Divide and conquer

While a lot of the noise from the immediate reaction to the suggested transport reforms has quitened down, the Ministry did something smart yesterday by putting school buses on in the mornings and afternoon.

This is the obvious thing that should be tackled first to reduce peak hour congestion. And we shouldn't just do this for the private schools, but we should do it for all schools.

It's painfully obvious that traffic flows smoothly when either the public or private schools are out. Traffic in the summer, Christmas or Easter moves no problem whatsoever.

And there's lots of other easy steps to implement first to take the edge off traffic, firstly I'd suggest turning off all the traffic lights in town. Traffic flows great when the lights are off after every hurricane. And if we must have the lights on then we should have left turns on some reds.

And if we don't want school buses, we could stagger the start times of schools so that traffic isn't all coming in for 8:30AM, or whatever time drop-offs are.

There's lots of others as well, ranging from the easy to tolling vehicles into Hamilton (which I think is unnecessary).

But, if we're honest, we really don't have a traffic problem of any significance in Bermuda, and certainly not one that requires drastic, dramatic and divisive steps like limiting car ownership for non-Bermudians.

Regardless, today's article reminded me of something that I meant to mention sooner, which is that from what I've been learned over the past two weeks, it's become evident to me that the idea to limit car ownership for foreign workers has NOTHING to do with reducing traffic and everything to do with increasing votes.

I've also heard through the grapevine that there is no intention to actually implement this, it's just a pre-election stunt...just like term limits prior to the 2003. The problem with these stunts is that they're hard to back away from without losing face.

It's an identical tactic.

A few weeks before the 2003 election the PLP announced term limits and proudly proclaimed their pro-Bermudian credentials. Immediately after the election they backed away from it. Term limits was about getting a few votes, and trying to position the PLP as pro-Bermudian and the UBP as anti-Bermudian when they spoke sense against the policy.

Today, now that term limits are technically coming due, we have a situation where the PLP have come up with so many exemptions that anyone can be exempted and tons will be. The policy of today is meaningless and should just be revoked. But they can't back away from it entirely, so they're pretending term limits exist, when all you need to do is make a donation to the party or Government's pet project of the hour and an employer can get whatever exemptions you need.

Cue car ownership limits....an as-yet unformulated idea to limit car ownership for some expats that really should be explained as follows:

For every expat the PLP can be seen denying a car to they gain X number of votes.

So here we are today, like in 2003 with term limits, on the eve of the election with the PLP proposing a policy intended not to solve a problem but to play into some voters insecurities and animosity towards non-Bermudians.

So don't be fooled. This is just another insincere example of pre-election politicking - divide and conquer.

The election is well on its way. There's no way Parliament resumes in May.

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