appointees by clicking here.)

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Comments (61)

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  1. Dragging A Lure says:

    This is going to be a beautiful day. If you believe in reincarnation, than you have to believe that Kim Swan has joined up with the BDA. What!! Same Speech. Kim you are really clever. Craig, take Mark Pettigall’s advise and follow Plato.The problem that is facing the both UBP & BDA (they are the same, check the DNA) is the fact that they do not have the numbers between them to form an official opposition cabinet and cannot really establish how to add up their numbers to match. Come on Craig, name your cabinet and change your party’s image.Stop being a Surrogate.

    Sarah Palin says “Man Up”.

    • racisux says:

      “The problem that is facing the both UBP & BDA (they are the same, check the DNA)”.!!!! It is outrageous that you would post blatant racism on this forum. Please give Paula Cox some respect. It looks to me like she is doing the very very best with the cards she’s been dealt, and she really doesn’t need any lowlifes defending her so badly. If you hate people because of the colour of their skin, go back to kindergarten. That’s where you fell off the train.
      My hat goes off to our new premier. And I believe the BDA are trying to do what’s right for Bermuda too. I’m sure if they ever came to power, they would not act against you because of the DNA you possess. So take that ball and go home.

      • URAmoron says:

        It is outrageous that you ppl always cry racism when ppl point out the obvious marriage between the UBP and the BDA. If ‘dragging a lure’ was being racist then you are automatically calling BDA and UBP “white” parties. Think about it!

        • Takesonetokoknowone says:

          Hard to argue with stupidity but I’ll try. The racism was “they are the same, check the DNA”. Do you understand yet? sigh….

        • Kristin says:

          Please explain to me the ‘obvious marriage’. I truly am curious and interested to understand how and where you see the ‘marriage’.

          So many groups in Bermuda, from charities to sports clubs to companies to home schools, have been formed when a group of individuals, fed up with what they see, unable to convince the larger group to make the necessary changes, go out and create something different, something that they feel is better. They go out and they get other people who believe in the ‘something different’ to join their ‘something different’.

          Soooo… PLEASE explain to me how this is unlike those examples.


      • Stop-The-Rot says:

        I agree on racism having no place in Politics, so why appoint Laverne Furbert to senate? I completely agree that if your a racist to leave politics to those who aren’t! Oh wait, Paula put her there?!? What’s that saying for the PLP and her… not much!

    • LOL says:

      So you gonna buy that bridge?


  2. Rich says:

    The critiques of Paula Cox’s cabinet being more of the same is are a bit unfair. S 58 of the constitution forces her to appoint ministers from the House and up to 2 from the Senate. And clearly, appointing an opposition minister is simply not realistic politically. She is constitutionally bound to ‘shuffle’ the decks so to speak.

    Paula Cox must think there is a limited depth of talent in the legislature – a reality that was exasperated when our politicians decided to reduce the number of MPs from 40 to 36. Otherwise, she would not have taken on key functions herself at the expense of the rest of Cabinet, expanded the briefs of her two most effective, yet unelected, Senate appointments, or convinced a former Premier to come on board risking the potentially destabilising effect that could have at the Cabinet table.

    If Paula Cox is savvy, she will call a snap election soon to (1) benefit from the electorate’s early goodwill, (2) get her own mandate from the people, (3) use the exercise to try and purge the party’s electoral roster of anyone who could run her agenda aground, (4) try to bring in a new raft of potential Cabinet material, and (5) do all of this before the effects of her $150 million cuts begin to bite.

    • Lane Martin says:

      Thank you for explaining the S 58, Rich. Everything you say makes sense. I would add in, tackling anti-corruption legislation, (such as mandatory criteria for SDOs). My hat goes off to Paula Cox. Paula, you have a chance to be the best premier Bermuda has ever had. It looks to me like you have the will and the ability too. Thank you for expending your energy on Bermuda. My heartfelt prayers are with you.

      • Um Juss Sayin says:

        “Anti-corruption” legislation- mandatory criteria for SDOs- do some research- the UBP Government created more SDOs than the PLP Government has, funny thing is, those SDOs were to benefit those “other people” so no-one complained then!

    • Letariatpro says:

      Good points Rich, I agree that she should hold an election now, as things are uncertain in two years time, it is better to ride the wave of positive energy right now, and get what she feels is the best team in place to go forward. She does not have alot to work with at the moment. But if she can truly change the tone of politics here, we may see more good folks getting involved.

  3. Larry E Smith says:

    It’s kinda regrettable that a party that failed Bermuda for almost 40 years and now, fallen branches from that same tree, are suggesting how the country should be run. The Premier has made some interesting moves and like President Obama, she’s not gonna change mis-management over-night.

    • Interesting Facts says:

      The BDA is a year old. How could they have failed Bermuda for 40 years?

      • Um just sayin says:

        The majority of the BDA party defected from the UBP party who had the power almost 40 years ago!!

        • Kristin says:

          When you say ‘majority’ you are purposely misleading everyone, or else are grossly misinformed. The makeup of the BDA is very mixed – yes the founders of the party were 6 individuals who had had ENOUGH of the UBP and thus left to create something different, something better – therefore not a majority, when you look at our hundreds of members and supporters.

          Many BDA supporters, of which I am one, are like myself – individuals that had no public affiliation with, or loyalty to any party. Others were paying members of PLP. Some UBP. All of us are simply Bermudians that wanted to get more involved but felt that neither the old values and weakness of the UBP nor the divisive, fearmongering, fiscal mismanagement of the PLP were parties we could get on board with.

          When PLP supporters and other detractors want to brand us as another UBP, I shake my head – why would people who could have comfortably saved their positions and seats by staying WITH the UBP take the risk and put themselves out there to start a new group, only to have it be the same as the group they left?

          Why would individuals, who are just looking to make a difference, who had no political involvement before now join the BDA, knowing it would be an uphill battle, knowing it would be way more difficult, than actually just joining an established party? If we were so in love with the UBP, we could have just joined that group!

          The argument that we are the same as the UBP doesn’t make sense – it’s just another tactic to try to manipulate voters.

          • Um Juss Sayin says:

            Tactic to manipulate voters- isn’t the BDA a branch of the UBP to split the vote come election day. Knock on my door and see what happens. I see members of the BDA on the street daily, bunch of arrogant, self-righteous, self-serving prudes- yet come election time, I bet they’ll be knockin on my door with a smile! Try reaching the people BDA- there’s a start!
            Make a difference?? Again- it’s SPLIT THE VOTE tactic- and I don’t buy into the hype!

      • URAmoron says:

        The BDA=UBP. No difference whatsoever!

        • Kristin says:

          I am confused by the statement by ‘Um Juss Sayin’.

          Please explain WHY the BDA tactic and the sole reason for them being created would be to ‘split the UBP vote’.

          If that’s your argument, instead of saying the BDA is UBP, the BDA was created by UBP etc… wouldn’t it make MORE sense that we would have been created by the PLP? Clearly they would make the most benefit from us ‘splitting the UBP vote’.

          Honestly I’m confused by how you can even feel this is a logical argument for how the UBP and BDA are the same.

    • LOL says:

      I guess everyone who leads your party is like Obama? What makes them compairable?


    • UncleElvis says:

      Wait… with this you’re either calling 12 years “overnight”, which is ridiculous, or actually blaming the mismanagement of the Brown Administration on the UBP… which is ridiculous.

    • rjones says:

      Would that be the mis management of the past 12 years or just during the sad period under Baby BABY BABY DOC?

  4. Half-a-Clue says:

    What a wasted opportunity this was!

    “Like you Bermuda” x 4 = patronising repetitiveness.

    Do they have a press officer? Does anyone read these statements before they are made?

    @Rich – A quick election might be the best move she can make. When’s the next one due anyway? The futher away it is the worse it’ll be for them as the economy won’t change well enough for her to benefit.

    • Rich says:

      Next one due by Jan 2013.

      I have a feeling she’s toying with a snap call. Interesting to compare to Gordon Brown who also toyed with the idea when he took over from Tony Blair mid-Parliament and enjoying his honeymoon. But in the end he got spooked out, didn’t call one, waited til the last minute, and the rest is, as they say, history.

  5. Jim Bean says:

    Cannonier was not UBP and never was as far as I know, so the usual tar everyone with the same brush approach is here. typical. open your minds and see the truth about how bermuda has been run. listen to others who are not ubp. most are saying the same thing. at least Larry has the testicular fortitude to use his own name!!!

    • Dragging A Lure says:

      Jim Bean,
      Using your own name does not make the opinion better or provide testicular fortitude.
      Try something different.

      • Tired of nonsense says:

        And dismissing everyone’s concerns cause they don’t jive with your blind loyalty does not make your opinion any more valuable or valid then JB’ as well…

        See you’re out trolling today…how’s the seas outside the reef?

  6. Jim Bean says:

    Here come the PLP faithful!!!

  7. Yng Black Mind says:

    Mr. Craig Cannonier, Leader of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance – - please allow me to share my thoughts with you – - – your party and the UBP right now are not ciable options to the government – - you speak with passiona bout what is wrong without ever suggesting solutions to the issues – - I as a young Bermudian do not want words and talk – - – show the work and I will support

    • s says:

      Seems like your a PLP advocate (obvious) look how many problems the PLP has caused this country. I mean everyone has a voice in what not and we can only say what we think but you should here what he is saying that we need change in our government.

      • Yng Black Mind says:

        @S – do not assume things that you do not know or understand my friend – - I am not a supporter of the PLP – - I vote for the best candidate in my area in each election – - I have each individual sit in my dinning room and explain to me what their plans are for my community – - I offer my concerns and ideas for their insight and I listen to their comments – - I then vote for the person who best represnts my desires and wants for my community – - -HOWEVER, what my comment above is explaining is that right now, the UBP and the BDA are perceived by many as “whinners” and “people who just complain” – - I am suggesting to the leader of the BDA & the Oppposition Leader (UBP) that they must change their tactics IF they want to be successful in the next general election – - – The same “opposition” is not going to chnage the “same” government – - understand now?

        • Yng Black Mind says:


          • Tired of nonsense says:

            And I am sure when the PLP was in opposition all they did was praise the UBP and never criticized any of their actions and/or non-actions. I am pretty sure that while in the opposition that they never “whined” once.

    • Kristin says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      However, we have put out several solutions – in the house, on our website, on FB, in the media, on issues including crime, economy, education, St. George’s and women’s issues. Even the cabinet structure and makeup.

      If you saw Mr. Cannonier on Let’s Talk on Monday, he spoke about not needing to disagree for disagreement’s sake, and that the BDA is also not looking for ‘politics as usual’ – we ARE about providing a solution. Even in this article, he provided a solution – ie, bipartisanship.

      And this topic was not one re: looking for a specific ‘solution’ but was questioning, as every voter has the right to do, why certain individuals were chosen for cabinet, why cabinet grows while the economy shrinks, and with all the reshuffling, how much more time before we see ACTION from the Government.

      If you are serious about wanting to hear from us what our solutions are, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you further. Like you, I am a young Bermudian, and I joined the BDA, not because of Ewart Brown, but because BOTH the parties were not doing what needs to be done for our country.

  8. Yng Black Mind says:


  9. Letariatpro says:

    Sadly every time Mr. Cannonier and Mr. Swan appear they do more damage to their own party. The “I told you so” approach is ineffective, if they have not already worked that out. Focus like a laser on the issues. Provide solutions. If the PLP take your good ideas, all the better for Bermuda.

    There are good people in all three parties, unfortunately, there are folks in each that bring the groups down as a whole. Let’s get that cream to the top and really put an effort out there to raise the level of discourse and maturity in local politics.

    • s says:

      I know that if i came up with ideas on how to solve issues in government i would not want to release that information for someone else to take credit for. Yes it would help the island and what not, and it is for the greater good, but people i believe are fed up with this government and i believe it will show in the next election. The PLP is in government they obviously have little to no solutions on how to fix problems, so let a party step in that can.

      • Dragging A Lure says:

        The UBP & BDA are the same. What party are you talking about. I would support The Bermuda Stealth Tea Party Movement, you know the combined opposition that marched on parliament several times. The marchers consisted of Bermuda for Bermudians, the normal PLP haters, City of Coporation group, the environmentalists etc. All those that marched are members/supporters of the present UBPBDA team. So what group are you suggesting and are capable of running this country. PLP supporters are waiting for your answer. It should not take long.
        Don’t believe me, I could never support TBSTPM.

        Good Luck

        • Sara says:

          That post wasn’t from me buddy. I always post as Sara, always have and always will.

          • Dragging A Lure says:

            Apology Sara,
            I was too quick on the draw and was intended for S.

            Thank You

        • LOL says:

          Dragging it has come to my attention that you are an old PLP faithful and damaged. What are you like late 50′s or mid 60’s? It’s a wonder that you have learned to use a computer as it is a far different thing for a typewriter. Also I’ll give you a free piece of advice. When in a debate practice on people and not in the mirror the mirror will only repeat what you say. When I see your debate skills improve remember a white man helped you. Till then I will be laughing wwwwwiiiitthhh you ;) but I won’t come to your and or the PLP’s ‘Tea Party’. You really are like the Republicans oh the irony………………….


          • Dragging A Lure says:

            I have no interest in debating, I like throwing inflammatory, provacative thoughts out there to seek,expose and watch some people go ballistic. By the way I left school at the tender age of 13, June 1953. No college or university education. UBP with another name was in power at that time. Most PLP supporters have experienced many injustices and will never ever forget or forgive how they were treated therefore name calling and labels by you fits the type of person that I have managed to hook. I’m going into my 71 year and would stay a PLP faithful forever, no regrets or problem. So go some where else with your name calling and labling. Furthermore if you are taking the time and effort to investigate my bloggings, I have succeeded in my mission. Looks like I have hooked UncleElvis from Bermuda Is a Another World.



        • UncleElvis says:

          Just a note, as one of those that you refer to as “the normal PLP haters”…

          A lack of support for, or even an opposition to the PLP does NOT make one a member or supporter of either the UBP or the BDA.

          The group I’m suggesting take over running the island are PLP folks that actually give a damn about the island, not just staying in power, and ALL its people, not just the Party faithful.

          • Tired of nonsense says:

            You can’t reason with unreasonable old bitter wingnuts…

            Until the older generation (white & black) goes peacefully into the night the bitterness of Drag will linger and continue to hinder our political and social betterment…

            I don’t blame Drag for being a blind supporter…most people of his age tend to lose their abiltity to see…

            Bottom fishing or just skimming off the top Drag man?

          • Peter Barrett says:

            We welcome you to join the BDA since it is also made up of ex PLP supporters who want a better future for their kids.

      • Sara says:

        IMO, all the people thinking that the PLP won’t win the next election are not living in reality. The PLP is here to stay whether you like it or not. The fact that we have a new party is great, but they won’t win this next election. These voters are die hard PLP, and unlike to United States, the majority don’t flip flop back and forth when one party doesn’t follow through on their promises. There is such a huge difference in the sectors of society here in Bermuda. I speak to people that actually still feel that the UBP could win an election…it isn’t going to happen people. Sorry but it just won’t.

      • Floyd Swan says:

        @S. And what party would THAT be? Referring to your last sentence.

        • Letariatpro says:

          None of them are really qualified. I don’t think the BDA or UBP could jump in and turn things around right now, but that doesn’t let the PLP off the hook, they have done a piss poor job thus far.

      • UncleElvis says:

        “I know that if i came up with ideas on how to solve issues in government i would not want to release that information for someone else to take credit for.”

        Why not?

        Isn’t the purpose of Government to help the people of Bermuda… and nothing else?

        If you’re just interested in the credit, then you don’t have what’s best for Bermuda at heart.

        It’s not about credit, it’s about helping Bermuda. That’s it.

        • Peter Barrett says:

          Your message is repeated by many. You clearly place Bermuda’s interests first; first before the Political Elite. Your energy would be well channeled through the BDA.

    • LOL says:

      Again no matter what the opposition states the PLP plays the same tune. I say let the opposition remain silent and go away then we (Bermuda) will finally see what the PLP can do for the country if anything. They will have to be their own opposition and hence the joy of good hard work for the people would be theirs or the failures would be theirs to bear only. I don’t believe that any suggestion from outside the party is taken seriously as they free that no own has the “Right” to Govern but them which maybe true. All I ask is that they control the national debt, get a hold of inflation, get to work on education, bring the hole community not just the party together, stand up to “prejudice” (or racism) within as well as without, upgrade our laws from corruption(PATI) straight though to the criminal code to even traffic laws. Face it we’re 30years or so behind in some of these areas. Yng Black Mind in another thread had some good points as far as education but will the PLP do what they have to do or will we see the Party putting party first or will the whole country be put first for a change. These things would see more whites maybe even join your party if you are really concerned with a country wide consensus on matters. Unfortunately all I see are comparisons to Obama which really do not exist and trying to label all opposition as the republican tea partiers which if you actually take the race out of the equation and listen to the rhetoric sounds more like what the PLP have been saying since they came to power. Invoking the name of God, puppets, “real Bermudians”, Whites want to lock us up (White Devils) the list goes on and on.

      Ps Yng Black Mind I did hang around on Halloween night to see if you came but some how I think it might have been all talk. Or we might already know each other.

      • Yng Black Mind says:

        @LOL – well said my friend – - and thank you for the nood of my ideas on education (previous post). I do apologize in regards to Halloween – - my family did drive through the area; however, we did have a few family related stops to make which impeded the time to stay.

        I agree that if the PLP does not get their act together, they should be removed from the position of government. I also agree that the opposition needs to become viable once again, as they need to appeal to those PLP supporters who may have issue with the party – - – playing the “same” cards they have dealt for the past several years IS NOT WORKING – if they did, the UBP would have won the last two elections.

        All I am looking for is options – - and right now, it is the “same” thing as usual – - from both the government and the opposition – - I am sitting and patienly waiting – - I believe Premier Cox and her new team should be given a chance to show their worth – - however, the hourglass has been set – - tick, tock, tick, tock

  10. Sara says:

    I refuse to criticize this PLP government until I give them a chance for change. However, I will not turn I blind eye to ANY SDO given out as their is NO legitimate reason to give one unless it has to do with some sort of emergency situation. Hotels and housing developments are NEVER an emergency, especially now since we have umpteen condos sitting empty on the market and MANY brownfield sites to build on. I hope this bs SDO crap ends with Paula Cox.

  11. UncleElvis says:

    Can I just point something out?

    We’re at a point right now where there is NO conversation going on. Anywhere.

    Just look at the posts here and at the statements coming from those that are running and want to run the country.

    We’re all attacking each other. We’re not addressing the points made. We’re not listening to each other.
    Every response is an ad hominem attack on the person, the party, whatever.

    We need to step away from that and actually start listening to each other and actually HAVE conversations. Not screaming matches.

  12. LOL says:


    I do not take pleaser in hurting your feeling sorry if I did. As you are my elder I do have respect for what you could have gone through but that was then not now. As I stated I would be right next to you fighting with you if racism was proven to me an inflicted upon another. You how ever must realise that you have become what you have fought so had against. All I have done is shown you this using your own words. Hence the name I use LOL I laugh at the irony of some as they do not see it happening to them. I suggest you heal start by ………………


  13. Phil Smith says:

    I write as an “outsider” Bermudian, one who no longer lives there, and no longer owns real estate there. HOWEVER, I care very much about Bermuda.

    It seems to me that successive governments have destabilised the economy by applying taxation unfairly, and mainly to one class of business: shop-keeping.
    This may have been OK when there were still good shops, but with the very high import duties applied across the board to imported goods, at a stroke the Government took away any advantage Bermuda could have enjoyed as a cheap destination for shoppers, and instead levied almost punitive import duties. It is no surprise therefore, that the likes of Triminghams and HA&E Smith’s no longer exist, no wonder that those good jobs have all gone, no wonder that the Island imports more goods by mail, no wonder that the Bermudians still in work, have to shop overseas.

    Taxation needs to be fair and balanced, taking account of equivalent taxes within ‘economic distance’ of Bermuda, mainly the US and Canada, but also in the UK and to some extent, Europe.

    Until the Bermuda Government has a radical re-think about its tax base, there can be no chance of getting the economy back on a strong footing. Did I dare say ‘income tax’?
    Would it not be a fairer to raise the money needed across a broad section of the ecomony? Those in work would pay, and those not in work would clearly have an easier time.
    An alternative to income tax would be value added tax, levied on the supply not only of goods but on services as well. This would mean that for the first time the supply of labour as well as materials would be taxed, spreading the cost across most parts of the economy. Since the tax is levied in proportion to expenditure, each person would control how much they spent, and as a result, how much tax they paid. Value Addded Tax has the advantage of not taxing saving, yet its fair. Foods, pharmaceuticals and certain other goods could be made exempt.
    More to the point, the very high import duties could be removed to be be replaced by the new tax, levied at a lower rate across the board. Think about it, Bermuda!

  14. Jim Bean says:

    I have read this crap today and am shaking my head – so many people wanting someone to do something for them. Why not get involved. One person says the BDA people are self righteous and arrogant. Really? Wow! Who parks for free all over hamilton with a free space on the hill? GP cars – breaking the law. Who stole …oops mismanaged 100m dollars of our money? PLP. Who appointed a known racist to the Senate. the PLP. I have been to two public events put on by BDA and like what I see. I read their website and see stuff on there. The same hatred spews towards anything not PLP. Where is the hatred of overspending. Was the BDA at fault for a failed education system? Was the BDA at fault for rising crime? WTF!!!!! I feel like puking that so many of my fellow Bermudians can be so brainwashed.

  15. Jim Bean says:

    Oh I spent some time checking out the proposals from bda and see that quite a few are similar to what cox has now said. that really amused me!