Jonathan Starling Releases Campaign Platform

November 29, 2012

Jonathan Starling — who will run as an Independent candidate in C#20 Pembroke South West — has released his platform.

The 32-year-old has Master’s degrees in Ecological Economics and Urban and Regional Planning, and is well known in the online community through his Catch-A-Fire blog, which he has maintained since 2007.

A sample of Mr Starling’s ideas from his platform is below:

  • Ensure that the Human Rights Act is amended to include sexual orientation
  • Equal gender representation at all levels of Government, including Government boards
  • Provision of free and confidential morning-after pills available at all pharmacies
  • Provision of free condoms at all pharmacies, licensed establishments and post-offices
  • Institute a mandatory minimum living wage
  • Declare Bermuda’s waters and airspace a nuclear and military free zone
  • Facilitate a ‘Big Conversation’ on sexism, domestic and sexual violence
  • Decriminalise personal possession of marijuana up to one ounce
  • Make medical marijuana available by prescription
  • Expand programs to provide free heroin substitutes to registered heroin addicts
  • Require all workplaces with more than ten employees to provide free on-site day-care facilities for staff
  • Legislate mandatory ignition interlock devices for all drivers who have been convicted of DUI.
  • Tax junk food to subsidise healthy food
  • Repeal the relaxation of car-sizes, returning to compact cars only
  • Maintain an hourly bus-service on the main east and west routes from midnight to 0600hrs
  • Extend the school day to 5pm
  • Provide free and nutritious breakfasts and lunches for all students
  • Make commuting by car into the City of Hamilton between 0800 and 0900hrs as the sole occupant a traffic violation to help discourage traffic congestion (Pembroke residents to be exempted).
  • Amend the Employment Act 2000 to provide new parents with double the current allowed sick days, with the cost equally split between the State and the employer, until child’s fifth birthday

Mr Starling will be running in C#20 Pembroke South West, which is presently held by the OBA’s Louise Jackson. Mrs Jackson is retiring and her daughter Susan Jackson will stand for the OBA, Marcus Jones will stand for the PLP, and Independent David Petty will also contest the area.

The constituency saw the largest margin of victory in 2007, with Mrs Jackson [under the UBP] earning 83% of the vote. In 2003, Mrs Jackson won with 81.83% of the vote against Neville Darrell.

Mr Starling’s full platform follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (52)

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  1. Independent Platform says:

    Line 1 of the Platform is missing an important mission statement – Make Nandi Davis Premier or Miss Bermuda

    • Come Correct says:

      A pretty face doesn’t fix an economy, give it a rest.

    • Never Nandi says:

      Yea Premier of What country? Girl can’t string 3 sentences together that makes sense.

      • swing voter says:

        wat she do to you ….steal yur stupid BF in highschool?

  2. alcomaholic says:

    Add one more thing to your list…

    Give police direct orders to pull over anyone riding an Orange V50/80.


    1) Its a piece of S**T
    2) Its SLOW (if you think 115k is fast your small minded and retarded)
    3) Chances are they are wearing a dark helmet and visor and going to shoot someone.

  3. Petra says:

    Hmmm, all was going so well until point 11. How on earth can companies afford this please? So, my company has 12 employees, 1 of whom is female, but I have to employ a nanny and provide a creche area for her small child!!!! Do I also have to provide this for the male employees? OK – so that’s me out of business then.

    Free meals for students – I’d love to see it, but has Mr Starling forgotten a small fact? WE HAVE NO MONEY!!!

    • terry says:

      Good point.
      Maybe the teachers could take their children to school……an extra class.

  4. Hobby says:

    Equal gender representation at all levels of Government, including Government boards?

    For crying out loud, being a woman doesn’t make you qualified. I’m sick and tired of this equality for equality’s sake thing. If a person is qualified, appoint them. And free contraception? Again it seems like you all are going to vote for your next babysitter and not Government.

    • Cole Cash says:

      What do you have against free contraception? Surely, we don’t need more babies having babies in Bermuda. Surely, we don’t need more unplanned births. I understand that abstinence is the preferred method of contraception but we have to be realistic about what young people are doing. They’re having sex. They’re having unprotected sex. They’re getting pregnant or getting some girl pregnant. One way to help prevent these situations in the future is to educate the youth about protected sex and make it easy for them to acquire contraception.

  5. Voter says:

    Some great ideas there, which would be very sensible to explore further, though agreed there are also some which probably need more careful thought.

    Why is it that a single independent candidate has been able to release a comprehensive platform that clearly outlines their ideas, yet we are still waiting to receive anything close to this from the two main political parties?

    It is laughable that the OBA/PLP expect us to vote for them without a clear platform on which they can be assessed. It reduces the election to a popularity contest based on taglines and people standing around with coloured signs, rather than the careful assessment of our future leaders based on the policies they intend to implement if elected.

    Also great to see how the independent candidates are not getting involved in childish bickering like the main parties and are having to focus their energy on communicating constructive useful ideas. This is exactly what Bermuda needs to move forward, so step up PLP/OBA and take a lead from Mr. Starling.

    • We the people says:

      I won’t speak about the PLP, whose 10-point plan is nothing more than a wish list that is all of 58 words long. Seriously, I’ve counted. But you clearly haven’t read the OBA’s website, any of their literature, their Throne Speech replies or their Budget replies. How will Mr. Starling tackle debt, unemployment, crime, education? And has he ever smoked marijuana? Inquiring minds want to know.

      • Phillip Wells says:

        You mean I have to comb through all those sources to put together my own picture of what they’d do if elected? The stuff on their website is extremely thin – seriously, seven short bullet points on what they’d do about public education, some of which are incredible vague (“Empower our teachers by giving them the support and resources they need”)? They should have produced a single, comprehensive document weeks ago, as should the PLP.

    • Keturah says:

      Well, let’s be honest here. The OBA have no idea what horrors await them if they are to be elected. Hard to get too into the details until the full economic picture is revealed…which they’ll only discover if they are elected.

      • Phillip Wells says:

        You’re making excuses for them. If they want to be given the job of running the country, they need to explain, in detail, what they propose to do. Or are voters supposed to take it on faith that they’ll figure something out once they get elected? Compare what we’ve seen from the OBA with the 100+ page manifesto the UK Liberal Democrats put out before the last UK election:

        The only reason they might get away without providing any more information is that the PLP have provided even less.

  6. Slow Down Bda says:

    Some of the thoughts are pretty good, but many are outrageous! Companies simply cannot afford to provide day-care facilities for their staff. Not only can they not afford it, do they have to rent the space which must be up to code for more than 3 (or 4?) children? How exactly will this work in the real world? We have 12 staff that are full-time and a few part-time staff and there is NO WAY that we could afford that! BELCO is already killing us!

    Why would the school day be extended until 5pm? would the children then come home that late and still have to do homework? what about after school activities, sports, clubs and socializing?

    I agree with the repeal of the car size! and I do agree with many more of his points, but some are a little dreamy!

  7. wiaruz says:

    Well he certainly knows how to spend money. But he’s seems a bit light on the earning of same.

    • More Confused says:

      Jonathan is a hard left socialist. As such they have no platform or ideas how to create revenues and jobs, just how to spend money – usually other peoples’ money, called debt.

      • Tommy Chong says:


        Is this why socialist Canada is making it through the recession much better than capitalist America?

  8. James Tucker says:

    Hi Jonathan
    I can agree with a lot of your points. And I am impressed by the amount of work (and thought) you have put into your platform. Good luck – I wont be voting for you (not my area) but i’m not one who thinks all independents are a bad idea etc. Always good to have as many voices heard as possible. And I cant say I hope you victory on Dec 17th. either, but good luck nonetheless.

  9. Zombie Apocalypse says:

    Provide this free, provide that free, restrict this freedom, restrict that freedom. He wants to create something a bit like the Soviet Union, but with a lot more marijuana.

    No mention anywhere of how you pay for anything, except the bit about taxing pizza to subsidise lentils.

    It’s not a life I’d ever want.

    • Concerned says:

      PLP took Free as fast as they gave it and along with all of that OUR MONEY!!! Good is free and in some cases “FREEDOM(s)” (employment, education, medical just to name a few).

  10. swing voter says:

    Okay Fidel I read your manifesto and you haven’t come up with one original idea to drive the economy upwards…wat are you gonna do to encourage foreign investment Starling? what are you gonna do to get these hotel projects off the ground? what about creating an enviroment conducive for international business to florish again and get our people back to work? (I hear the tree frogs whistling)

  11. WOw says:

    The second last highlight would be extremely difficult to enforce, if you’re going to do that you should exempt everyone…not just Pembroke residents!

    “The government that governs least governs the best”

    • Zombie Apocalypse says:

      Ah, yes, but he’s standing in Pembroke, so he wants their votes. The rest of us can get stuffed.

  12. WOw says:

    Some of his ideas are wayy to radical for me

  13. Sandgrownan says:

    “Make commuting by car into the City of Hamilton between 0800 and 0900hrs as the sole occupant a traffic violation to help discourage traffic congestion (Pembroke residents to be exempted).”

    Quick, everyone move to Pembroke!

    Jesus, it looks like he wrote these on the back of a fag packet!

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Does it really look like he wrote it on the back of your pants?

      Then you should have no problem with his first point sailorman. ;-)

  14. navin johnson says:

    looks like you have the sex part covered with condoms and morning after pills…the drugs are covered the only thing missing is rock and roll. then the platform is complete….sex,drugs and rock and roll……very naive…good parts like lunches and food for kids who otherwise go hungry now….but the real priority now is stabilizing the finances of Bermuda and much of what you suggest would have no bearing on that. Double sick days? you must be kidding….looks like it would appeal to those 18-24 and …

  15. CHEEKUMS BIE says:

    Jonathan Starling or Joseph Stalin…i don’t see a difference

    • Smith's resident says:

      Your an idiot! Stalin killed over 30 million people with his Gulag’s and work permits. Not to mention he took over an already very corrupt system thanks to Lenin. While Jonathan may lean to the left in no way is he even close to the league of Stalin and Lenin. Go take some history classes at the college and learn something!

      • Smith's resident says:

        Trolol, should read You’re and work camps. haha now who is the idiot ;P

      • Mad Dawg says:

        He killed people with work permits? What the hell were they made of?

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Then you must not know much about history & the big difference between communism & socialism.

  16. terry says:

    A one man Starlinist Markist.
    Read his profile. Read his blog.
    He is just in it to prove a point to himself that he can still disrupt because of his Markist feelings.

    Anyone votes for him is mad.

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Terry, Terry, quite contrary,
      How does your garden grow?
      Without benevolence & full of ignorance.
      You are such a silly garden tool that rhymes with row. :-)

      Starling’s ideas are far from Marxist ideology. Marxist don’t believe in having a minimum wage just a maximum one that’s bare minimum. Marxist don’t believe in helping drug addicts they just believe they should all be executed. Marxist definitely don’t believe in waters and airspace being a nuclear and military free zone. If you’re too blissfully ignorant to realize this you must be happier than a bay of pigs rolling in their own poop.

      • terry says:

        So what. He’s seen the light.
        He is a self confessed Marxist Starlinist.
        End of story.

        • Actually says:

          Actually, he’s a confessed Marxist-Luxemburgist with council communist tendencies. For anyone actually (as in really actually) familiar with so-called Marxist history would know, these are the people that Lenin famously described as infantile in his polemic “Left-Wing Communism, an infantile disorder” and would have in all likelihood been executed by Stalin’s regime.

          Anyway there is this wonderful thing call the Internet where you can learn more about these things, perhaps you are familiar with it. For example you try starting here:


  17. Tommy Chong says:

    “Decriminalise personal possession of marijuana up to one ounce”

    ”Make medical marijuana available by prescription”

    These two plans are unrealistic without additional plans to stabilize them. I’m quite sure we wouldn’t be able to ship medical marijuana across North America to Bermuda from places like California & BC where its grown. We will end up with an increase of people buying from the criminal element just as there is in the decriminalized state on the east coast of U.S. Also if these two plans got implemented we would have people smoking it in public in front of children.

    For this to work there should also be an added plan to have legal limited licensed growers of Cannabis. These growers would be under strict regulations of the amount & quality they can grow & will be subject to random inspections by the police & have a strict accountancy for all plants grown. The growers would only be able to grow in an secured area not in view of the public to prevent kids & night farmers getting hands on it. Also there should be limited licensed businesses that are allowed legally to hold 450 grams at any time & only allowed to sell 5 grams per person. It would be only tolerated to smoke the cannabis purchased in the shops or in the privacy of home not in parks or the streets. There will have to be a legal age of possession & if anyone is found to be underage in these shops or found with the shop’s product it gets automatically shut down & the employee who sold it to the minor would face criminal charges. It makes sense to allow doctors to prescribe cannabis but it doesn’t make sense to tolerate the use to just patients since close to half of bermuda’s population would develop glaucoma the day the law goes into effect. It’s better to tolerate its use under certain criteria then just to allow the possession of an ounce without criminal charge. IMO an ounce is a bit too much to tolerate possession of & it should be less so it discourages illegal dealing.

    • street wise says:

      A lot of good ideas in there… but don’t people drink alcohol in public in front of children? Doesn’t seem to harm them….

      • Tommy Chong says:

        I’m not sure what the impact of drinking alcohol in front of children is but it would be interesting to see a study done on it. Alcohol doesn’t give off second hand smoke so out of social consideration I don’t think it should be done in public neither do I think cigarette smoking should. Also some idiots may let the young partake the same as I’ve seen older thug wannabes let their young toadies take sips off their paper bag wrapped bevy.

      • Smith's resident says:

        I like the above ideas as well, except I think that they need a little more development. For instance TC here wants to make smoking only allowed in one’s private residence. One dilemma that raises its head is the issue that some people who may partake in this habit will have kids.
        While I applaud your notion that if we do take these steps to allow cannabis into our society then we should not flaunt it in the face of everyone who may not smoke. But the issue would be smoking within a house where children live can not overall be healthy for those same kids. Especially considering that second hand smoke can cause lung issues and not to mention that studies are showing that cannabis interaction with the brain at a young age can help activate schizophrenic tendencies that may be present, thus alternatives may need to be considered. For instance, like we have drinking establishments for alcohol, it may be that we should consider establishments of a similar kind for cannabis. I know of places in Toronto and Vancouver (vaporizer lounges) in which such things are allowed to occur.
        Of course that begs the question about issues between transportation and those who use. To be more clear, just like with alcohol we will need to take steps to make sure that people are not getting high and then driving around, which means that our police will need a system and powers to account for and arrest those who drive high.
        Another issue that we will need to account for will be the influx of tourists every year and their ability to partake in such activities. Will we restrict them and not allow them to buy cannabis? Or will we allow them to? If we allow them to purchase and smoke cannabis, then how will our laws apply to them? If we do as you said and confine smoking cannabis to the private residences then where do the tourists smoke? Other than the establishments that I have already talked about above, we will have no option for them and so we may see them lighting up wherever the see fit, which then may portray us as having a double standard for our residents and our tourists… If this is the case then maybe confining it to the home is too extreme and in that case it may be wise to allow certain areas as cannabis approved area…
        These are just a few of the things that we will have to consider if we are serious about decriminalization and/or legalization of cannabis.

        • Tommy Chong says:

          Maybe what I typed didn’t read clearly. When I typed, “It would be only tolerated to smoke the cannabis purchased in the shops” it meant that that you could smoke in the shops you purchased the cannabis from & to further that they would be similar to a bar but would never be allowed to sell alcohol only cannabis products, souvenirs, food & non-alcoholic drinks. I know about the Canadian toker friendly establishments you mentioned but these are different. In the Canadian establishments there is a BYOB or bring your own bud rule. This still means that patrons of these Canadian places still had to buy their goods from an illegal source. My idea is more along the lines of the coffee shops in Netherlands.

          Your point about tourist partaking is a good one. This has caused issues for Netherlands mostly due to animosity from France, Germany & Belgium who blame Netherlands for cannabis trafficking in their countries done by these countries own nationals. The internal problem which I find ironically funny as we have the complete opposite is the complaints from small dutch towns of the amount of tourist congestion from visitors who come & spend loads of euros in their coffee shops & elsewhere in their town. I don’t think that Netherlands Weitpas banning tourists is a good solution for the problem because they have lost millions of euros & created an underground criminal market in towns that have adopted it. I think a better solution would be that tourist who would want to partake apply for a tourist pass on arrival from authorities that would be shown at the shops before they could make a purchase. The tourist pass would put them on record & they would have to go through a mandatory search when leaving Bermuda of their belongings & only a body search if the sniffer dogs indicate they have it on their person. I do realize sniffer dogs can smell residue & that’s why I think a pamphlet should also come with the pass advising them to wash their clothes & themselves before leaving Bermuda. Maybe even locals should have to apply for a similar pass also since its not discrimination but an added privilege that they wouldn’t have in most other countries. These passes could even come with a fee that would help boost our economy.

          As for the smoking around kids point though I don’t condone it many already smoke cigarettes & probably even weed around their kids. This is disgusting wether it be a legal or illegal substance. I’m sure most of these people could step out on their porch or front step & smoke or go to a mate’s place who doesn’t have kids. Though it may be a risk for the herb smoker its a better risk than risking your child’s health. Just for information sake & still not to condone smoking around kids the theory of cannabis bringing on schizophrenia is still just a theory since their are not enough test subjects who have been in contact with weed smoke & that also have schizophrenia to support it 100% but there are still other health reasons why you shouldn’t smoke anything around kids.

    • A Bermudian says:

      @Tommy Chong,

      Firstly I would like to say I think Mr. Starling has some good ideas, and some may be abit far fetched. But I will not try to discredit him because I disagree with a few of his ideas.

      Tommy, I would like to ask if you feel the same way about people who consume alcohol in the streets? I mean the effects of this legal drug far out way the down side to someone smoking weed in public. Have you ever felt the need to question whether alcohol should be ilegal? I mean it ruins families, kills people, and has a real negative impact on society. Like to hear your opinion on this

  18. cheech says:

    Hey Vato nice to see you are still all things weed

    • Tommy Chong says:

      Heeeey Maaaan! How’s it going?

      Have you seen my labrador? He swallowed my stash again & I’m trying to get it back. :-)

      • Navin Johnson says:

        Cool Vato. If you wait long enough it will come out just smoke it don’t eat it though

        • Tommy Chong says:

          LOL! No, No, there won’t be any eating of it. That would just give a whole new meaning to space brownies. EEHK! Talk about mental imaging causing gag reflexes.