I’ve been a little lax in my attention to the blog over the last few days. Had a bit of work that took up most of my time, and then it started to snow and that really put me off leaving the dorm room…
Anyway, I see Doug over at Freshieblog has put put forward a plea for people to vote for the UBP in the upcoming by-election. In light of that, I’ld like to advocate for Marc Bean.
This by-election is rather interesting. For one, I personally know two of the candidates, Marc Bean and Kahlid Whasi, and have immense respect for both of them. I have had political discussions with both of them for some time, and can vouch for their commitment to Bermuda and advancing the political discourse here for the common benefit of all Bermudians. I don’t really know Charlie Swan at all. I have no reason to dismiss his similar commitment and sincerity, I just don’t really know him. So I hope that after acknowledging the above, readers will follow what I write below.
First and foremost, I am a PLP member, and this blog as such is without question a pro-PLP partisan blog, even if it strives to be an independent minded one and criticises the Party Line when I percieve the Party Line being contrary to my perceptions of what progressive labour is all about.
Through my conversations with Marc I have found him to be very much within the progressive wing of the Party, and I feel that he has a lot to contribute to Bermuda as a whole. He does indeed represent a new generation of PLPers who, while well grounded in the historic struggles against social injustice that the Party has long been at the forefront off, is not ossified in this past, but ready to advance the cause of social progress for the 21st Century. His election would in many ways be a symbolic ‘passing of the torch’ from the old guard to the new guard of the Party. At the very least it will be a transitioning point, a potential catalyst for further change within the Party in a progressive direction.
Khalid Whasi/Raymond Davis has struck me with his commitment to reshaping the political landscape of Bermuda. I share with him the perception of the UBP being a largely spent and irrelevant force in 21st Century Bermuda.
I see the UBP as serving more as a brake on progress in Bermudian politics, more by their taking up space that could be better used by newer political forces. In some ways they do so because they feel it necessary to keep the PLP in check – our political system is largely stuck in a stale mate philosophy. But even in this role they are singularly failing, serving less as a credible opposition to the PLP as a waste of space in our parliamentary chamber dithering on about nothing. Since their second loss in 2003, and especially since their 2007 loss their existence has been a failure. The good ship UBP is rudderless and without a sail, drifting aimlessly – albeit agonisingly slowly – towards the reefs of oblivion and irrelevancy.
As I’ve said, I don’t know Charlie Swan. From what I know of his Senatorial performance I conclude he is genuine in his politics, but at the same time excelling in the political mediocrity that has come to characterise the UBP of late.
Based on all of this, I advocate the voters in this by-election should vote for Marc Bean. Those that don’t want to vote for Marc, for whatever reason, I strongly recommend they vote for Khalid Wasi. I stress that my calling for a vote for anyone but Charlie Swan is not a personal slight against him, it is more a vote against the mediocrity of the UBP. Personally I think Marc is simply the best candidate, and that his election would advance change within the PLP. But I also strongly convinced that the UBP need to be sent a message, either that their time is done and they should abandon ship in order to land ashore and allow new vessels to set sail in their place (not unlike the history of the Sea Venture’s wreck and the subsequent construction of the Deliverance and Patience), or that they need to seriously repair the damage (mast and rudder) if they have any hope of avoiding the reefs ahead.
Should Charlie Swan get in, I am not convinced that he will inspire the repairing of the listing UBP; rather I would see his election as almost a siren song, hastening the doomed journey of the UBP through inaction.
In many ways the by-election is not a vote between the PLP, the UBP and an Independent. It is a vote about whether people are happy with the UBP’s underperformance. A message will be sent from the results, either to abandon ship or stay the course towards the reefs. It is better for all of us that the UBP allows for change, and that the voters in this by-election make clear that the time is up to abandon ship.
Vote for Marc Bean tomorrow for progressive change within the PLP.
Vote for Khalid Wasi/Rayond Davis tomorrow for progressive change within the Opposition.
Ultimately, vote for anyone but the UBP. Quite frankly, its for their own good.
And thats good for all of us.