Kim Swan & The PLP

I have to be honest, I was caught off-guard by this move.

In hind-sight, I guess it’s not all that surprising – I just really wasn’t expecting it. Petitionlaunch3

I only got to really know Mr Swan during our collaboration on the petition for a referendum on casino gambling.

Before that I had begun to know him somewhat during the 2012 election.

As we were both running as Independents, along with several others, we (along with many of the other Independents) met up before and after the election, swapping experiences and advice on canvassing and the potential for helping provide a structure to empower Independents as a viable option in future elections.

And before that, I knew him more in a distant sense, as a public political figure only – and as the former leader of the UBP, I admit I did not exactly seek him out before.

I will say that, especially over the first half of this year, during the referendum initiative, I got to know Mr Swan a lot better.

I believe he is truly a genuine kind of ‘old-fashioned’ politician – passionate about what’s best for Bermuda and his home area of St George’s, and passionate about doing things with integrity.

While we may not agree on everything (and that would be boring anyway), I do think we need more politicians like him, rather than the manufactured ‘on message’ and rather bland politicians that seem to increasingly becoming the status quo in Bermuda.

I also got to see first-hand how his former UBP colleagues and supporters were treating him, or, rather, mistreating him.

As a result of that, I’m not surprised one bit that if he was going to join either established party it was going to be the PLP.

I’m disappointed in as much as I think his joining the PLP weakens the argument for Independents or a 3rd party as a viable option for transcending our two-party system and all the division that both reflects and reinforces.

However, I doubt he’s made this decision lightly either, especially knowing the likely responses (opportunist, flip-flopper, etc) that he’ll have to endure.

I have no interest in contributing to that aspect however.

At best, I just want to wish him well, and recognise that he remains an asset to Bermuda and the people of the East End for whom he remains a tireless advocate.

Of course, this makes for some interesting speculation about the impact this will have on the electoral calculus in the future :

Will those who voted for him in 2012 shift their vote to the PLP now?

Will he run again, or simply assist the PLP branch and encourage support for them?

 

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7 thoughts on “Kim Swan & The PLP

  1. Wow… You completely ignored the unions 17% increase in membership dues. What’s up with that? I’d like to know your opinion on that issue.

  2. Probably because it has no relevance whatsoever to Kim Swan or the PLP?

    Anyway, since you asked…

    I’m not a member of the BIU, and as such it doesn’t really effect me, unlike more national issues.

    Don’t have access to their accounts or budget. I was surprised by it, but as long as it was democratically decided by their constitution, so be it. I have confidence that if their membership have issue with it, they will take the appropriate actions within their democratic structures.

    Beyond that, I don’t have an opinion.

  3. I understand your disappointment in Kim not staying independent.

    I have to say that by making the choice he has made (for whatever reason), then for me, he has lost the integrity that I always associated with him.

    I really cannot get my head around how you can make such a major leap in ideology, and I wonder how the rank and file will view him going forward.

  4. Well on the surface, the PLP can choose to run either Swan or Renee Ming in that area next election (or someone else of course, with the expectation of taking that seat back for the PLP convincingly. I don’t know what Kim Swan’s future role will be but I think most will agree with your perception of the type of politician he is, and how he’s gotten a bit of a raw deal from OBA supporters even before he chose to join the PLP.

  5. And on the third-party aspect, a Terry Lister – Kim Swan duo could have some real influence. But perhaps that wasn’t an option either, again I don’t even know if those two have worked together or could work together.

    But yeah. The established parties are like giant magnets, and every long-term politician is eventually drawn to one or the other. C’est Bermuda.

  6. The decision of Kim Swan to join the PLP is one more indication that the Black political conservative is feeling increasingly uncomfortable in being a part of the One Bermuda Allegiance; although Mr. Swan was never a member of the OBA; But more importantly a political leader like Kim Swan has always had a empathy for the common man and his political speeches down through the years have clearly shown that. I would suspect due to the bitter criticism of his detractors even if they don’t admit it are well aware of his popularity among the ordinary Bermudian. It is also an indication that Bermuda is unlikely to accept the role of a independent member of parliament; a reality that I am sure Kim Swan for all his popularity is well aware off, But what if another shoe drops; a Terry Lister joining the OBA.? I am sure that idea has probably cross his mind. This political move on the part of Kim Swan may be just the spark to embolden him to do just that cross the floor and join the OBA.

  7. Pingback: Terry Lister’s Retirement From Politics | "catch a fire"

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