The following statement was released by Deputy Party Co-Chairman of the One Bermuda Alliance Joseph Marable, who is also the OBA adopted candidate for Constituency 6, Hamilton West

Senator Simmons’ recent article criticising the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA) paints a concerning picture of the party’s policies. However, a closer examination reveals inconsistencies and misrepresentations that warrant a more nuanced perspective.

Firstly, Senator Simmons claims the OBA’s promise to reduce government spending will lead to inevitable job cuts and service reductions. While government spending undeniably plays a role in public sector employment, it’s crucial to acknowledge the broader context. The OBA’s proposed spending reductions are primarily targeted at administrative inefficiencies and wasteful spending, not frontline services. Studies by the Bermuda Government Accountability Office consistently highlight areas where streamlining operations and reducing bureaucracy can optimize resource allocation without compromising service quality.

Secondly, Senator Simmons criticises the OBA’s immigration policy, suggesting it grants foreign workers excessive rights. This claim simplifies a complex issue. The OBA’s immigration proposals focus on attracting skilled professionals and entrepreneurs to Bermuda’s workforce. Granting such individuals clearly defined rights and streamlined pathways to full rights incentivizes them to contribute to Bermuda’s long-term economic growth.

Furthermore, Senator Simmons’ characterisation of the OBA as “disregarding the interests of Bermudians” is unsubstantiated. The OBA explicitly emphasises policies aimed at improving Bermudians’ quality of life, including investments in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. The party’s focus on economic development, attracting foreign investment, and fostering entrepreneurship ultimately aims to create a more prosperous Bermuda that benefits all residents.

The OBA’s spending reduction plans must be implemented with transparency and accountability to ensure they do not disproportionately impact vulnerable communities. Similarly, the party’s immigration policy needs careful calibration to ensure foreign worker recruitment complements, rather than displaces, Bermudian employment opportunities.

However, constructive criticism necessitates a fair and balanced assessment. Senator Simmons’ article, while presenting some valid concerns, ultimately resorts to generalizations and misrepresentations that obscure the OBA’s developed policy stances, which address complex, nuanced problems. Engaging in good-faith debate that acknowledges the complexities of Bermuda’s challenges and proposes alternative solutions would serve the electorate far better than resorting to worn-out inflammatory rhetoric.

In conclusion, Senator Simmons’ critique of the OBA, while raising some points, warrants a mature, comprehensive and balanced analysis. Bermudians deserve a political discourse grounded in facts rather than inflammatory rhetoric. Only through such an approach can we engage in meaningful dialogue that fosters informed decision-making for Bermuda’s future.