Campaign 2012

Ten days down and while everyone expects the race card to be played, so far the PLP have been playing nothing but jokers.

The OBA seem very energised and cohesive, which is a refreshing change to see in an campaign from the Opposition, and the PLP seem, well, desperate.

What's interesting is that they have gone so shrill so early, with particularly amateurish secret plans, puppet shows and vacuous, repetitive empty sloganeering.

More interestingly they are having to do the stupid dirty work themselves, and have their fingerprints all over it, which presents substantial downside when it all goes wrong. Like the first 10 days have. It's never good when your campaign starts out as a subject of island-wide ridicule.

If they thought the Secret Plan had any legs, they'd have put someone with some credibility out there. Instead they sent 3 no-hopers in Opposition safe seats. Any PLP candidate with any sense of personal credibility to guard didn't want to go anywhere near that circus side show.

In the past they'd have surrogates do this kind of stuff. This time around they don't appear to have any surrogates. There's some obviously party accounts on the local comments sections of news websites, but Facebook in particular is pretty one sided, where the commenters use their names. (Not that Facebook commenters are representative of the electorate).

There don't appear to be a lot of defenders out there, let alone supporters. It's the same voices, the same letter writers.

It's sort of telling. I still think the election is the PLP's to lose, but they're acting like they like think they're going to lose it.

If I had to sum up their strategy, it is that the PLP aren't trying to win the campaign, they're trying to stop the OBA winning it.

The Ewart Brown era is so over. He'd never let a campaign as stupid as this out of the gates. The content wouldn't be so different, but the execution sure as hell would.

The challenge the OBA have is to strike a balance between swatting away the stupidity while managing to stay above the fray and focused on the issues.The PLP noise is relentless.

The lack of constituency level polls makes forecasts somewhat difficult, as does the large number of boundary changes that are described to me as meaningful in putting more seats into play.

This is a very important election for Bermuda. At some point the issues are going to have to rise to the surface. And to be honest, there really is only one issue this time.

It's the economy, stupid. So far it's been overwhelmingly stupid.

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