December 2011 Archives

Methodology change or not, would Bermuda's credit rating have been downgraded if the PLP hadn't racked up $1B in new debt over the past 5 or 6 years?

Just asking.

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Really? The worst case scenario for pollution clean up at Morgan's Point is 1.5% more than the likely cost?

"The estimated cost of the works, including provisional items, is likely to be near US$35,595,195 with the worst case cost of US$36,140,026."

$35,595,195? Talk about false precision. Why not $36M? Or a range of $30M - $45M to give yourself some room to beat. It is a highly uncertain pollution cleanup after all.

Not to mention that it being brought to you by the Government that delivered Berkeley at 70% over budget, TCD at triple budget* and the cruise ship terminal at about 50% over budget - all relatively standard capital projects.

*Updated to correct 300% overrun from 200%.

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Kevin Comeau's OpEd in today's Gazette (unfortunately buried deep down on the opinion section of rg.bm) is a must read on the issue of smart immigration policy for job creators. The core problem with this new policy is that the offer is of no real value and the price tag is an insult not an invitation:

Government thought that by offering CEOs and other top job creators the opportunity to obtain Permanent Residency, these executives would be persuaded to remain in Bermuda. What Government failed to recognise was that effectively each of these top executives can already work and stay in Bermuda as long as they like we'd be crazy not to renew their work permits, and they know it. So in effect they are receiving very little when they obtain Permanent Residency.

More importantly, the offer of Permanent Residency at a price tag of $120,000 risks turning a gesture of inclusion into an insult. From the executive's point of view, the Government is saying that we want you to live in Bermuda and create lots of jobs for us, but we don't want you to be one of us. Instead, we will offer you and your family the right to become second class non-citizens for which we will charge you $120,000.

I've heard this sentiment directly from people who would be the targets of this new legislation.

The policy was created from a defensive stance, trying to give away as little as possible. The end result of long discussions between the private sector and government was a policy so narrowly targeted that it applies to almost no-one, and in reality offers nothing that they don't already have.

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So, this is what it's come to:

But, and she must be given credit for honesty, she also admitted that almost half of the incorrectly addressed mail 45 percent could have been delivered with little difficulty.

Really? Expectations for our politicians are so low that we applaud them for being honest as if that's an accomplishment?

We've got a long way to go.

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Tis the season to be polling.

The PLP are conducting a robo-poll which is highly efficient and automated asking of four questions, all of which are testing whether the Premier should go to the polls right after Christmas when people are feeling a bit merrier than the normal doom and gloom of late:

  • Are you likely to vote in next election?
  • Do you think the country is going in the right or wrong direction?
  • If a general election is called, will you vote for PLP or OBA?
  • Do you approve of Paula Cox?
  • Do you think the PLP deserves to be re-elected?

The last question is the crux of the poll. Should the PLP be re-elected? The answer to that question is all that matter. A slightly forgiving country around the holidays might be the mini-bump Paula Cox has been waiting around for.

This was not testing any candidates. just the mood of the country. To go, or not to go.

Note they don't even include the UBP in question 3, as they are a non-issue (other than in St. Geo where I suspect the OBA will sensibly not contest the seat and allow Kim Swan to run one on one for re-election).

Also there is another poll being conducted, I believe by Mindmaps, which asks quite possibly the dumbest question ever:

Which politician would you like to kiss under the mistletoe? (Seriously).

An attempt at some seasonal humour I suppose.

A better question would have been which politician will you let kiss your ass under the mistletoe? That would sum up the mood of the country better.

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In my next life I want to come back as a #bermuda telecom lawyer.

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