Al Seymour

Preparing for the morning after

  • Remarkable act of co-operation: people formed a line holding hands to rescue troubled swimmers

General elections are supposed to be the healthy way for people to choose who they feel most suited to be in a leadership role in dealing with the people’s business. The process can be quite challenging when two groups vying for that honour embark upon a campaign to capture as much attention as possible to hopefully win favour from most of the electorate.

At the outcome of any election in a democracy, there are always those who celebrate victory and those who feel disappointed in falling short in chalking up enough votes to take on the responsibility of governing.

In the lead-up to any election, candidates usually make strong promises about the future and what changes will take place once in office. That is perfectly understandable, as each group presses home its claim of having the best programmes in place to move Bermuda forward.

Many seasoned voters on the island are no strangers to such tactics, and the real challenge for voters is to weigh carefully what each side is saying and attempt to determine what seems feasible from what could be an orchestrated pitch to gain support. That, we know, is a part of the process.

The event is also an emotional affair, especially when there are supporters from the One Bermuda Alliance government and the opposition Progressive Labour Party who are so entrenched in unwavering support that some view victory or defeat as critical for how we choose to move forward.

Lost in the heat of political election fever is our problems being bigger than both groups put together. In other words, when the sun rises for Bermuda on Wednesday, irrespective of what the electorate has decided, there will be so much work ahead that there will be hardly room for celebration or time to reflect on an election loss.

What is most important is that Bermudians from all walks of life calmly take stock of where we are as a people, and collectively pledge to do everything possible to make our communities safer and stronger.

Bermuda has toiled through many years of great challenge in trying to get us to this new day of diversity, and as long as we are able to keep our focus on improving education standards, preserving important family values and striving to raise standards for better healthcare, especially for our seniors, our island will continue to be moving in the right direction.

There are a number of issues many Bermudians are concerned about that will not be solved overnight by any government. Too often we hear the cry for more money for this or that project, and while there is merit for such calls in some areas, more focus is needed on our core values, such as respect for one another, which should start from the cradle. That means a requirement for greater emphasis to be placed on the family.

Criminal gangs and illegal drug activity remain a dark shadow in much of our community life and every politician knows any solution will involve the entire community. Many countries around the world face these problems on a far larger scale. We must take advantage of our limited population to tackle some of these problems as Bermudians who still believe that brighter days are ahead. However, any key to success will depend on how willing we are to work together.

On that note, it seems appropriate to reflect on a dramatic rescue on a beach in America recently. Two children, while swimming, were pulled by currents into deeper water, and as they struggled, others on the beach knew something had to be done. Even those who rushed to their rescue had to be rescued themselves.

What happened was a remarkable act of co-operation from many people on the beach. Without question, they formed a line holding hands from the beach to the troubled swimmers, and managed to get everyone ashore without loss of life.

It was estimated that about 80 people were involved. It was not a question of skin colour or community status. There was no question as to which political group one supported. These people saw a problem and the solution was in tackling it together.

In Bermuda, we should all keep in mind that problems are solved only when we work together. We accept the political reality of our infrastructure, but not the divisiveness that makes it more difficult to solve problems.

Comments are closed on political content from July 4 to 19 to stem the flow of purposefully inflammatory and litigious comments during the General Election cycle. Users who introduce extreme partisan comments into other news content will be banned.