Last Post Before the Election

I have been unable to complete the reviews of both the UBP and PLP Platforms. I will continue this following the election, for, while it may no longer influence how anyone votes, whichever Party wins should base its governance on their platform, and whichever loses will use its platform as a base for Opposition.

I have been suprised at how this election, more than the other two I recall (1998 and 2003) have led to a crystalisation of positions; Bermuda’s politics has reached new levels of division on a political position than I can ever recall. I have found the UBPers to be more dogmatic and fanatical than the PLP, but there are plenty PLPers who have also become fanatical in their support of the Party. Unquestioning, uncritical support for either Party is not good for them or the country, and I hope that the current fanatacism will prove to be an election related phenomena.

I am going to predict that the PLP will win the election tomorrow. At best I see the result being PLP with 22 seats, the UBP with 14; the same as we currently have. However, there are a number of factors I have not been able to decide of their impact – Ms. Foggo’s comments last week at the East End Rally, which may alter the result to a PLP with 20 seats and the UBP with 16. I cannot see the end results differing much from these predictions. I am basing these on my reading of the past results, analysis of the constituencies, effectiveness of the campaigns, and readings/personal observations from canvassing.

I am aware that a number of PLP supporters are reluctant to vote for their particular candidates for various reasons, while retaining support for the Party as a whole, and I am sympathetic to their situations. I am expecting a dramatic increase in the number of spoiled ballots in this election, an indication of voters being disatisfied with either choice. I had expected turn-out to be lower than usual, but I no longer feel this will be the case.

Either way, the world does not end tomorrow, regardless of who wins, and I look forward to the various celebrations and hard work that lie ahead.

Best wishes.

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4 thoughts on “Last Post Before the Election

  1. Well I for one endorse, and hope to see, a great increase in spoiled ballots. If I could have been there I would have liked to have taken my ballot, run out in the street (well parking lot in my case) and light it on fire, as I am so frustrated with the state of the Bermudian political scene, as well as the jokers we call politicians here in Bermuda. I would love to actually see a stat on the number of spoiled ballots and how it facotred in as a percentage of submitted ballots.

  2. Well your folk are in again. Though I would take PLP over UBP any day, I think it will soon be time for me to make a move and get my ass in gear with founding a new working-class party to combat the PLP’s not so hidden drift towards the middle and upper class

  3. Morning.

    I’m slightly sleep deprived at the moment and will post a more detailed review of the election and its consequences later.

    It seems as if my prediction was correct, the result was a 22-14 victory for the PLP. I did make some miscalculations though, although I had chosen not to make public my constituency by constituency predictions in order not to give a ‘kiss of death’ to anyone.

    I had though Phil Perenchief and Wayne Caines would win in the East, and thought Glenn Blakeney and Zane DeSilva would lose. Apart from that it went much as I thought.

    I haven’t had time to look at all the results in detail, but it is noticable that the popular vote was decidedly for the PLP, and in the UBP stronghold I was helping in at least the PLP managed to increase its share of the vote this time to its highest ever levels in that area (Grant Gibbons’). I don’t know what the total spoiled ballots were, but I get the feeling there was an increase.

    I know some PLPers are gloating at their victory. Pride is fine, but there is a fine balancing act between being good winners and rubbing the UBPs noses in their loss. There will be demoralisation amongst them for a while.

    While we PLPers are not disinterested observers in the resulting internal restructuring of the UBP, of much greater importance is the potential consequences of change in their Party (will it serve as a catalyst for broad political change?) and of more relevance, what are the full consequences of the PLP victory for a genuine socially progressive workers platform for the PLP?

    Right now the searchlight of constructive criticism must be shone fully on the PLP itself by its own members and all socially progressive individuals. For now the UBP can struggle without or assistance – our interests are solidly within the organised labour movement and its future, and criticism must be focused there now.

  4. Personally, I would have to that the only constituency result I am little upset about it is Zane DeSilva defeating Dodwell. Not out of any love for Dodwell or the UBP, but because I have personal reasons (not just the BHC crap) to know that DeSilva is not the most trustworthy person out there. I won’t go into them here as they are largely financial in nature and stem for some work I did for a local company, but lets just say that he is not the most reliable person. I am not sure what type of campaign he ran as I do not live in his constituency, maybe he will actually turn himself around and become an honest person, I guess we will find out during the next parliment.

    I do not know if I would call the popular vote “decidely” for the PLP, as just over half of the vote went to the PLP. What was more interesting to me is that it appears that something like 10,000 voters abstained for whatever reason and did not vote.

    Speaking about my own constituency, Paget East (22) which was won by Dr. Grant Gibbons, the UBP won handedly, as it did last time, though yes you are right, Davida Morris did attract about 100 more votes to the PLP than was gained last time. At the same time though Gibbons got about the same number of votes as he got last time. So it would seem that more than just the PLP getting more votes in the constituency, actually 100 more people turned out in it this time around.

    “While we PLPers are not disinterested observers in the resulting internal restructuring of the UBP, of much greater importance is the potential consequences of change in their Party (will it serve as a catalyst for broad political change?) and of more relevance, what are the full consequences of the PLP victory for a genuine socially progressive workers platform for the PLP?”

    I’m sorry, but I highly doubt we will see a “genuine socially progressive workers platform” from the PLP under the next 5 years. The PLP has drifted far from its roots as an organized labour party, beyond social democracy and into backwords Blairism. As for being socially progressive, I think our treatment of immigrants as an amorphous gray horde of raping baby killers, our (meaning the poli-fraudists in parliment) inability and unwillingness to discuss ending discrimination for homosexuals, our in ability to give any sort of meaningful health care (I call for true free Universal Health Care), similarly our inability to provide any sort of meaningful day care service, our inability to fix education, and many others shows just how “progressive” the PLP really is. I do not see any of these changing as I feel that no one in parliment, UBP or PLP is there to serve anyone but there own pocket book, that’s why I not even call it politricks but rather polifraud.

    As for a workers based platform, please, give me a break. Let me reiterate one of the main rallying cries of the IWW “The Employed Class and the Employing Class have NOTHING in Common.” As a member of the Socialist Party USA and the IWW, I believe in this totally, you can not serve the interests of the ruling bourgeoisie and the proletariat at the same time, and I think the PLP has made its choice: the national petty and haute bourgeoisie. I mean common, you do not get a boss/employer to represent the people who work for him, and anyone who believes that is a fool. I think the PLP abondoned labour the instant they let the first business men and women into the party, just the like the Communist Party of China since the late 1980s allowing business men and entrepenurs into the party. You will never be able to fool me into thinking that a party that has many a business man and woman in it reprsents labour, it is a total fraud.

    For these reason I think the PLP as a force for progressiveness and working-class power is dead, and had been for some time. But this is the danger of social democracy, trying to reform capitalism from within, which we have seen time and time again always fails the working class in the end and always turns to seve the ends of the ruling capitalist class. However I see the situation getting no better under another 4-5 years of the PLP and Dr. Brown. I think that if there is still a portion of the PLP that is truly socialist, it has either been bought off by the capitalist interest (in which they are class traitors)or is to small to effect any sort of real change in direction within the party. The truly sad part is the the continued electoral victory of the PLP has a little more to do with the fleecing of the working class by the party. They have the wool truly pulled over the eyes of the working class so as to not allow them to see the true nature of the party. Not to mention that I feel certain elements of the PLP (and the UBP for that matter as well) appeal to the worst elements within Bermudian society, namely the racist and xenophobic elements. The constant implication that “Bermudians” are defined as people who are possesed of a higher melanin content, and that they are the native population is not helpful at all,. I think it was Phil Perinchief who said in the last few months, when describing a trip to the Bahamas, described the majority ethnic group of the Bahamas as the “native” population. Now beyond the obvious fact that I find this insulting as an Indian (we being the natives of the western hemisphere), including the Bahamas, I find how it has been translated into the already racially charged Bermudian politcal atmosphere to be dangerous. The implication that people of lighter skin tones all being “foreigners” and the people of the darker tones being “natives” does not got along way towards uniting the people of the Bermuda in any what so ever, infact an already tense situation worse on the island. Combine that with the way certain ministers of departments dealing with immigrants tend to run their mouths making xenophobic, bigoted statements, I do not see anysort of end to this horse-shit situation in the forseable future of the island.

    So as these elements of our government and the PLP go unchallenged, the xenophobia, racism, and all around betrayel of the working class will not end. That it is why upon becomming a socialist/Marxist and reexamining the PLP, I made the insight that they do not represent the interests of the working class, and never will. I found it was probably to be fruitless to join the party as I saw no real potential for revolutionary change comming from them, hence I remain, politically, an indepenedent in Bermuda, not siding with either the Conservative/Populist UBP for the Reactionary/Social Democrat (if you watch out this sounds alot like the groundings of Italian style Fascism) PLP.

    As I believe wholly in the idea that you cannot reform capitalism into socialism from within, but rather that it much be changed in a revolutionary way from without, I am making a call for the formation of a truly revolutionary socialist workers movement in Bermuda. One that will fight in the interests of the working class, not that of the bourgeoisie, and will truly unite Bermuda in a progressive society. Revolution, not evolution is what is needed to fix to this situation and I fully intend to see that through. I will fight, and I would die, if necessary to change Bermuda and the world for the better and end the nightmare that is capitalism. Is the PLP willing to do this? In my opinion the answer is “not in a million years”, they are now to entrenched with the interests of the upper and middle classes and have failed the working class in the worst way. Over the following months I plan to really get to work on organizing a new party for the island, and hopefully by the next time an election roles around we will be able to de more than just sit and talk on a blog about how we would like see change. It is nice and all to sit around and talk, but I myself am tired of just talking, I plan to get up off my ass and actually do something, to make a world and a Bermuda that is actually worth dying for.

    You know I recently read a moving short piece of writing about the failed revolution in the Uraguay, and I took to heart their slogan for the revolution: “O Bailan Todos, O No Baila Nadie!” which is Spanish for “Either Everyone Dances or No One Dances.” It was the slogan of a revolution that failed because not enough people cared, not enough people got off their chair or the coach or the floor mat and decided it was right and just to change to world. Either Everyone Dances or No One Dances, it is good to say it, but not good enough. A revolution failed there because not enough people had the courage to stand up and live. So I say to every one, Either Everyone Dances or No One Dances, but join me, don’t just say it! Write it, scream it – but also make sure that you want it, feel it, do it.

    Let me leave you with something else. A poem was written for Dianna Oughton, a member of the Weather Underground Organization in the US that attempted to launch an the first substantial armed campaign by Euroamerican revolutionaries against the federal government. She died with three other members when the safe house in the Greenwich Village she was in was destroyed when an explosive device prematurely detonated. The last 7 lines of the poem read as such:

    I know what you would say now –
    “you don’t cry for me
    but for yourselves –
    That’s bullshit!
    Why do you only talk of dying for
    Revolution?
    Live for it!”

    One People, One Struggle! Stand United, Stand Peaceful!

    In Solidarity Comrade

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