So Dr Ewart Brown has been voted the most effective Premier over the past ten years.

I am not in the least surprised.
The story says: “Those polled and showed their support for Dr Brown, said he was “productive” and “got the job done”, that he was a “strong, confident, effective leader,” and had a “caring attitude to Bermuda and its people”.”
I would like to have known what the question was, because it is extremely subjective, however, as I said, the result does not surprise me.
Why? People like a strong person in a position of power, they don’t like to see a ditherer. They may not like them personally, or like their politics, they may actually be divisive, but they have to have some admiration for them as a person who has a strong personality, who is driven to get things done, who leads. I was no fan of Dr Brown (I was at the Gazette at the time….) but I would never play chess against him. I knew he would always be five or six steps ahead of me. I kind of admired that.

Former Premier Ewart Brown
Former Premier Ewart Brown

I felt the same way about Margaret Thatcher. She was responsible for me joining the Young Labour Party, but something inside me always respected her as a leader. Like it or not, she got things done.
The question that is obvious from this, is: why the incumbent Premier, who has been there for less than 18 months, polls so badly. He polls less that Alex Scott, Dame Jennifer Smith and Paula Cox, the latter whose use of the word ‘cog’, when she was finance minister and the public purse strings were stretched like never before, stuck with her like the proverbial millstone.
That is a worrying sign and his handlers need to look at this and ask why. As I have already stated, people like strong leaders, they like personalities. Basically they like being led.
Political parties like to have strong, charismatic, leaders as they know that is what the electorate likes. It can get them a long way and mask some of the less popular policies.
His people will say it is not a popularity contest and he is there to do a job. But that is not how the electorate will see it and polling just five percent will not get the OBA very far.
PS, it has been pointed out to me that Dame Jennifer Smith was the Premier more than ten years ago. Cedibility anyone?

9 thoughts on “Losing the popularity contest

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  1. This is a somewhat strange poll (is this really the most pressing question facing Bermuda right now?) and it would be good to know what the exact question was. Effective, of course, is not necessarily positive either. It’s also flawed in that Jennifer Smith stopped being Premier more than ten years ago. Having said all of that, five percent for Craig Cannonier is pretty worrying for the OBA and being beaten by Paula Cox in particular is very poor.

    1. Agreed. Knowing the question would be good, as I said it is very subjective as well. But whatever the question, to poll only five percent should be very worrying for the OBA.

  2. I think you need to add more choices to vote for. Why limit it to those three?

    You should add Marc Bean, and also Paula Cox, Alex Scott, Jennifer Smith, Pamela Gordon and David Saul.

    I don’t think I’d vote for any of the three you give me an option to vote for. Dr Brown by default I guess.

    Dr Brown was one of the best leader’s we’ve had in terms of charisma and efficiency. But he could’ve been much better – I think he got bogged down and got some bad advice too, which led to some errors not being corrected.

      1. Well, you do state that in the UK you were a member of the Young Labour Party, which would indicate you are a labour supporter.

        However, rightly or wrongly, to many people in Bermuda your association with the RG, especially the control you had on editorial policy (particularly editorials and LTTE), renders you ‘right-wing’ or, at least, anti-labour, in the Bermudian context.

        Now, whether that’s a correct analysis or not, it is the case in terms of ‘optics’ for many. That may speak more to the two-party tribal split here and its related lack of nuance and racial overtones, but it’s still how it’s seen.

      2. Interesting. I had oversight over LLTE and Editorials for six month….. I even supported the unions in editorials! Ah wel, perception is a person’s reality, can’t do much to change it

  3. The RG is overly tainted; whether you had editorial power for six months or six years, such is perception.

    As for the PR question, the Opposition is doing its job and doing it well. The Government, either through crap PR advice or arrogance, is alienating or failing to communicate.

    Add to that, no one doubted that Dr Brown was the Leader of the PLP and the Premier, not simply in name. The same cannot be said for Mr Cannonier, who’s increasingly seen as little more than a front-man, a manufactured ‘leader’ for PR and cynical electoral purposes. He’s OBA and Premier Leader in name only – I think more and more people are seeing through the facade.

    As such, who you gonna respect more? The mirage conjured for electoral manipulation, or the admittedly flawed but authentic person of substance?

    As much as Dr Brown and I disagreed on ideological, strategic and tactical issues, I respect and respected him and maintained he could’ve been a much greater leader of the Party and the country. Mr Cannonier may well be a nice person to interact briefly with, but the more interaction one has with him the less respect one tends to have for him.

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