Disenfranchising voters

Unfortunately, the ProgressiveMinds website has devolved into a prattle of incoherentness, for lack of a better phrase. When it was launched I was pleasantly surprised, and was eager to see what the other side of the coin presented in the blogosphere when you consider that politics.bm, Limey and Imho.bm tended to lean towards the UBP party in support.

It's true that the UBP still has failed to initiate a blog,while the PLP has its mainstream blog plus ProgMinds. The PLP has clearly out-ran the UBP when it comes to promoting itself in the online world. Even in the Facebook community the PLP was there well-ahead of its biggest rival.

However, one particular contributor's acts of beating up on any opposing voices with racial slurs in large quantity without much visible action taken by administrators to cease the activity has made it a bit of a farce. I don't think it's the correct line when the group is trying to appeal to the unaffiliated, undecided and independents out there who browse the site. I visit the site daily but frankly I'm discouraged by the discourse and wouldn't recommend it to others as I once did.

Perhaps they need to be more stringent on who's allowed to post so that their messages get across, untampered with by dissidents, and allow for those with conflicting views to go elsewhere for debate without sullying the actual party.

Right now, I don't care about the BHC thing, unfortunately, thanks to all the political huffing and puffing on what's more important. I'm not even concerned about the situation with Southlands and the building of hotel complexes (maybe they'll turn out to be condos/villas anyway). I'm a bit more concerned that the newspapers and free TV providers are getting blitzed, but even then...

These days we've seen a few campaigns encouraging Bermudians to ensure they're registered to vote in the next election but I wonder if all this vitriol spewing all over the place is really going to encourage the youth, who may already feel disenchanted, to sign up when they already feel like there's no point.

Day, month, year

I think Bermudians are totally confused by the correct method of displaying dates in written (and spoken) form. Until we get it uniform, what hope do we have of our youth knowing what's correct?

Immigration Form: M/D/Y (the Customs Form uses the correct notation)
Bank of Bermuda clock ticker, and some forms: M/D/Y
Royal Gazette (how "Royal" can they be?): M/D/Y

Until specified otherwise, we're under Britain and we should use British (and European) notation accordingly.

Yes, I've found something else to get anal over.


Always focus when on the road

Booked: myself.

Yesterday I was exiting the driveway from my house onto the main lane (not the main road) which as is the case for many of us, a single-lane road. I reach a gap and there's a car there about to enter the lane. I stop to let him through but he declines. I eventually continue, and as I take the slight bend around the road I look in my rearview window to see if that driver continued on the road.


Just as I round the bend there's this red car driven by an older fellow. Fortunately I was able to brake before colliding. I round him and pull up to him as he waves me down. Rightly so, he gives me a stern but not unkind lecture about going too fast around the bend. In retrospect I was indeed going quickly around a bend that's a bit of a bad corner with a large hedge blocking much of what's potentially approaching. Combined with me not focusing ahead and the fact that the sun was low in the sky, it's probably quite fortunate that I didn't wind up splattered on the hood. I likely would have had some mild to serious injuries if things had gone a little differently. Sheepishly, I acknowledged the comments he gave to me and then moved on, very annoyed at myself for getting into such a bad situation that could have been easily avoided.

It really does go to show that when on the road, you have to be prepared and alert at all times, not just when on the main roads, but also while on smaller lanes. Lose your focus for even a second and you could be in danger.


The ISL, it's faaaantastic

So Thursday I attended my first ISL match at the National Stadium. It was going to be interesting to see how the on-field product was, after reading how certain coaches slammed the public for low attendance earlier.

Perhaps the cry-out did some good, as there were probably at least 300+ in attendance, over double what was reported in the newspapers. The organisers appeared to have put in a lot of work making attending the game a fun experience. There were plenty of fan giveaways, there were DJs in the broadcast booth pumping music to keep the crowd livened up, although I think the volume was a bit too high during actual game-play. An assortment of ball-kids was around to keep the game flowing although I think that a few of the kids were too bored at times to focus on when they neded to deliver the replacement balls.

The game itself was very entertaining and I think that Commissioner David Bascome had a formula to get non-soccer fans interested in the game as it features opportunities for quick goals and fast action. Game play itself was about as expected; probably on par with regular BFA matches in terms of quality. The game was heated and I think the officials tasted probably more heat than they ought to have; and there was an injury late in the game that held up proceedings while no less than a dozen persons tried to determine the next course of action for the injured athlete.

When all's said and done, I give kudos to the ISL and would encourage people to give it a whirl. Ticket prices are reasonable for the inaugural season and I'm sure that I for one will be going to a future match.


Why E-Moo does nothing for regular joes

A long time ago I signed up for the E-Moo service, to send me reports on available properties for rent. Fair enough.

However it's truly a waste of time. I'm grossing around $53K a year, so what's the point in having these properties' details sent to me when the lowest price I've ever spotted was $2,200-a-month for a one-bed? They need to have a regular-folks version of E-Moo, but that's not going to happen. So to free up time I'm unsubscribing. The sellers will no doubt get their buyers, however.

In less depressing news, it turns out that Bermuda Broadcasting, you know, that network without a website, is off-the-air due to a workers' strike. Perfect timing after they along with the other media outlets, had to deal with drama relating to the BHC situation. Well, there goes my last excuse not to subscribe to cable TV. I wonder if Government provides subsidies to broadcast media anyway?


Facebook and Politics

I got dragged into joining the Facebook community a couple of weeks ago. I was impressed with how quickly I was able to use it to locate friends from way-back-when... heck even back to primary school days (and I apologize for not remembering all my primary school buddies).

Within a matter of weeks, Bermudians across the land have signed up, joining the many college students and the like already registered.

One thing that certainly struck a chord, was firstly the formation of groups to support the two key political parties in Bermuda, including the appearance of party leaders Premier Brown and later his opponent Michael Dunkley, and then the quick flocking to either side by registered people.

What this tells me is that the political parties here are recognizing alternative venues to get their messages across, particularly the oft-neglected youth base which is internet-savvy and full of ideas and opinions. Kudos ought to go to them for reaching out.

There's a great discussion on the PLP Facebook group concerning voting by individual versus by party that I hadn't seen even in the blogosphere, for example. For the record, I idealistically prefer voting by the person, but recognize that in the age of single-seat constituencies and the limits of the Westminster system in a small place like Bermuda, that it will tend to be a vote for the party (and by extension the party leader), that is dominant. Woe be to the fledgling ABC (which has a website but I can't even find it on google to post a link... shame).

Some of my friends have joined the PLP group, others have joined the UBP group. Yes, the split is along racial lines, but then again I'm not even sure of the difference in idealogies between the two big guns, anyway. More later, I suppose.


Scandals, corruption and the rumour

Well, in Bermuda the big news is this leaking of reports which has been the subject of discussion across the island and unsurprisingly has garnered polarising opinions across the board. One thing for sure, the word's not dying down thanks to alternative outlets on the Web. I know little of it myself but have followed the local blogs and forums and await the results of whatever comes out of it.

Also happening here: one of the Island Soccer League coaches has slammed the population for not coming out to support the league in its inagural season. I'm thinking, you can't expect people to suddenly support a sport which has taken a lot of flack in recent years. Give it time. Berating us isn't going to help one bit. Give it time. In the meantime, encourage the TV newsmedia to create a feature on some ISL action. See if VybezAlliance or IslandStats.com could have a streaming video of some match play with commentary.

Meanwhile, another teachers' wildcat strike, just in time for end-of-term exams. And seriously, this is why some of us find it difficult to back the teachers. What's up with these wildcat strikes and sick-outs and work-to-rule situations anyway? What happened to announcing strikes and allowing for things to be resolved at the negotiation table? It's like the union chiefs are trying to make sure that regardless, the workers will get a paid day off anyway. Crap.