Perhaps unknowingly, the United Bermuda Party is promising the greatest possible tool for the people to ensure responsible governance, the power for the people to call an election at any time. This has incredible implications as it means the politicians will face an ongoing risk of being removed from power.
Hidden near the end of the UBP’s Agenda for Change is a section on good governance which contains the following line:
Give people the right to initiate a referendum on any issue of national importance, such as independence, where 20% of registered voters request a national vote by way of a petition.
Give the people to initiate a vote on any issue of national importance by way of a petition. Though they are not playing it up and likely should be, one issue of national importance could well be that our leadership is not living up to their promises, we don’t want to wait for the next fixed election date and have decided to petition for an election to be called.
The true power of this isn’t just the ability to call an election, it’s the ability to hold the threat of an election at any time over the heads of both our leadership and the opposition. This means that rather than the lacklustre approach to leadership we’ve witnessed in the past, where leaders only care about the people during election time, politicians will always have to bring their A-game because the power of calling an election would no longer lie in the hands of the Premier, instead lying in the hands of the people.
It’s the greatest possible power that the people could wield, one that could guarantee true accountability and responsible governance from our leadership.