Congratulations Mr. President
Statement from Craig Cannonier, Leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, on the reelection of President Barack Obama, November 7, 2012
On behalf of the One Bermuda Alliance, I would like to congratulate President Barack Obama on his election victory. We understand the importance of the longstanding, productive relationship Bermuda has historically enjoyed with the United States, our closest neighbour and trading partner, and we look forward to continuing our steadfast friendship under President Obama’s leadership.
It is no secret that many Bermudians hold President Obama in high regard and are delighted with his reelection. The One Bermuda Alliance applauds his efforts over the past four years to stabilize the United States economy by carefully balancing plans for debt reduction with the need for a jobs stimulus, to provide universal healthcare, to expand human rights and to stand strong for women’s rights.
‘It’s time for change’
Candidate rollout remarks by Jon Brunson, OBA candidate Constituency 29, Southampton West, November 1, 2012
Thank you, Craig, and good morning ladies, gentlemen, members of the press, to the residents of Constituency 29, Southampton East, and Bermuda in general.
I am sure that many of you are wondering why I have decided to return to politics. The best way to explain why is to explain to you what I believe in.
As a single father who has actively participated in raising two fantastic young adults, I believe that a strong family structure is vital to success. For the family to succeed it needs some essential components to survive. Today, Bermuda’s family unit is wounded and struggling just to make it to the next day, to have a roof over its head, to feed its children and put food on the table. The truth is times are hard and getting harder every day.
OBA Platform Brief - Cost of Living
Read our platform brief on Cost of Living.
It’s time to reach forward together
By Craig Cannonier, One Bermuda Alliance Leader, October 23, 2012
Today the One Bermuda Alliance will start distributing to homes everywhere a brochure previewing our plans for Bermuda.
The brochure does not represent our full platform – that will come when the election is called – but it does lay down our approach to governing and some of our ideas for tackling Bermuda’s biggest challenges.
For me as leader of the OBA, the most important challenge is to get the Island moving forward in a new and positive direction. This has as much to do with people’s spirit and morale as it does with policy, maybe more.
I was in church on Sunday and a passage was read from Philippians 3 that touches on this very question. It tells us that we must “press on” to the higher goal, moving on from what lies behind “and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
That’s what I want Bermuda to do – to press on and reach forward – and this is the opportunity the upcoming election offers.
I have spent many days talking with the people, in their homes and churches, at town halls and on the street, and it is clear to me that we need to renew our purpose as a country, to gain a new sense of direction.
We are a good people – I see that every day in the eyes of the people I speak with – but we are getting worn down by conditions that sap our confidence and optimism.
Unemployment, business closings, violent crime, punishing Government debt, cost of living pressures – all of these things have become our ‘perfect storm’, and they threaten our strength, even our identity. This is our test. And it is time for us to respond by pressing forward together.
The party I lead is committed to building a new society that works for everyone, connected to values that lift us all together, leaving no one behind.
It means making our education system work for the children.
It means living within our means so we don’t leave the next generation buried in debt.
It means working with courage and compassion for a safe Bermuda, free of gangs and violence.
It means growing the economy to create jobs, career opportunities and security for our seniors.
It means all of us working together better, setting aside needless division and connecting with what make us Bermudians.
Ultimately, it means giving us a chance to grow as a people.
What is happening today is simply not working for people.
It’s time for change. It’s time to shed the doubts and hesitation. It’s time to shake off what is dragging us down and leave what’s past behind.
It’s time to join hands for the sake of Bermuda today, for the sake of each other, for a fresh start.
The challenges we face are urgent and severe, but Bermudians have the strength, the will and faith to rise above them.
It’s time to restore the promise of Bermuda. This is our country. Let’s make it work for all of us.
Let’s reach forward for Bermuda, let’s reach forward for each other.
Bermuda’s homegrown recession
By E.T. (Bob) Richards, Shadow Finance Minister, October 28, 2012
The Department of Statistics on Friday confirmed what most Bermudians already knew, that 2011 was a year of recession, our third in a row.
Economic conditions since then leave little room to conclude anything other than that 2012 will be Bermuda’s fourth straight year of recession.
This poor record stands in contrast to our major trading partners and our neighbours to the south whose economies have emerged from recession with positive growth.
And it points to homegrown reasons for Bermuda’s protracted and stubborn recession. These include policies that alienated international businesses, tourism marketing failures, undisciplined spending and skyrocketing debt that hobbled Government’s ability to stimulate economic growth and ease recessionary pressures on people.
The One Bermuda Alliance represents a different approach to economic leadership. We will take a balanced approach in which we implement responsible policies to grow and protect Bermudian jobs while exercising prudent and disciplined financial management.
We will govern to protect and grow the short- and long-term interests of Bermudians, making sure we have the resources in place to take advantage of economic opportunities and to weather the storms that inevitably come our way.
And it is on that last point – protecting the security of the people – that speaks to a more fundamental issue of responsibility and duty.
On the weekend, a local economist asked to comment on the Island’s economic decline said the Government’s ability to stimulate recovery was “almost out of firepower’’.
That is a revealing statement that points to a basic failure on the part of the Government.
If the Government had been looking out for the interests of the Bermudian people, it would have made sure the public purse was strong enough to help people in tough economic times.
This harkens back to the Biblical parable about of saving during the fat years to prepare for the lean years.
The reality today is that this Government was not thinking about the long-term security of the people, or of Bermuda as a whole, when it spent lavishly during the fat years.
And so we saw years of waste, excess and arrogance bleed the public purse and drive us into debt.
Almost as bad has been the Government’s lack of contrition and acknowledgement for its role in where Bermuda finds itself today.
And so we have a Government that has left itself few resources – ‘firepower’ – to help people who need help.
We consider this a failure of the first magnitude. A government’s first priority is to ensure the safety and security of its people and in this the Government is failing the people.
A One Bermuda Alliance Government will give Bermuda the fresh start it needs. We cannot afford five more years of the country being governed by ‘me-first thinking’. It’s time for change. It’s time to put the people first.