Before this morning, I would have generally concurred with my friend Tom Vesey's analysis in Friday's Bermuda Sun, where he suggested that the Premier call an election soon while the going is good...or said another way, while we're enjoying a brief respite from the carnage that has characterised the overwhelming majority of his (and his predecessor's) term.
There's no denying the smell of election spirit in the air, with the Premier himself hinting at the topic in a recent public meeting. Then you've got Ewart Brown's fawning puff piece (aka positioning for Premier) in last week's Royal Gazette, in addition to a number of started (and long overdue) but yet to fall apart projects, and you can see why the idea of an election sooner rather than later might be appealing.
So I couldn't help but notice the irony when reading and hearing the news this morning. To put it in context let me just pull a brief quote from Tom's article;
"There even seems to be a lull in spectacular, front-page violent crime.
"There are no major internal political battles for the PLP right now, at least none that I know of. The competent cabinet ministers are going about their jobs; the incompetent ones haven’t publicly embarrassed the Premier lately."
Scratch those two off the list already -- 72 hours later.
You've got a triple shooting on Court St., next door to PLP Headquarters, and disgraced former Health Minister Nelson Bascome ranting a little in today's Gazette about the continued existence of the post-2003 compromise cabinet:
"I look at it lightly. I can't take it seriously because I know it is a compromise cabinet. It is!"
"Then the compromise was with the dissidents. Now I would think the leader would say 'I am going to mould my Cabinet'. What is he doing? I think we have to move ahead. I don't think Bermudians are dumb or naive. You can only keep up a charade up for so long."
Maybe the window is already closing?
I would however say that there the lack of movement on one initiative will almost certainly prevent the calling of a snap election. That initiative would be MP pay-raises.
I find it highly unlikely that the Premier will call an election until he has secured pay-raises for himself and his colleagues. Not for the reason you might think. The pay raises are in fact pension raises -- compensation which he'll collect win or lose the next election.
I'd also find it highly unlikely that an election will be called hard-on the heels of MP pay-raises, as there will surely be a fair amount of grumbling.
I'm not saying a snap election won't happen. In politics you never know and must always be prepared.
The odds however are against it in my opinion.