Q: Why are you running for parliament at all?
A: Over the last year and a half I have been watching the political discourse in Bermuda between the PLP, the OBA and the UBP. While there are good candidates and ideas amongst them, I increasingly felt that a number of key issues were being ignored. As the election crept ever closer this phenomenon seemed to increase, to the point of being essentially a contest over who should rule, the PLP or the OBA, rather than a discussion about what’s best for the country and what issues we need to be focusing on. As neither of the parties were addressing these key issues, I decided that I could offer something different, and raise a number of issues and ideas to the forefront of our political discourse.
The ideas in my platform are ideas that I think are good. Good for Bermuda and good for Constituency 20. I believe strongly in ‘giving back’ to ones community, and running for parliament as an independent voice for Bermuda is one way that I can do just this. I look forward to the tremendous duty of representing Constituency 20 in parliament as an independent voice for them and Bermuda.
Q: What’s the point of Independents?
A: Independents are free to voice their opinions and to vote freely on all issues. Their decisions are based on what they think are best for the country and their constituents, rather than what is best for a party or special interests that may support a party. Often they can cast the deciding vote on issues, and so can have great influence within parliament.
Ultimately, an independent MP is answerable to their constituents, not a party hierarchy.
A vote for an Independent MP then is not a wasted vote. If anything it makes your vote count much more, both in parliament and in accountability to the constituents.
Q: Why Constituency 20?
A: Although I grew up in Warwick, Flatts and Crawl, Constituency 20 is where I am currently based, and I feel that my skills and experience can be best used to deal with the issues that affect Constituency 20, especially as it contains the City of Hamilton.
Q: Why run as an Independent instead of a candidate for the PLP, OBA or the the UBP?
A: I am not a member of any of the above political parties, and while I have great respect for their candidates, and agree with some of each parties ideas, I do not feel that either of the above parties fully represents what I believe in. I believe that as an Independent I can better represent my beliefs and ensure an independent voice in parliament, free from party control and special interests.
Q: Will you vote with the PLP or the OBA?
A: I will work with all members of parliament and civil society, be they PLP, OBA, UBP, Independents or other. There are ideas from all sides which I can, and do, support, and I will work on these common positions for the common good of the country. Sometimes this will mean I side with the PLP, and sometimes this means I will side with the OBA, or others. Sometimes I will stand alone. I will judge each situation by its own merits.
Q: I thought you were a PLP member?
A: It is true that I was formerly a member of the PLP.
I first joined in 1998, but as I was studying overseas I let my membership end a few years later. I rejoined in 2006, after completing my Regimental service (as a Medic and a Corporal), becoming the Secretary of the Youth Wing and representing the Youth Wing at Central Committee. I resigned these positions in 2008 when I decided to pursue further education which I felt would be to the benefit of our island.
While I continue to have immense respect for the historic role of the PLP and the labour movement in Bermuda overall, and continue to have great respect and friendships for many PLP members and candidates, I have come to the belief that my personal beliefs are best represented today as an Independent candidate. I also have great respect for, and friendships with, OBA members and candidates, although I do not feel that the OBA represents my personal beliefs either.
Furthermore, my experience with party politics has convinced me that, while political parties have – and will continue to have – an important role in our political process, they also reduce diversity in our politics in terms of ideas and voices, and that the concepts of the ‘party line’ and ‘parliamentary whips’ also have a negative effect on our politics, and society as a whole.
We need to develop a new politics for the 21st century, one based on plurality of ideas and voices, mutual respect for others, and a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice. I feel I can best do this as an Independent.
Q: I don’t see anything yet about allowing students studying overseas to vote in elections. Do you have a position on this?