Manageable? Michael Bloomberg was mayor of a city of 8 million — surely a mayor could run Bermuda, Inc.? *AFP photo
Manageable? Michael Bloomberg was mayor of a city of 8 million — surely a mayor could run Bermuda, Inc.? *AFP photo

During all the allegations and counter allegations, the anger and the accusations coming from the House of Assembly recently, I suggested ditching all the politicians and replacing them with a Mayor of Bermuda.

I am not advocating any particular position, I am posing a question: Could it work?

With a population of around 65,000, is there a need for a Cabinet, a shadow Cabinet and a total of 36 MPs?

In effect, the Mayor would be the CEO of Bermuda and would appoint people to key posts such as education, finance and health. Crime would be the remit of an elected Police Commissioner and law, the remit of an elected Attorney General. They could all run on a joint ticket. It may be possible, this way, to run Bermuda with fewer than ten people (a Mayor-appointed CEO of the tourism authority would be another appointment).

There would be fixed-term elections for the posts of Mayor, Police Commissioner and AG and meetings, by law, would be open to the press and public to help ensure transparency and accountability.

Theoretically, I guess, decisions could be made more quickly and the whole system be streamlined to favour efficiency. Because Bermuda is so small, the Mayor could effectively run Bermuda, Inc.

It will not stop the politics of pleasing as elected officials tend to want to hang on to their jobs, but it may help stop some of the rancour we have seen recently and it may speed up the painfully slow bureaucratic process.

It would not stop party politics as both parties could put up their candidates for election, but it could also open up the field to more candidates, giving the electorate much greater choice.

Parish councils would have to step up to deal with ultra-local issues and there would be a need to scrap both corporations with the Mayor appointing a ‘Tsar’ to have oversight for both places.

In theory, at least, it sounds like it could work. In practice, would Bermudians want it and would political parties back it?
 

What do you think? Email jdeacon@northrock.bm or tweet with him @jeremydeacon1
Bermuda Blue can be read at http://jeremydeacon.wordpress.com