This tenth universal suffrage election is different from all nine previous universal suffrage elections. I see three primary differences.

First - On December 18 2007, there'll be no real "boogeymen" running around still actually scaring people into believing that tourists will stop coming and international business will leave IF...

Those "boogeymen" died around 11pm on November 9, 1998 and their bodies have rotted away. Since 1998, Bermuda has had sustained new growth in international business. Stand and look around at Hamilton's hugely changed skyscape. You'll see clear evidence of this change and growth. But don't stand still for too long - some bulldozer or new guest worker will trample you.

However, there is a quirk. Through its campaign rhetoric, one party has managed to position itself as a persecuted 'black victim' party. It seems to me an attempt to voodoo up a new 'boogeyman'.

Second difference - On December 18, every voter will know that Bermuda won't come to a grinding halt, and the economy and society won't immediately collapse, if there is either a change of governing party or a change in government leader.

Bermuda had a critically important sunrise on November 10, 1998; went through another sunrise on July 25, 2003; had a leadership squabble, got a new leader and had another sunrise on July 28, 2003; then one more leader change and another sunrise on October 28, 2006. Through it all, one constant. That "lucky ol' sun" just kept "rollin' roun' heaven" all day every day.

In 2007, most intelligent Bermudians are beginning to understand one of the western world's biggest secrets. No matter how many elections are held, no matter how many promises have been made, no matter how much political mud gets stirred and slung; one political party always wins and taxes must still be paid and people must still go to work and the 'gummint' just keeps 'gumminting' on.

The third difference is that the November 9 PLP win and Bermuda's subsequent national life has shown that a new breed of Bermudian does exist. Further, that the old oligarchy has melted right off Bermuda's political power scene - and much of the economic power scene as well. What is left - more correctly - what has risen to replace them and their old excluding style is a new relationship between government and voters. Today's voter is far more aware of his and her power. Today's voter possesses more information, has more knowledge of the workings of government, and - most importantly - has far less fear of far fewer unknowns than ever before.

Over the past nine years, I believe that Bermuda's electorate has grown from a teenybopper trying out new kicks, new tricks, new lipstick and makeup; to a young adult now capable of making, and who can be trusted to make, mature political decisions that will reflect a new maturity and new sense of self.

Backfiring scare tactics

Those old tactics of scare and scatter that worked so well from 1963 to 1998 are now unlikely to work as they once did. Now they might even work in reverse. This new electorate is more discriminating, more thoughtful, more knowledgeable, and far less fearful.

By sunrise December 19, 2007, voters will have made their decisions about the directions and actions that they want taken in education, in housing; in handling the deep social changes being driven by our changed and still changing economy; and in best managing Bermuda's rich but delicately balanced economy. Voters will also make decisions about those matters of ethics and honesty that attract their individual interest or cause them personal concern.

In 2007, every voter knows that on December 19, 2007, that " lucky ol' sun" will simply rise on another new Bermuda day with another set of Bermudian faces newly responsible for ongoing Bermuda government. In this election, despite strong efforts to paint black majority Bermudians as victims in their own society, despite strenuous efforts to conjure up new 'boogeymen', most intelligent people know that 'boogeymen' are not real.

For me, Bermuda's tenth universal suffrage election is the first election where both political parties are on an equal footing. Where reason and common as well as good sense will be at the forefront. Where all of Bermuda's voters are fully aware of their power, their importance, and their responsibilities for ensuring that their real concerns are properly addressed. Where the voter will make his and her own intelligent assessment of the individuals and parties who are offering themselves as the next government.

This election should be Bermuda's first truly free election. This election will likely see Bermuda's "middle ground thinking Voter" flex their 'X'. In this tenth universal suffrage election, I hope the MGT Voter wins.