Column: Commissiong On Polls, Politics & More

April 19, 2016

[Opinion column written by MP Rolfe Commissiong]

We all know that polls are only snapshots of a certain point in time. And we also know that politicians usually say that to comfort themselves when a particularly dismal poll result proves to be, unflattering at best and a devastating indictment at worst.

So imagine right now what the OBA and Premier Michael Dunkley, must be experiencing as a recent poll indicates that support for their party itself has plummeted.

This poll was then followed by another which indicates that the likely reason for the former is because faith in the economy, by black Bermudians in particular, has virtually fallen off the radar.

Rolfe Commissiong Bermuda April 18 2016

For the economy, that represents a drop of 15 percentage points from December 2015, leaving the OBA with an abysmal 22 percent confidence rate in the economy they have mishandled.

However, when broken down along racial lines only 13 per cent of blacks expressed confidence in the economy as opposed to 42 per cent of whites. This not only represents the fact that black Bermudians face harsher economic conditions, but that the OBA has fundamentally disconnected with the very voters that got them into office.

The news, however, just keeps getting worse for Premier Dunkley and his OBA colleagues. On Monday the same polling outfit reveals that with respect to another hot button issue, the airport re-development project, a majority of Bermudians are opposed to it proceeding. Only 37 per cent are in favour of the project as presently constituted.

The Progressive Labour Party has been at the forefront in opposing this so called public-private partnership which in real terms is nothing but a polite way to say privatization of the airport.

Certainly the Canadian principals must be of the opinion that it is evolving into a great deal for them and their shareholders, but what of the Bermudian people?

Our position remains clear, that we can explore options including the sensible and innovative development option of creating an “Airport Authority” that would undertake the phased development of the airport over the next five to seven years.

It seems that Bermudians have done their own cost/benefit analysis, and wish to decline the offer the OBA has accepted without consultation.

If the Finance Minister Bob Richards decides to proceed with this deal, however, he will be playing the same weak hand as Minister Fahy was on the immigration bill. Compounding the problem is that Minister Richards can be just as intransigent as Minister Fahy, and now appears to have dug in his heels despite the rapidly evaporating public support.

The OBA have continued to jeopardize the future of Bermudians through their recklessness and disregard, and do not seem interested in working in the best interest of the people of Bermuda.

At this time, it would be best for Premier Dunkley and his colleagues to reflect on their many weaknesses and make changes accordingly, so that can govern in accordance to the will of the people.

- Rolfe Commissiong


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Comments (23)

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  1. Double S says:

    “The Progressive Labour Party has been at the forefront in opposing this so called public-private partnership which in real terms is nothing but a polite way to say privatization of the airport.”

    Wasn’t the PLP the one who entered into a public-private partnership for the overpriced emergency room at the hospital?

    The one that will end up costing taxpayers nearly $900mn over the lifetime of the contract?

    Why wasn’t that considered privatization by the PLP and why did they enter into such an agreement if they are so against PPPs?

    • aceboy says:

      Yes they were. We were promised a new hospital too….not a *wing*.

    • NCM says:

      And wasn’t it the PLP who spent $3+ million drawing up plans for a new airport that would have cost an estimated $900+ million. The Airport terminal component of that project was to cost more than $445 million, nearly double the cost of the current proposal. Nothing but spin and attempts to bamboozle the public by the power at any cost party.

      • Raymond Ray says:

        It’s true when one mentions that the Progressive Labour Party representative see only what they wish to see…
        For some reason or another all the above seems to be non-existing facts i.e. who to blame when the Progressive Labour Party where the Govnt. of Bermuda and since it’d been them to have caused the financial dilemma the people face today

      • aceboy says:

        Again, yes it is. I find it quite *telling* how convinced the PLP are that there is some major corruption about to happen with the new proposals. They are absolutely positive about it. Wonder why……………

  2. WarwickBoy says:

    I wonder why Rolfe and the PLP have faith in scientific polls that show support for the OBA slipping but had no faith in scientific polls showing majority support for the Pathways to Citizenship legislation?

    If one accepts the methodology and science behind sampling and polling, surely that acceptance should apply to all polls conducted in this manner?

    • DRONE says:

      If the majority wanted Pathways to Citizenship why did the OBA eat their words and punk out? That’s the question you should be asking!!!

      • serengeti says:

        So you disagree with poll results then. So you disagree with Rolfe.

      • SMH says:

        because people walking around with body guards were threatening our economy

  3. aceboy says:

    Sorry Rolfe. You lot put us in the horrible circumstances we find ourselves in now. To trust the PLP with this island’s finances would be economic suicide for Bermuda.

    • Arnold says:

      So true. I’m amazed anyone within the PLP has the gall to righteously criticize. #arrogance

  4. wahoo says:

    The best poll was when the plp were voted out because no one trusted them to handle our affairs…it was way too late and we know what a mess was made through dishonesty and plain old inability.

    The majority of Bermudians do still have complete faith in the OBA as suggested in a recent poll.

  5. High Road says:

    Am I reading the dictionary under hypocrisy?

  6. Starting point says:

    Rolfe seems to be indicating that all those polled have the same level of education and understanding of the economic policies……

    remind us again why we need education reform?

  7. walking to work says:

    Why waste time and energy interviewing this guy.

  8. steve says:

    what is depressing is that many polls measure the OBA against the PLP.
    The PLP is a poor measuring stick and the fact the OBA generally hovers around even with this group speaks sadly of the OBA or perhaps our voters? To many of us vote candidates that we like to hear speak(or rant) but that have never truly led or accomplished much to speak of. What do we expect them to become when elected? Example: a single minded Commission defeats a respectable former cop at the poles? Oh,i wasn’t surprised mind you, however is it Any wonder we are screwed.

  9. Sally says:

    Let’s build the Airport ourselves – we can get Pro Active, or the muppets that built the court house/police station (whose benificiaries were in a trust) to build it… will be a great deal and come in way under budget.

  10. Build a Better Bermuda says:

    So now the PLP believe in polls, they tout the poll that says that there is around fifty percent opposition to the airport redevelopment… course the last poll they liked to tout said there was around 75%, which means there is growing support and declining opposition. But still they tout this poll, but the in the next breathe denounce polls that show that support for pathways in immigration is at around 70%. Rolf boldly exclaims that that the finance minister has badly mismanaged our economy… if the fact that under his watch the economy has flattened out from the nauseating free fall it was in prior to the election is his definition of badly mismanaged, what adjectives would he proscribe to the PLP financial policies… the same policies they say would take back up if elected again. The fact he tries now to ignore, is that our black community faces a harsher reality in these tougher economic time, not just as a result of old UBP failings, but as a result of the the PLP’s as well.

  11. Average Bermudian says:

    When is fey going to resign ? – unless he was trying to start the big conversation.

    We have seniors who now again, relive and feel the bermuda of, at least, 50 years ago.
    (from your recent actions)

    Ignorance is no excuse.

    remember ridiculous and xenophobic – (to name some of the adjectives that you retorted with)

    • aceboy says:

      How did the “Big Conversation” go under the PLP? You are simply trying to make race the next big election issue. It is CRAZY. Things will get much much worse if the PLP ever get back in. Race relations will get WORSE not better, because keeping this island divided along racial lines is all the PLP have.

  12. ImJustSayin says:

    Does this guy only have black and white Televisions in his home? It seems he cannot make a statement without using the term black or white. Good grief!

  13. Disingenuos says:

    Rolfe is missing his six figure consultancy pay for doing nothing. Very disingenuous in the purest form.