Congratulations Craig Cannonier on being elected as the soon to be leader of the opposition. Now what?
Mr. Cannonier needs to show the people that there is action behind his big words. He needs to deliver on his claims that he can bring new people into the OBA. He needs to deliver on bringing something new and different to local politics. Can he deliver on the claims that OBA will be something very different from the UBP it evolved from? Can he show he’s more than just talk. Mr. Cannonier needs to get his message out there, ensure it’s heard and attract those who can help him achieve it.
Mr. Cannonier is still a relative unknown and this can work either for or against him. In his media coverage he’s shown he likes to talk big but hasn’t shown he can deliver when push come to shove. He needs to change this. He’s claiming that he’s the broom to sweep new faces from the sidelines into the party. He failed to bring in significant numbers when he led the BDA so what is he going to be doing differently as leader of the OBA? A great first step would be leading by example by instituting direct democratic reforms within the party to restore confidence in our leaders. If giving the people a say in the leadership of the party doubled membership then what kind of impact would giving people a say in far more issues have?
Mr. Cannonier need to work on reigning in his abundance of confidence and focusing on delivering on his claims and promises. Some still remember his claims that the UBP should “switch off the lights”, that the UBP cannot succeed, that the BDA is the "most vibrant political movement this Country has seen in recent history" and that "The Alliance is ready to assume the role of the official Opposition of this Country". These were big claims, claims to which he then led the BDA into a by election in which they attained less votes than the UBP. Mr. Cannonier failed to deliver and needs to do what he can to sidestep this in the future. We’ve certainly had enough of leadership who are big on talk and short on action, especially when most action was achieved by throwing money at the problem.
Mr. Cannonier remains a relative unknown and needs to up his political profile. The OBA shouldn’t be relying on media outlets to do their PR work if they can manage otherwise. The OBA should take every opportunity they can to publish every political word spoken by Mr. Cannonier up on their website and promote him as much as possible. If he’s to be the face of a new opposition they need to ensure his face is everywhere and the first place to start is their website. Beyond relying on Bernews to record their speeches, the OBA should be recording and publishing as much as they can on their own. Their website needs to be a hive of activity with new content posted any and every time there is new content made. Similarly with twitter and facebook. People thrive on consuming new content and a good way to rope them in looking for more is to regularly provide new content.
So where does the OBA go from here? Show their leader can deliver, chart a new course in local politics that involves the people, reign in the undeliverable rhetoric and do more to get their message out there (and not by robocall!)