Column: It’s The Job Of Opposition To Be Ready

August 25, 2020

[Updated] [Opinion column written by Renee Webb]

Craig Cannonier seemed angry and shell shocked as he did a round of media on Friday bemoaning that the election has been called. It is the Premier’s prerogative to call the election when he sees fit, whether the Leader of the Opposition or anyone else disagrees with the timing. You don’t get to call it Craig, the Premier does.

Craig’s failure to do simple math, not understanding that by-elections + general election would cost taxpayers more money than just having a general election. Also, the fact that having a general election now allows us to just get on with it as a community, bring the divisiveness to an end, and allow the retirements to happen. After the election, the newly elected Government can focus on the economy and the tough decisions that need to be made to move Bermuda forward.

The job of a political party in Bermuda is to be ready for an election at any time. The fact that an election can be called at any time within a 5 year and 3 months period is good for our democracy. It keeps parties on their toes and is designed to keep candidates constantly canvassing and connected with the community. If an election can be called at any time, a political party and budding or current MP’s should be ready and connected to the community.

It is apparent that the OBA is not ready for an election, and, that isn’t the fault of the PLP. They are responsible for their lack of preparation. The OBA has had years to recruit candidates. They’ve had years to go door to door, call voters and connect with voters in their communities. They’ve had opportunities to hold media events, leverage the power of social media and build trust with Bermudians. They failed to do that and they should not be blaming their failure on the PLP or it’s leader.

Instead of whining and complaining, the OBA needs to buck up, announce candidates and get out on the doorstep connecting with voters and showcase their leader, Craig Cannonier, who needs to explain his vision for Bermuda and Bermudians.

The OBA needs to stop the whining, get connected to the community and make their case to the voters.

Update Aug 26, 6.32pm: An OBA spokesperson said that “Renee Webb needs to stop the political commentating and concentrate on two issues: doing her Government-paid job of fighting Bermuda’s corner in Brussels” and telling the Government to “drop the hugely expensive same sex marriage legal action.”

“Recently, European lawmakers established a permanent committee to examine tax dodging. Given the EU’s hostile stance towards Bermuda, I would expect to see Ms Webb writing about how she is doing her job and lobbying to help Bermudians.

“She, is of course, entitled to her opinion, but she is also very well paid, and I want to be reassured that we are getting value for our taxpayers’ money.

“On the issue of money, is Ms Webb concerned about the mounting cost of the legal fight over same sex marriage?

“Does she think the money could be better spent on the things like new buses, better street lighting or internet access for those families with students who cannot afford it?

“The Premier has called a million-dollar election on the false basis of the cost of by-elections for MPs – PLP MPs included.

“As we continue to see cases of Covid-19, does Ms Webb think it is fair to ask the elderly and those with illnesses like diabetes to put their health at risk? Doesn’t this also risk people being disenfranchised because they will be scared to vote?

“Isn’t this selfish of the Premier? Ms Webb, concentrate on your day job and tell us what you are doing to justify your salary.”

- Renee Webb is a former PLP MP and Cabinet Minister


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Comments (5)

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  1. Ringmasterr says:

    Why would the OBA want to take over? Last time they did they were faced with continued verbal abuse. The PLP aided by the Peoples Campaign appeared as rent a mob regularly.
    No, let Bermuda have another 5 years of PLP in power.

  2. Toejam Express says:

    That’s always been the problem for the OBA… they dont know how to connect with the people. Their narrow win back in 2012 was mainly due to traditional PLP supporters staying home rather than voting and not because the country had a new affinity for the OBA. The OBA doesn’t know how to campaign, doesn’t know how to connect with black Bermudians in a country where black Bermudians are the majority. Look at the faces of the OBA House and Senate members….they all look shell shocked and clueless….and dont have their own master plan for governing Bermuda. So, where is Her Majestys Loyal Opposition? Hiding and hoping that what little support they have will return them back to the same seats they held prior to the 2020 election. Truly pathetic!

  3. newperspective says:

    Ms. Webb, you should check your own Party’s record of preparedness. In the mid 80′s the PLP got caught with their pants down around their ankles! The

    UBP increased their majority by calling a snap election because your Party was having internal leadership problems. Now I hear there may be a splinter group challenging the Leadership. Thing really never change…. just the people carrying out the plot

  4. toadinthehole says:

    Renee Webb must be desperate to keep her highly paid, fluffy, job in Brussels …

  5. Nunya says:

    Don’t worry Ms. Webb, the PLP will win and you will continue on with your taxpayer funded position in Europe whilst we all have to cut back here. Congrats.