Political Parties Comment One Year After Election

October 1, 2021 | 13 Comments

One year ago today — on October 1st, 2020 — the last General Election was held, resulting in the PLP claiming a major win of 30 – 6 seats, increasing their majority from the 25 – 11 they held prior to the election.

The election — which was contested by 36 PLP candidates, 31 OBA candidates, 14 FDM candidates and 5 Independent candidates — resulted in a vote count of 25,760 out of a total of 46,311 registered voters, equating to a voter turnout of around 55.6%. Detailed results can be found on the 2020 page here on Bernews dedicated election website BermudaElections.com.

Slideshow of the 2020 General Election results in all 36 seats:


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Bernews reached out to all the political parties on September 29th and followed up early this morning via methods including email, website contact form and social media, seeking comment on the past year and their future plans, and the responses we received are printed in full below.

Progressive Labour Party’s Statement

“On the occasion of the first anniversary of our election victory, the PLP Government is not in a mood for celebration. Our hospital has many Covid-19 patients, our workforce is under immense pressure, our children are not in classrooms, and our economy is facing many challenges. For these reasons, this anniversary is a somber one.

“As we look back over this challenging year, it’s clear that we were faced with a number of difficult, no-win decisions. But, instead of not making the tough calls or trying to be everything to everyone on the issue of the pandemic, we took on the tough decisions guided by what is best for the overall health and safety of our community.

“Today, we mourn those who have lost their lives to this deadly virus and we pray for those departed and their families. Let that be our task on this day.

“In spite of the ongoing pandemic and the deadly delta variant, your PLP Government has made progress on the issues that earned our election victory one year ago.

“We kept our promise and advanced the restructuring of our education system that will phase out middle schools to create signature schools, giving our students more choices and opportunities.

“We kept our promise and implemented an Economic Stimulus Program to keep Bermudians working. This has resulted in 21 contracts given to 19 Bermudian-owned firms employing 40 Bermudians.

“We kept our promise to jumpstart the Green Economy by installing solar units on Government Buildings, purchasing electric buses, and replacing the Government’s fleet with electric vehicles.

“We kept our promise and passed cannabis regulation legislation in the House of Assembly and following its defeat in the Senate, it will be brought back to become law in March.

“We have expanded prescription drug coverage for those covered by FutureCare and HIP and instituted a new maternity care benefit for uninsured women, securing more equitable access, regardless of income, insurance or social status.

“We kept our promise to reduce the price of prescription drugs by creating in law a National Drug Formulary that will give the Government the power to regulate the price of commonly dispensed prescription drugs.

“We kept our promise to criminalize revenge porn and online assaults by amending Bermuda’s criminal code.

“We kept our promise to modernise our immigration policies to increase Bermuda’s working population while protecting the rights of Bermudians by introducing a moratorium on new work permits in over 50 categories.

“We kept our promise to provide more affordable housing by investing to create 17 new affordable units for Bermudian families.

“We kept our promise to reform the financial assistance programme making sure that it can better prepare Bermudians to return to the workforce.

“We kept our promise to implement the Youth Employment Strategy to ensure that young Bermudians have a place in Bermuda’s workforce.

“We kept our promise to modernise Bermuda’s Employment and Labour legislation to provide more rights to all workers, strengthen Bermuda’s trade unions, and tackle bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“And, we have started the implementation of Bermuda’s Economic Recovery Plan that will create jobs and new opportunities in keeping with our promise to rebuild Bermuda with Bermudians at heart.

“It has been a difficult & challenging year. On behalf of our 30 MPs and 5 Senators, thank you Bermuda for your support over the past year. We will continue to work to deliver on our election promises to ensure that we deliver a brighter future for our island home.”

One Bermuda Alliance Leader Cole Simons’ statement

One year after taking the helm of the One Bermuda Alliance, I can say that the landscape has changed dramatically and unfortunately, as the pandemic rages on, we are forced to look at life from the catastrophic impact it has had on all the pillars of our community. For the first time since 1945, the entire world faces a common enemy, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or faith- COVID-19.

These are my observations and thoughts about my first year as Leader of the Opposition:

The Government:

Inequities:

The country continues to look for principled leadership from its government. They want and deserve, equity, accountability, and transparency. Unfortunately, what they have received is inconsistent decision making, often benefitting the selected few and not the entire country, e.g.: a] St. Regis Hotel Group developers given exemption certificate to develop while local construction workers did not, b] local farmers and fishermen wo were initially not allowed to set up stands or sell their produce and fish on the streets c] local athletes and Bermudian elite athletes, who were initially not allowed to train for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo, while SailGP competitors were permitted to train for the Grand Prix sailing event. D] OARRS Inc Limited were awarded a contract by the Tax Commissioner’s Office to collect $75 million dollars of tax owed to the government, without having applied for a licence to do so.

Poor Planning:

As a party, the OBA was inundated with questions from people from all walks of life at the announcement to Shelter in Place from people who were very stressed and concerned about the time that it will take to receive their unemployment payment benefits to take care of their families, Likewise, business owners were stressed and some were depressed because this could actually be their last straw, and they can ill afford to wait weeks or months to receive economic support from, the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, to help sustain their businesses.

These people and businesses take the view that operational measures should have been presented when the stay-at-home order was presented. They expected to see that all the mandated measures were properly thought out and presented in an appropriate and systematic manner.

The Economy:

  • On this 21 square mile island, we are literally our brother’s keeper.
  • A healthy population is needed to support the development of a healthy economy.
  • 100-year-old business institutions close, restaurants and popular retail stores have shut their doors.
  • Our tourism and our travel industries have been decimated, resulting in the closure of hotels and guest houses, and a dramatic increase in unemployment across all sectors.
  • This bleak economic picture will continue until we have COVID-19 under control
  • As a country, we commend the Government for following the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization protocols, and for the energy that they are exerting to reach herd immunity by the end of next month. It is a lofty goal, and it would be great if achieved, but the reality is that there is still a large segment of our population who are vaccine hesitant, who question the entire vaccine protocol, and for personal reasons are not receptive to getting vaccinated, despite the science presented, and the calls of support from most of our physicians or healthcare professionals.
  • In fact, the drive for our national vaccination program has resulted in unexpected consequences which is, a divided population where the non-vaccinated or anti-vaccers feel discriminated against, given that the community and business are beginning to relax the restrictive protocols for those who have been vaccinated. This division must be remedied if we are to get back to a healthy and a unified community as well as a healthy economy.
  • If we are to achieve full herd immunity, we must address the concerns of our anti vaccers, with the help of our healthcare practitioners, well respected close family members, and well-respected friends.
  • In my view, without the support of the anti-vaccers, we will never reach the required herd immunity to arrest the spread of this virus, have a healthier population and experience the beginning of a more self-sustaining economy and a normal lifestyle.
  • While we congratulate the government for their initial management of the pandemic, throughout the second and now third surge they made several questionable decisions, leading to growing frustrations, and an increased lack of transparency in their decision making.
  • We’ve seen a growing lack of trust in the government from the community and even within its own party. As an Opposition, we have also experienced the lack of consultation from the government.

Education:

  • We must move as quickly as possible to get our children back to school to mitigate disengagement and distraction of home surroundings.
  • We need to lessen the stress and burden on parents who may be working from home, who or are not tech-savvy enough to support their children with remote learning.
  • We also need to consider that remote learning is stressful for some teachers
  • Not all teachers are trained/able to deliver learning lessons using technology
  • There is an added burden on parents and now grandparents with multiple children learning remotely. Children need the social interaction, and they cannot afford to fall behind.

Mental Health

  • Over the course of the past year, the community has been stretched and stressed!
  • The government has not been completely transparent with its stakeholders, nor have they shown consistent leadership, which only feeds into the feelings of insecurity and stress amongst the population.

Bermuda’s National Health Plan:

  • Over the past 15 years, the cost of healthcare in Bermuda has increased a whopping 193%;
  • Per capita, the cost of healthcare in Bermuda ranks in the top two countries on the planet;
  • Despite the high spending, our current healthcare system doesn’t provide coverage for the entire population – approximately 10% of people have no health insurance and due to the economic impact of the pandemic, that number is constantly rising, whereas most high-income countries spend far less than we do on healthcare and provide access for everyone;
  • The present system has not been able to slow down the rise in costs, and it is unaffordable for people with low earnings, which has now been exacerbated by increased unemployment;
  • The Standard Health Benefit [SBH] only covers sick or chronically ill people, but does NOT cover preventative medical care;
  • The general population is on the decline due to our low birth rate;
  • Over the next 50 years, Bermuda’s senior population is set to grow by 68%;
  • With an increase in the ageing population, there is an exponential increase in the demand for personal at-home caregivers;
  • There is no central registry for professional caregivers who support seniors in their homes;
  • There is a lack of clearly defined regulations for professional caregivers;
  • The average cost per month for a caregiver for personal home care is approximately $5k while the monthly cost for care, per person in a senior residence can be up to $12k; and
  • There needs to more clarity about whether there are any real benefits and equality for patients when local insurance companies purchase private medical practices. We cannot compromise the quality of patient-centric care over the commercial interest of these insurance companies.

Going forward, to refresh Bermuda’s National Healthcare Plan, as a government the OBA will prioritize the following initiatives:

  • National Health Care plan to ensure that every Bermudian has access to affordable healthcare, one that is evidence-based, managed by independent professionals;
  • Implement a “Unique Patient Identifier” [UPI] for everyone in Bermuda. that will also reduce duplication of services and drive down the cost of healthcare for all. It will assist in services being streamlined and produce a true number of those that are uninsured or underinsured to develop solutions to reduce this figure;
  • Create a National Physical Fitness Programme to encourage well-being, sound health, exercise, and good personal diet, from primary school throughout life;
  • Legislate that when insurance plans offer mental health coverage, they must cover it in the same way as medical coverage and not offer lesser coverage for mental health services; and
  • Create clearly defined regulations for professional in-home caregivers and the supporting structure for a central registry of qualified caregivers to support the growing senior population.”

The One Bermuda Alliance Party

  • As an Opposition, we have made great strides in engaging and focusing our team on the issues at hand, while they themselves manage the pandemic in their own networks.
  • Despite our numbers, we have been impactful in keeping the feet of the government to the fire to address national issues.
  • We are focused on not being ‘politicians’, but rather fellow concerned citizens, by addressing our neighbours, friends, the community at large as members of the same community who are committed to making a difference. We have kept to our aggressive schedule of meeting with constituents on a regular basis – not just at election time.
  • Since the election, our Candidate Selection Committee has been very busy. We’ve had a number of new candidates come forward to run in the next election and we are excited about the talent, enthusiasm and commitment they bring.

click here Bermuda 2020 Election

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Comments (13)

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  1. John E. Thorne says:

    I still think it was immoral, unethical and deplorable that the Premier used a pandemic to gain seats and for political gain putting peoples lives at risk during the process. He should be ashamed of himself.

    • Joe Real says:

      You sound like a silly obaubp wabbit. The PLP would’ve won even if he called it later. They will also win the next election thanks to people that make excuse like you. You should start making up your story now for the next election loss from your team of 6.

  2. Unbelievable says:

    The OBA has no power and so it falls to the PLP to right this BDA ship. Sadly, they cannot and have no idea how to.
    Forget about the 2020 election (#powergrab). Pandemic aside, the PLP haven’t even REMOTELY enacted any of their 2017 manifesto.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “a vote count of 25,760 out of a total of 46,311 registered voters, equating to a voter turnout of around 55.6%”

    What I read in all of that is that the PLP voters came out, the UBP die hards came out, but the people like me, who want real change, had no one to vote for so we stayed home.

    • wahoo says:

      Well I hope you are satisfied you put Bermuda in a very bad situation (if it wasn’t already). Notice you say UBP diehards what about FDM and OBA?

    • JAWS says:

      The OBA reminds me of a ship dragging it’s anchor while at the bottom of the sea.

  4. wahoo says:

    Well I hope you are satisfied you put Bermuda in a very bad situation (if it wasn’t already). Notice you say UBP diehards what about FDM and OBA?

  5. kevin says:

    the only Loser in that election was ” Bermuda” when you dont have the ability to create new initiatives and dont have the ability to manage you are where we are
    a hole so big we dont know how to get out the debt is so enormous remember there was money in the bank in 1998 and now we are billions of dollars in debt the UBP nor the OBA didnt created it. You get what you voted for …..we will continue to slide deeper …hope there is money in the coffers to pay our oversized Civil service come next Year

  6. Red Pill says:

    Both parties are nothing but cowards. It does not matter who you vote for they both will take you up the river without a paddle. And that’s putting it mildly.

  7. Ringmaster says:

    Bermuda will have to accept that the PLP will be in power for many years. Prior to 1998 it was said Bermuda could not afford a PLP Government. Proven to be true. It was OK until 2007 and Ewart Brown as Premier. Since then, debt has been incurred that will never be reduced, let alone repaid. The PLP have been very successful in demonizing any Opposition to solidify their power. Power that they have no idea how to use for the benefit of Bermuda, just for a select few – “our time now” was their slogan. Add that to why would anyone want to form a Government only to be fought on every topic by the PLP and their support base and take over handling the crippling debt? Bermuda was the jewel of the Atlantic. It is now a wrecked rock and will never recover.

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