I reflect on the car rally events of Sunday, 2 May and state from the outset that I respect people’s right to peaceably protest and use this medium to draw attention to another powerful tool that people have and that is to putting elected officials and other politicians to work, and to holding them to account.
At every election, we vote into Government the people we want to represent our views. Since the last election, we have been reminded by Government that the people elected the PLP to lead the country. Do we fully understand the power, we have when we mark that ‘X’ on Election day?
Currently, we have an economy in the toilet, an unstable education system, growing numbers of people out of work, businesses that have closed or are on the brink of closing, unemployment benefits not being paid on time, citizens unable to pay mortgage and rent, people unable to feed themselves, roads in deplorable states, increases in domestic violence and child abuse, mental health community challenges, homelessness, trash overflowing in certain areas, unkempt landscapes, unreliable public transportation, out of control feral chicken populations, and on and on it goes. While many of these issues existed before the Covid-19, they are compounded by the effects of the pandemic and limited funds and resources. There are no easy solutions to some of these issues, but if you are unhappy with how things are going, contact your elected official so he/she can hear your concerns. Hold the politicians in your constituency to account if you are not getting the help you need from public sources contact your elected official – voice your concerns and find out what they are prepared to do to help. Politicians work for you and should demonstrate that they are trying their best to address your problem even if they cannot solve it. Opposition politicians too, although we are limited in the ability to bring about direct changes as the access to resources are not the same as what the Government has, we can provide advice on where you can go for help and can also speak out publicly to bring the Government and public’s attention to issues on your behalf. Remember Bermuda you hold the power of the vote. If you are dissatisfied, exercise your voting power, and hire someone else to work for you at the next election. There are too many of us, me included, that have given the vote to a politician then complained about unaddressed issues to people who have no ability to help. Last week’s rally, radio and social media discussions and others have shown that people are tired and concerned but the conversation must continue. Put your politicians to work for you.