Walter Roban. *Photo supplied
Walter Roban. *Photo supplied

Just one year ago the OBA broke their promise and scrapped term limits.  In the lead up to the 2012 General Election, OBA candidate after OBA candidate claimed that the PLP were lying when we said that that given the chance they would go back on their word.  After the OBA took office, Bermudians were able to see who was telling the truth.

There are those who believe that the PLP had their turn and that we should sit idly by while the OBA breaks promise after promise and OBA MPs are caught in nearly daily scandals and blunders.  There are those who believe that the standards of openness, transparency and accountability only apply when the PLP is in office.  Worst still, there are those who are pushing the belief that the ends justify the means and that no matter the display of dishonesty, incompetence or possible malfeasance it will all be worth it if workers can get a few financial crumbs that fall off the table.

How many of you would have marched on Parliament, lobbied the Foreign Commonwealth Office or called for the intervention of the UK if a PLP Premier had jetted off for a secret meeting with a casino developer?  How many of you would have excused clear and flagrant violations of the Ministerial Code, if it were a PLP Premier who committed the violations?  Yet under the OBA many have not only sat silent, but have tried to excuse, deny or deflect the actions that we have all witnessed.

The OBA's tenure has given us all, regardless of political affiliation, race, religion or country of origin the opportunity to look within ourselves and ask the question, "Do we truly believe in openness, transparency and accountability or is it just a political weapon to be wielded against those with whom we disagree?"

Most of us were raised to believe in being honest, taking responsibility for our actions and keeping our word.  We try and often fail to maintain those values, but know in our heart of hearts the difference between right and wrong and that doing right is the ideal that we should aspire to.

Bermudians are witnessing the advocacy of a leadership that conceals the truth, hides when the going gets tough, ducks the tough questions and make no apologies.  Endorsement of this style of "leadership" combined with a profits over people mindset will shape the views and actions of future generations of Bermudians and will undoubtedly lead to a colder, less humane Bermuda.

Situational ethics and an attitude that says that the ends justify the means might attract more business to our shores.  Such behavior might create more jobs for our people and might put more money in our pockets, but is it truly worth it?

Oscar Wilde once wrote, "Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future." It is not too late for Bermudians to reject deceit, situational ethics and lack of accountability while embracing anew the values of honesty, integrity and accountability.

For just a few moments, I ask that you remove your political blinders and focus on the message and not the messenger.  Bermuda, we are better than this and we are capable of acting better than this.  Let us unite on the basis of shared values, not desperation. Let us unite as our brothers keepers not as one who is dominating and the other is dominated.  Together we can be better than this and Bermuda will be better for all of us.