The negative case

Two months ago I commented that the results from Research Innovations latest independence poll didn't make sense:

"Big swings in undecideds such as this, in a two month period, just don't happen - in either direction - barring some major development to change people's minds. And that hasn't happened."

I was right. The latest poll has things back on track, with the last poll clearly an anomaly, although one that makes me question the methodology and interpretation of the results. The article and pollster should have disclosed that the results were inconsistent and viewed skeptically.

I do however take issue with this idea that Dr. Brown has put Independence on the backburner:

Polls have consistently shown a majority of people against Independence, however, Dr. Brown stated before he was elected that Independence remained a "principal objective".

But he indicated he would be placing the issue on the back burner when he said it would not be an initial focal point of his leadership.

Nonsense. It's squarely on the front burner with the heat on high.

Since Dr. Brown was selected, he has done nothing but stoke the Independence flames.

The new Premier hoped to manufacture a confrontation over the location of his weekly meetings with the Governor (which the Dep. Gov. nonchalantly swatted away), attempted to exclude the Governor from the Overseas Territories meetings in the UK, is attempting to try and have the Governor become more active in managing issues which have been delegated for decades, refusing to consult on the Governor's appointment, and his opening comments of the 2006 Throne Speech which were not-so-subtle coded references to Independence:

Many wise Bermudians have lamented Bermuda’s motto, “Quo Fata Ferunt,” where the fates may lead us or whither the fates carry [us], and have remarked that the time has come to chart our own fate, our own destiny and our own future.

Every move that the Premier has made in his first 3 1/2 weeks has been toward achieving two related goals:

1) To try and force the UK through the Governor here to increase their profile and take an active role in governing rather than the hands-off approach of the past few decades, to try and create a perception that we are not self-governing.

2) To try and annoy/pester the UK to the point that they become the one pushing for Bermuda to go Independent, because he knows that he can't sell it to Bermudians.

Dr. Brown has cast aside the positive case for Independence (one no-one has been able to make yet) for the negative one.

He's trying to take Bermuda back more than a few decades to the technical but long since discarded constitutional model so that he can make the case that we don't run our own country.

Shrewd, but desperate.

The other aspect of all of this is that the confrontations are mostly about power. The appeal of Independence to a guy like Dr. Brown is not about achieving some democratic ideal but about acquiring more power.

That is abundantly clear.

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