Rumours of voter fraud

November 14th, 2012 by De Onion

No idea how much of these are just election time nonsense, but nonetheless it’s a very serious concern.

I’m now hearing rumours that people are being registered to vote at friends’ houses in marginal constituencies and other instances of potential voter fraud. It’s almost certainly small-scale, but with some constituencies likely to be decided by a handful of votes every little bit counts.

Dishonest Election begins

November 6th, 2012 by De Onion

Well, the PLP’s ads have started to appear everywhere.

365 day a year tourist

November 3rd, 2012 by De Onion

Bermuda’s economy has undergone a shift that few seem to recognise: The rise of global business has spawned the 365 day a year tourist who lives in a Bermudian owned hotel. That “hotel” is actually a rental house or apartment.

We would do well as a nation to rubber stamp foreign exchange generating work permits in exempt companies and seek to build large “hotels” in Hamilton to house these people. With the right policies it can be done, and will cement Bermuda’s place as a global business centre.

Well, that settles it.

November 2nd, 2012 by De Onion

It seems that Junior Finance Minister David Burt has said:

Looking forward, Senator David Burt has, remarkably, stated that there will be no reduction in Government spending for the next three years.

We can only conclude that the PLP intends to bankrupt Bermuda. 3 more years without a spending cut would mean roughly a billion dollars of new debt by the end of 2015, which would in turn imply the Bermuda government having less revenue after debt service than it did in 2005 – and between 2005 and 2014 prices will have risen roughly 30%. After inflation the real value of the government’s after-debt cashflow could be under $600 million. That’s about what the government spends on staff at present, so if it wants to borrow more and not cut jobs then it’ll have to cancel the electricity, stop ALL social programmes, and not even send Ministers on fancy holidays.

While your assumptions may lead to slightly different numbers – the outcomes are the all the same. Deep cuts are inevitable – and the longer government waits the deeper they will be. As soon as the lenders stop lending the cuts will come.

As Alan Card said “He was underwater and he had his arms wrapped round the fish and the fish was pushing him under… (and) I knew there was no good going to come out of it.“

How Close to Going Greek?

November 2nd, 2012 by De Onion

The recession will continue without radical change.

Assuming Bermuda keeps its $5.5 billion in real GDP this year (unlikely) the government deficit could easy end up at over $300 million (~1.2 billion spending, ~870 million revenue). That $300 million gap will have to be closed in the very short term through spending cuts – and depending on the multiplier one uses it will inevitably pull another ~5% off the GDP. That GDP loss will be concentrated virtually entirely in the civil service and government contractors.

If that happens swiftly because Bermuda loses access to financing then the fallout will be catastrophic – especially to the PLP’s electoral chances if they form the government after this election.