We're quite busy with far more important things, but let's take a quick moment to review the UBP/BDA merger situation.
People seem to think that if an election were held tomorrow, the BDA and the UBP would split the opposition vote like happened in the last by-election. It is our belief that this wouldn't be the case, instead the BDA would fall to a distant third and the UBP would have the potential to be a strong contender for leadership.
Let's examine what we know:
- The BDA came in at a close 3rd in the last by-election with one of their strongest candidates vs. one of the UBP's weakest.
- People generally speaking are not terribly impressed with any of our current parties.
- The BDA, despite much rhetoric, have failed to clearly distinguish themselves as different from our incumbent parties.
- The BDA is conceeding defeat by suggesting that the only answer is to join with the UBP to create a new entity following rather arrogant boasting that the UBP is dead and should fold.
- The UBP has a strong track record of managing the economy in a time when many are fearful for their livelihoods.
- Given a lack of compelling options, people will either not turn out or will vote for the lesser of 3 evils with the most chance of winning.
The opposition vote in an upcoming election will not be split between the BDA and the UBP, the BDA will lose the majority of their support much like they have in the polls. The reason being that given the choice, opposition voters who genuinely hope to see a real change in government rather than deckchair rearranging will vote for whoever is more likely to win.
The UBP proved that despite a poor candidate and a great deal more effort by the BDA that they are still second rather than third place finishers. People will look at their options and choose to support the UBP out of necessity because the BDA have not shown that they can win.
This is the crux of the two party system, the third party is destined to remain irrelevant unless either one of the two dominant parties screw up on such an immense level that we have not yet seen or make such a compelling case as to woo enough support on the basis that things won't change if they don't win.
The BDA sadly does not have much of a leg to stand on. Unfortunately, if the UBP can at minimum get candidates for every seat they will hold a solid chance of contesting the next election without the reform they so desperately need to make for a solid government should they actually win.