While I’ve made it quite clear that in my belief the best thing for Bermuda’s future would be for the UBP to disband into independents there are likely still things I believe the UBP could do to salvage itself. Besides, there are many PLP supporters out there who are now rooting for a maintained weak opposition that can keep their own party unaccountable and we certainly can’t disappoint them.
The UBP needs to pursue the fundamental change that the community has been calling for. No, not a name change and definitely not more token puppets. Number one the UBP needs to be the change it talks about. Number two the UBP needs to stop hiring clueless consultants.
At its core people have an issue with trust and the suggestion that blacks are pushed to the forefront as puppets is a huge issue of contention for people. Why would it make any sense to hire and listen to people who would produce a report suggesting that you need to get more puppets, the exact thing people don’t trust you for?
[Senator Dunkley] admits the party had employed tokenism in the past, and the UBP has long faced allegations of fielding black candidates and hiding the fact the string-pullers behind the scenes are white.
This label refuses to go away, and a review by consultants carried out after the election defeat was published this week on ZBM, in which advisers told the party they needed more "black surrogates". (via the RG)
Here’s a suggestion: solve this problem. How do you do so? By doing the very thing you’ve been saying the government needs to do more of: being transparent. The UBP needs to make itself as open as possible. It needs to make candidate and party executive selection as open and transparent as possible. It needs to make meetings as transparent as possible. It should be the people who choose the candidates and party executives and it should be made obvious by making it an open election process that chooses the best candidates based on numerous factors. Anything that clearly shows the people chose these candidates and not some clique of white powerbrokers will improve things.
Want to counter ‘puppet’ ads? Create an ad where the individuals in question come out to claim “I’m a puppet” only to zoom the camera out to show a wide range of their constituents and suggest “and it’s my constituents who pull my strings” depicting constituents pulling strings attached to the chosen representative. Creatively target this negative stigma and fight it. Earn the people’s trust by making it clear that a white clique aren’t the ones behind the scenes pulling strings and you’re truly there serving the community.
The biggest problem the UBP has is that few trust them. Few trust the PLP either it is just that we trust the UBP less. The PLP once talked about good governance and all the great things they were going to do when they finally made it to power and once they did, whoops, all of that disappeared. Thus, why would anyone trust the UBP saying the same things? What happens when you’re elected? What stops you from up and deciding that maybe good governance is about as important as the PLP thinks it is. The UBP needs to be the change it preaches.
Be the change. If the UBP wants to talk about good governance, transparency and decency then it has to do more than preach about how things could be. The UBP needs to take a hard look at the change it wants to see in government and make that change happen within itself. It needs to make absolutely everything it possibly can transparent and open to the public. It needs to prove that the public can have more of a say by giving the public more of a say. It needs to be more democratic, it needs to embrace direct democratic processes and empower the people. It needs to regain the trust of the people. It needs to be the change so people can see the change before we can accept that the UBP is the kind of change we’ve been waiting for.
Be the change. That or disband into independents. Your choice. (I vote independents)