The following OpEd was released today by Geoffrey Faiella, the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Devonshire East (Constituency 11)…

I’ve been a named candidate representing the OBA now for about a month, and perhaps the most uplifting experience I’ve had so far was a woman who called me out of the blue on my cell phone as I was doing the family shop on a rainy Sunday a few weeks back.

“I just want you to know that we are all praying for you,” she said down the phone among other words of encouragement. That anyone would bother saying a prayer for me, much less a stranger, was humbling and brought home to me the responsibility I’ve taken on by throwing my hat into the ring of Bermuda Politics.

This woman has helped me remember that out there among the many naysayers and defeatists who call into the radio shows and post on the news blogs, there are those who still hope for a future Bermuda that is prosperous and full of opportunity, and a government that wants to do right by the people and not just exploit their emotions to maintain political power.

I don’t blame the naysayers for their feelings. Look at what they see! Delayed plans and broken deadlines. Problematic audit findings and persistent whisperings of conflicts of interest and inappropriate conduct. Boarded up buildings in the heart of the capital. A 30 hour wait to receive medical care. Roads falling apart and airlines dropping us from their schedules.

We all see it with the growing diaspora of Bermudians moving to Canada, the UK and other places abroad for more affordable standards of living. I know I feel it at the grocery store where a couple of chicken breasts cost $27 and a carton of milk costs $7. Not to mention our public debt situation.

And all with 30-6 majority in the only place on this island where meaningful change can be made.

No, I don’t blame the naysayers out there, who have simply given up on any hope that Bermuda can expect anything else but self-serving politicians only looking for a ride on the gravy train with little care for the future generations that will suffer because of their ineptitude and short-sightedness.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. We don’t have to keep putting up with the lies and unkept promises. We do have an alternative – the One Bermuda Alliance.

I’ll be honest with you. After that last election, I think it’s safe to say that the OBA found itself well and truly wandering in the wilderness. Unfortunately, now so does the rest of the island. But the good Lord knows that sometimes that is exactly what is needed to find the true path to leadership.

As you have seen and will continue to see, the OBA will put forward candidates that are true leaders in the community. We are a diverse group of problem solvers, with actionable solutions that can bring the island back to prosperity. We are committed to our constituents. Perhaps most importantly, we are all on the same page: something needs to change.

This is the choice in front you: more of the same arrogant PLP mismanagement full of empty promises and squandering taxpayer money, or a group of leaders humbled by the people, committed to the interests of our constituents and the public, and ready to solve the problems we face together.

I believe leadership means being judged by results, not plans or promises. I know that lady praying for me as I wandered around the supermarket that rainy Sunday, wincing at price tags and justifying what to put in my basket, is going to do just that. She deserves those results, and so do the rest of us.

There are those out there who still hope for a future on this island, and they recognize – and I am reminding you – that there is still one final way you can exercise your voice and really give your MPs a thumbs up or a thumbs down: Vote.

Your vote at the next general election will matter. It means the difference between a divided nation sinking beneath the weight of its financial burdens and no vision for its recovery, or a community come together to weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.

Geoffrey Faiella is the One Bermuda Alliance candidate for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can contact him on 294-3211 or email him at