Much has been written and spoken recently about the possibility of a third political party in Bermuda, possibly led by Terry Lister.
I doubt it will actually get a foothold – history tends to suggest that will be the case in Bermuda where party political allegiance seems to be very strong.
Would it be good for democracy? By providing another outlet for voters, undoubtedly. Would it be good for parliament right now? No, I don’t think so.
If we saw MPs crossing the floor there would be a real danger of a hung parliament – the OBA only has a majority of one – or another general election. It would not take much for the OBA to lose a vote of no confidence.
Would a third party get any traction at a general election? I doubt it, but if it did, it would inevitably lead to another hung parliament (where no one party has an overall majority) or a coalition Government.
I am amazed that the UK Tory/Liberal pact has stayed intact for so long – although there have been a lot of damaging splits on policy between the two parties and I am sure the Tories have had to concede ground on many of their policies in order to stop a LibDem revolt.
What is interesting is that this is even being talked about so soon into the OBA’s term of office (15 months?). Mr Lister is ex-PLP, but if the rumours are to be believed he has support from his former party – and the OBA.
I can understand some support from within the PLP – they must be going through some self-examination after losing the last election after so long in power and I can understand if there is some falling out over the party’s future direction.
But it should be of concern to the party’s hierarchy that OBA supporters are reported to be interested in joining a new party just over 15 months after coming to power.