Abolishing the Urban Corporations

I cannot comment too much on the breaking news about the Government seeking to abolish the Corporations of Hamilton and St. Georges, simply because at the moment there isn’t much to go on. I look forward to reading more details in the news as this story develops.

I am however surprised at what is being reported, that they are to be abolished and their responsibilities absorbed into the various Ministries of Government.

I have long been opposed to the existing electoral system of the Corporations, and even the concept of them as corporations. They seem to be one of the last remaining vestiges of obvious oligarchy with their property vote. I have argued in the past that the electoral system needs reformed and that the vote should be extened to every individual that has a full-time job based in the City or Town. I also believe that the general public, that is the ‘consumers’ that use the conurbations, in addition to the ‘producers’ that work in them, should also have some say in their running, although I am mostly content to allow the Government, in as much as it is supposed to represent the people, fulfill this role until a better system can be developed.

As stated, I take issue with the concept of the city and Town being run by a corporation. I would much rather see them become actual examples of local government, along the lines of my concepts for decentralised government based on elected and empowered Parish Councils, with the basic unit being the neighbourhood association. As corporations their MO is to develop a profit. As local governments they’re MO changes to make the urban areas a living expression of the people who use and work in the urban areas.

In short, I am for increasing democracy and people’s empowerment of society, not for increasing the centralisation of power. Under our liberal democractic system the ‘people’s representatives’ govern on behalf of the people, which is quite different from the people governing themselves. And this is further complicated by an already bureaucracy that is the civil service, further alienating the people from controlling the institutions of society. I fully support reforming the relevant corporations in question, but simply abolishing them and absorbing their function into the state, ameoba like, is actually worse than the existing system.

I’ll write more on this as I get more information and have the time to think the issues over more.

The new RG article is here.

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13 thoughts on “Abolishing the Urban Corporations

  1. This seemed to be only a matter of time, particularly in the case of CoH which is perceived as inefficient, ineffective, too secretive and full of nasty political infighting. Can’t say the same for St. Geo, who seemed just helpless to do much as crime grew and the town police station was shut down.

    Tend to agree with

    I also believe that the general public, that is the ‘consumers’ that use the conurbations, in addition to the ‘producers’ that work in them, should also have some say in their running

    considering that we spend a large chunk of our day working and driving getting stuck in traffic in the City on a daily basis.

    The timing of these events, is of considerable intrigue though, to say the least.

  2. “Government pledged to overhaul the corporations in its Throne Speech of February 2008, describing both as having served their municipalities well but adding: “The framework within which they operate is outdated and it can be argued that it does not reflect modern GOOD governance.”

    Did I really read that word – GOOD? Amazing.

  3. “Centralisation of power”….Thats ironic is it not?
    As for getting stuck in traffic etc. Come on Tryangle, that only happens at certain times of day. Has been for fifty years.

    This is all about power. Nothing more, nothing less. All about Ewarts backers.

    This too shall pass like ‘two ships that pass in the night, we just smile and we say it’s alright’…….

    Just watch and see what happens next and tell me I’m a fool…………..

  4. Have to agree with Rummy here. I have said it before, a dictatorship does not have to start with a revolution, it can just be a series of small, ‘uncomfortable’ changes, and being human, we adapt by nature, so we just shift with the change. We grumble, we complain, but we shift nevertheless.

    From the onset Dr. Brown has been playing this island like a game of chess, moving pieces to set everything up for the checkmate. The newspaper, the auditor, the governor, the UBP and the people. Just pawns in his game.

    Control the government – make the rules, break the rules.
    Control the media – the people know what you want them to know, think how you want them to think.
    Control the police and military – this will happen, just a matter of time, this is why he needs independence.

    Then complete control.

    Smart man, do not underestimate him by looking at the solitary transgressions or acts as a stand-alone event, it is all tied together for a common goal. That goal is sovereign leadership. Hell, one of his interests even goes by that name.

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  5. “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

    Indeed. It’s a little bit like “why do politicians lie?”. The answer often is that people simply don’t want to hear the truth.

    The bit that actually turns the stomach is that I really do believe he does not care a flying f… about anyone, and that includes the Party.

    This is, and always has been, a personal crusade. The PLP is a vehicle, and no more than that. And sadly, some cannot see it, just dragged along by the rhetoric.

    Once he has achieved his goals and then gone, we will have lots of people looking around at the mess he left asking….”What happened?”

    How sad this place is really becoming.

  6. (snort)

    “”The framework within which they operate is outdated and it can be argued that it does not reflect modern good governance.”

    Another zinger from the PLP. “Modern good governance.” What the )(*&^% would a Bermudian government know about that.

    I suppose they mean they would like the corporations to resemble the modern good qualities of the dept of education.

    What a ridiculous proposal.

    The less this government does the better off we will all be.

  7. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of good is for evil men (or women) to do nothing.”

    But that is just wishful thinking

  8. Thats all well and good AVP. Just depends where you live. Are you suggesting an inserection? I imagine you lived in Germany, Russia, China, Vietnam, North Korea, Haiti, Cuba, South Africa et al.

    I find your comments rather startling and makes me think………….

  9. On a more mundane level, this is a tax grab. This government just found itself in a bleak cash flow situation ( of its own making ) and is looking for income sources. The corporations are an obvious choice. Government can take over and push up taxes on municipal land owners and businesses without directly taxing their voter base.

  10. Now that St. Regis has announced it will be building a hotel on the Par-la-Ville lot we have been provided with a reason for this (although given the problems that hotels are facing in most of the world (and that includes the St. Regis organization) I’ll actually believe it will happen when construction starts – commercial financing just isn’t happening right now).

    “Interestingly” enough, according to the radio this morning, EFB claimed that the Corporation of Hamilton had been invited to the signing ceremony while the Mayor said they had not.

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