Sunday, June 5, 2011

Breaking through...

Change is a difficult thing. Change asks us to step outside of what we see as comfortable and take a chance on something new, something that might not be natural. Change pushes the envelope, demands that we make a sacrifice and that we recognize the faults in what we are currently doing. Change happens when someone is forced to re-evaluate their position for one reason or another. A person may do this for health or financial reasons, businesses do this primarily to stay in business. A change in management, staff or outlook may require harsh changes.

In 2008, the United States voted for change, choosing Barack Obama as the first African American president, a historically significant change, for he changed the way people perceived Blacks, and the world took notice. He not only took on the single hardest job in the world, he did so at a time when the world was/is reeling from one of the largest known financial crisis' ever. It is unknown if we will ever be able to accept the changes that have been affecting us all. If we know anything, change must happen. It is a part of our evolution.

In Bermuda, we have had our own version of change. 1998 saw the election of the PLP in a Westminster system of government. It was a major change at that time because our island had never known a PLP government, and the years of UBP abuses had finally caught up with them. A PLP government brought change, and even today we have more change. Jennifer Smith, Alex Scott, Ewart Brown, and now Paula Cox... four leadership changes in eleven years as the governing party forges it's future. Are we confident in the changes? Does the PLP provide the real change people expected in 1998?

Our opposition has had their own change. The legacy of the UBP would be one that guaranteed their ultimate demise. As Bermuda's first governing political party, they utilized every trick in the book to secure their position until that fateful November day in 1998 when the people demanded change. The last vestiges of the UBP are now committed to history as the once power party has become a chapter in our history. The emergence of the Bermuda Democratic Alliance, and now the One Bermuda Alliance and the mass defections from the UBP to the OBA leave us all wondering.... who's fooling who?

Accusations of a scripted plan and the mass defections are not votes of confidence in the public eye. The UBP -> BDA -> OBA move has not really fooled anyone has it? While it has left two mp's (including the UBP leader) scrambling and scratching their heads in a truly WTF moment, political pundits knew that splitting an already weakened opposition would do nothing but strengthen the government come the next election. Sadly, this farce will probably end up doing the exact same thing.

How can so many UBP mp's have such a HUGE change of philosophy, all at once? Was the BDA really threatening anyone at all? How is the OBA any different than the old UBP? Change the name and maybe people will forget who you were to begin with? What dynamic philosophy change does the OBA bring to the table that the old UBP doesn't?

Note to Mr. Barritt and Mr. Cannonier. You're not fooling anyone.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The worst part of all of the OBA/UBP shenanigans is that it breeds arrogance and complacency from the government. No one in the government fears anything from the opposition, and as such we should all be afraid. Very afraid. If apathy and disgust rules at the polls when the next election rolls around, which should be in the next 12 months, we may find that there is little to be hopeful for. If people don't feel the need to vote, and stay away from the polls, in the end, we will all be losers.

The question has to be then... what are our choices? Revolution? Our world is filled with revolution as of late. The changes in the middle east are inspiring for all. Truly, the power of the people is an awesome thing when in motion, and it is hard not to be impressed by millions seeking change. But here? In Bermuda? Are we revolutionaries born? I don't see the hardship in our bellies that breeds revolutionaries, not in this generation, and probably not in future generations either. We have not been born to fight, we have not hungered, we have not struggled and even now, when times are harder then they have been for many years, far longer than most of us remember.

Our choices seem difficult to envision, but there are choices, Tough decisions must be made. How do we  effect change when we are entrenched in a system that offers so little hope.

To quote Mr. Cannonier and most recently Mr. Barritt.... "Stay Tuned!"

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