Micheal Dunkley, the Opposition UBP Leader, in comments reported in the Bermuda Sun stated that he was concerned about the timing of the election during the build up to Christmas:
He (Dunkley)agreed that many overseas students would be home from school but expressed concerns about its closeness to Christmas. “It takes the main reason [away] from the season.”
These comments echo earlier statements of his I heard on the radio about a December election.
I’m a bit puzzled by this. From a rather cynical point of view I see it as a rather oppurtunistic move on his part to curry favour with the Church vote (I note that just like the PLP the UBP – to my knowledge – has continued to waffle on the amendment to the Human Rights Act concerning sexual orientation). From an even more cynical (and joking) point of view I wonder if he’s worried the PLP’s slogan of ‘lactose intolerant’ will damage Dunkley Dairy’s sales of egg-nog (despite my PLP biases I am very partial to egg-nog; I’m drooling as I type now…).
I’ve heard and even read at least one post on one of the other blogs of people complaining that it will interfere with their Christmas shopping.
I’m not a Christian (although schooled in Scottish Presbyterianism), but I have tremendous respect for those of all religious beliefs who are genuine, sincere and tolerant of diverse beliefs. I also enjoy the secular traditions of Christmas, which to me as a non-Christian is what Christmas is all about (I’m sure many Christians will agree on these), these being getting together with family, having a really good meal, spending time with close friends, and exchanging token symbolic gifts of human solidarity. Part of it of course is the extension of this solidarity from ones intimates to the greater human population, a sense of genuine commonwealth (not in the former British Empire way…).
Politics, as much as it is today bastardised by poli-tricks, originally referred to a political arena populated by citizens conscious of citizenship as a lifelong and ethical committment to active participation (including defence) in public affairs (in the form of direct democracy as opposed to the current status quo of bankrupt parliamentarism/statecraft); it meant a citizenship who felt competent to directly mangage their own communities; it meant active participation in self-government. It meant the conscious self-government of human communities founded on the premise of human solidarity and the commonwealth. [I accept that the actual implementation of democracy in the ancient Greek city-states was flawed with slavery and patriachy, but the idea and the institutions created the potential, conscious even then, of a better democracy.] Based on this, I think Dunkley is wrong when he says that the election will ‘take away from the reason for the season’ – by which he means the token representation of Christian faith as currently bastardised by capitalist mass consumerism I presume; if anything, I cannot think of a better time to increase the peoples political consciousness than a celebration of human solidarity and commonwealth.
It has become a practical necessity for the future of our people to redefine politics away from the crass politricks of statecraft and give it a more broader meaning, to return to its original sense while also taking into account historical developments since the Greek city states democracy. This new politics must be rooted in the community via grassroots democracy. This politics cannot but help stand in total opposition to status quo politricks that seeks to professionalise and centralise power, often becoming an end in and of itself. It must present an alternative to the parliamentarism that corrupts both the PLP and the other existing social movements – in short their over-reliance on sheer and corruptive statecraft, a system that benefits only the already powerful and the oppurtunist parasites that generally outmaneuver and absorb/isolate/co-opt what genuine progressive dynamics exist within them.