In what has shaped up as one of the more intriguing such events in recent times, this year’s Progressive Labour Party (PLP) Annual General Conference commenced tomorrow, with members being informed of the ruling party’s accomplishments, current status and agenda for the immediate and foreseeable future.
Much of the build-up to the happening has focused upon former Finance Minster Curtis Dickinson’s challenge of Premier David Burt for the position of party Leader and by extension that of Bermuda’s leadership which appears to have caused degrees of separation within party circles.
While Mr Dickinson has run a campaign based on the need for greater political transparency, along with improved fiscal prudence in shaping and ensuring a progressive economic recovery toward greater prosperity, Mr Burt has sought to remind his base of his success in restoring the PLP to power, guiding the country through the Covid-19 pandemic and commencing an ongoing economic recovery.
Mr Burt has also not spared thrusting more than a few barbs at his opponent, questioning his connection to the grass-roots supporters, based on his extensive time spent on Wall Street, far from his humble origins.
And, even as he has demonstrated great comfort and assimilation among the basic level, not so much mentioned by the Premier have been his own corporate indoctrination, familiarity and favour offered, which stands as a requirement for any leader of a country that has international business as a core economic pillar.
Even as the majority comments, commentators and polls carried by mainstream and social media have favoured of change at the head of the PLP, the sense emerging from those aware of the inner workings of the organisation is that Mr Burt will win … and the result will not be a close one.
“Too many owe their positions to Burt,” said a party source. “He’s feathered the beds for moments like this.
“Who wants to give that all up for and Dickinson, who will likely not be so giving, because he understands the need to reduce spending, increase revenues and pay down on our debt.”
The Premier’s most recent and potential hammer blow to Dickinson was the weekend revelation that the $376 million deal to revamp the landmark Fairmont Southampton Princess had been signed, inferring great potential for enhanced employment and revenue producing opportunities for Bermudians.
Meanwhile, largely forgotten has been the race for Deputy Leader between challenger Renee Ming and incumbent Walter Roban, Minister of Home Affairs.
The former Minister of National Security, while being lauded in her effort by many particularly those of feminist leanings stands as a long-shot against Roban, who has been careful in manner of parading in Mr Burt’s shadow, while seeking to not ‘rock the boat’.
The voting for the two top positions is scheduled to take place on Thursday.
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