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Independence poll

It appears that support for a referendum on independence hasn't suffered a catastrophic collapse, after all.

Although today's Royal Gazette reported that only "one in seven" people (14.3%) want the issue decided by referendum, the paper has confirmed that that should have read "seven in ten" (70%). The version of the story on the RG's website has not been corrected, however.

If the paper tabulated the results of such polls instead of writing them out in longhand, it might reduce the chance of such mistakes being made. The information would be easier to digest too:

Independence: Overall

Support independence22%
Oppose independence66%
Decide by referendum70%
Decide by election25%

Independence: By Race

 BlackWhite
Support independence31%12%
Oppose independence54%86%
Decide by referendum68%74%
Decide by election25%24%

Independence: By Sex

 MaleFemale
Support independence21%21%
Oppose independence71%64%
Decide by referendum68%71%
Decide by election28%23%

Independence: By Age

 18-3535-55Over 55
Support independence---
Oppose independence66%-73%
Decide by referendum58%-75%
Decide by election37%--

Independence: By Household Income

 <$50k$50k-$100k>$100k
Support independence--19%
Oppose independence68%-75%
Decide by referendum59%70%77%
Decide by election34%--

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Additional Comments (192)

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As a political student polls must always be taken witrh a hint of scepticism but I think this shows the general feeling in Bermuda. If the poll is correct it's doubtful the PLP will pay any attention to it.

Is my knowledge of Stats disappearing - or is it the case that you have to be under 18 to support Independence?

Martin

I dont think many 18 year olds were in poll as there all out of country at university.

JJ

I try to spell corectly but a lifetime of speed typing causes bad habits :)

No doubt some clown in the government will read the Gazette, fail to realise the error that has been made, and announce a dramatic swing in the countries mood on Independence!!!

So erm, 66% of the country don't want it, and only 22% of the country do. You know that means...

EDUCATE THE 66%!!!

Be careful, lostinflatts. Don't mock the powerful. Or else Dr. Brown will have Handbag take your driveway away.

So it seems that RG has omitted a significant chunk of the voting populous...

No one between 35 & 55 was polled
- AND -
Hardly anyone earning between $50-$100K was polled either.

Mistake? Probably not ENTIRELY intentional I wager.

Oh, and 406 people out of 30,000 voters ... just over 1%.

Not good enough for my liking, sorry.

-Flushing sound-

1% of the population is pretty standard for such a poll. And if it's a random sampling (eg phone book method) then it's statistically sound.

But people will believe what they want to believe.

If it holds up that 54% of the black population is against independence then I would say that we have a great deal of people who are willing to truly understand the future instead of simply trying to run away from the past. I can understand the emotional desire to rid oneself of what might be considered a colonial life-style but it's encouraging to see people make a decision that recognises the benefits our relationship with Great Britain offers our future generations.

people make a decision that recognises the benefits our relationship with Great Britain offers our future generations.

correct to all those that support independence please think of my generation and the generation after me not yours.

As a Jamaican I can only say to Bermudians....be wary of Independence. Once you have to stand on your 2 feet you will see what the world is really all about. Big Companies will pull out, unemployment will go up....not to mention crime.....why? Because the onyl reason why British Overseas Territories are so "wealthy" is because they have the backing of the Motherland. Take it from me....within weeks you will be going to the World Bank to borrow money that not even your 7th Generation to come will ever be able to pay back.....Safer to be Uncle Tom!

OnDeWata

So it seems that RG has omitted a significant chunk of the voting populous...

No one between 35 & 55 was polled - AND - Hardly anyone earning between $50-$100K was polled either.

Not necessarily. These were simply all the results that were reported in the newspaper.

Another reason for just tabulating the whole lot, IMHO.

Jamaican Q – Thanks for the heads-up I can only hope many will hear. It seems our leaders here are out of control pushing this idea when the mood of the people is clear. I remember watching the aftermath from Bermuda when what you described took place. Watching the increase in crime over the following years, the birth of rude boy culture etc, yeah I can only hope we never go down that road. The island is clear the in polls tho we don’t want the sickness that independence can bring

Let me also add that when you become independent,poverty will be the order of the day....those unreal salaries people earn in Bermuda will be no more. Your lives will change and nobody will be able to tell politicians what to do. The electorate will be held in scant regard and what you know as Bermuda will be no more.

The insidious manner with which PLP ministers continue to spout anti-British continues.

Yesterday, his Lordship Brown was talking to St. David's Islanders about the bus service and said “Just from what I know and what I’ve heard I feel safe in concluding that St. David’s has been under-served,” Dr. Brown said.
He said the British colonial experience left a system that “the people are supposed to fit the schedule as opposed to having a schedule that fits the people’s needs”.

It's a constant stream of negativity and underhand comments that demean the debate. Dirty tactics.

I had no idea that the British government actually schedules the busses in Bermuda.
DO they do the ferry schedule as well?

He just can't help himself. Ask no plantation questions but knock the "british colonials" every chance you get. I guess he didn't get the irony of the fact that he was preaching to the Indians. A people who have been treated terribly by everybody, not just the brits.

I am a supporter of Independence (I know that I'm asking for trouble on this site)

The only argument that I can understand is the British Passport issue, although I have no desire to reside/work anywhere in Europe (Some may) but what buggs me is that Jamaica Q's postings jumped to the conclusion that poverty and lawlessness will follow Independence. That didn't happen in Barbados, Bahamas, Singapore, San Marino, in fact these countries are better off now than when they were dependent and they are also very small nations. Let's use Monsseratt as an example; they are still under British rule like Bermuda, but were facing a catastrophe when their volcano erupted. They received minimum assistance from London, they actually received more help from the UN and fellow Island neighbours. This to say that if you all think that London is some saving grace, you are sadly mistaken. Sure you can pick many Independent Nations which are poverty stricken, but it's not because they are Independent, it's because of many underlying issues like corrupt Governments and having not had stable economy's/government's to begin with.

Guilden - get ready! lol

Amin - tell you what - give me some tangible benefits of Bermuda being independent. How about, say, five tangible benefits. Tangible doesn't incude crap about destiny and national pride either.

"it's because of many underlying issues like corrupt Governments..."

Looks like you answered the question, thanks.

jsmith - you're quick on the draw. I like that. ; -)

jsmith,

You obviously have no Idea what a corrupt goverment looks like - trust me, if you are saying that we have one you may want to take a trip to Jamaica or a few European countries, better yet hop on a Plane to Washington D.C.

Amin,

I wouldn't waste my time responding to Jamaican Q. Because Jamiaca's economic problems did not begin until around 1983, 20 years after the country took independence in 1963.

Jamaica's dependence on bauxite is the major cause the currentstate of the economy, not independence from Britain.

You are absolutely correct about the Bahamas. The average Bahamian is much better off fiancially today then they were pre-independence.

I know the argument will lead to debt, however, a study of the Bahamas national debt status will show that less than $400 million is external and most of the internal debt is held by governmental bodies.

...better yet hop on a Plane to Washington D.C.

Posted by Amin Swan on 31.05.06 at 15:32

Your right Amin. That must be why Washington is so desparate to have Alex Scott come for a visit--they want to know what his secrets are on how to avoid corruption. I feel fortunate you are blogging to tell us these things. ¡

I don't understand how u all continuously label the PLP government corrupt. Corruption is a very harsh term and you have proof of corruption by the government. It is sad that you continue to use the word with such reckless abandon.

Sandgrownan,

I was about to entertain you but "crap to do with National Pride" that, by far, is not the only reason but since you bring it up, most Bermudians have no clue of what national pride looks and feels like (yeah sure they are proud to be Bermudian) but ask them to sing the national anthem, I bet 1 in 100 actually know the words to it. It's crap to you because you don't understand what it is and how important it is. I spend 4th of July last year at Centennial Park in Atlanta with 1000's of Americans - when their anthem played, it brought tears to my eyes to watch the joy and pride those people felt - I could'nt relate to that as many Bermudians can't - hell you can't even get Bermudians to stand up when the Bermuda Anthem is played. It really buggs me when people act as though national pride is irrelevant.
I have my other reasons why I'm a supporter, but I am not feeling like a back and forth debate, as we have all been there many times.

"It is sad that you continue to use the word with such reckless abandon."

Sort of like that ad campaign:

"Bermuda, the height of human civilization."

Reckless abandon is this governments way of doing business!

"when their anthem played, it brought tears to my eyes "

I get teary eyed whenever an american opens their mouth to proclaim how wonderful they are...my stomache turns as well.

"Amin,

I wouldn't waste my time responding to Jamaican Q. Because Jamiaca's economic problems did not begin until around 1983, 20 years after the country took independence in 1963."

A very selective summary there, Guilden. The fact of the matter is that, once Jamaica decided to go it alone, it was forced to turn to the IMF and the World Bank, as it was incapable of handling itself economically alost from the outset. It certainly took some time for the IMF and World Bank policies to have a widespread impact on the country as a whole, but this is to be expected when we are dealing with countries, rather than uncle Ernie's mortgage with HSBC.

ken - with all due respect too often we hear the truth being corrupted. That alone would make me say our government is corrupt.

I know the argument will lead to debt, however, a study of the Bahamas national debt status will show that less than $400 million is external and most of the internal debt is held by governmental bodies.

Posted by Guilden M. Gilbert, Jr. on 31.05.06 at 15:32

Guilden - who holds the debt is irrelelvant. Tangible forex reserves lend some support to the Japan MOF model and domestic savings help as well but where the debt lays is pretty immaterial. Hence the IMF notice served to the Bahamas when their model indicated the 3% rule being breached.

Trebliso - consider me *whoosed*

shirley that should be a whoosh for the table in the corner.

SmokingGun,

You all tend to corrupt the truth as well in many areas, so can we assume you are just as corrupt.

It is sad that you continue to use the word with such reckless abandon.

Posted by ken on 31.05.06 at 16:02

Apparently you are only sad when it's an argument against the PLP. Amin broadly, and inaccurately, indicted two continents in addition to Jamaica.

You didn't seem too sad about that--or did Limey delete your comment? That's what I thought.

"You all tend to corrupt the truth as well in many areas, so can we assume you are just as corrupt." - ken

Naaah, we're just wrong. But as soon as you start paying me to get it wrong then yes you can call me corrupt.

All I really know about the Bahamian independence is that I got given a piece of land there by my Grandfather. My grandparents bought it pre-independence as part of a development on a canal. After independence, work on the development's infrastructure was abandoned and the land is now worthless (they gave it to me after they tried to sell it for as little as $500 a few years ago).

Guilden,

As far as I can tell my family as Bahamian landowners are in fact worse off post independence than before it. As someone who is in a much better position to know than my family, can you possibly show me where what I have been told about this is wrong? Why was my Grandparents' land valuable before independance and worthless after making me an accidental landowner in your adopted home?

Silencedogood,

?? Where again was I inaccurate?

Does this ring a bell?

You obviously have no Idea what a corrupt goverment looks like - trust me, if you are saying that we have one you may want to take a trip to Jamaica or a few European countries, better yet hop on a Plane to Washington D.C.

Posted by Amin Swan on 31.05.06 at 15:32

I'm not familiar enough with Jamaica to comment, but I've spent most of my life studying the systems of government in both the US and EU.

You are way off base in your broad characterizations of either as "corrupt" and clearly don't apply the same standards here at home.

"I have my other reasons why I'm a supporter, but I am not feeling like a back and forth debate, as we have all been there many times".

Never, not once, ever on this blog, the many times independence has been debated, has anyone EVER listed 5 non emotional benefits of going independent.

Trebliso,

For the record, the forex reserves held by the Cetral Bank of the Bahamas surpass the outstanding foreign debt.

The Bahamas Government is currently having no issue with meeting its financial obligation.

Further most people fail to realise what littel the British did for the Bahamas and dispite this the Bahamas has prospered under independence. How many know that it was not until after independence that most Family Islands had electricity and telephone service because the Brits could careless as their capital was in Naasau. How many know that after independence the Bahamas Government had to build schools and put in roads? How many know that the Bahamas has some 64 airports because it needs to provide airlift to all of its people and also be able to accommodate 5 million plus tourist each year.

You see cries of Bermuda becoming poverty stricten are nonsense as all the infrastructure is in place in Bermuda, which means the government does not have to raised the funds for the development of it.

Today the offshore banks are headed primarily by Bahamians, the few expats (as a percentage) report to Bahamian management. Ask Butterfield Bank how many of their staff here is foreign. The answer is ZERO. In my view, progresses is measured, not in how much or how littel debt a country carries but the positions its people hold within the economy and the quality of life its people enjoy.

How many Bermudians under the age of 40 can say that they own a half (or more) acre of property and live in 4,000+ square foot houses, while still living comfortably by having their kids in private schools and taking numerous vacations each year?

Loki,

The fact remains that Jamaica's problems today are primarily the result of the collapse of the global bauxite market. If you don't believe me there is tons of information available on it. Prior to this collapse in, I believe 1983 the unemployment rate was at single digits. Once this bauxite market collapsed the Jamaican economy collapsed with it. Overnight there was 25%+ unemployment, along with rampant inflation, this combined to cause the economy to stall.

Anyway, my views on independence are no secret so I see no necessity to continue on in this discussion because nothing has changed.

I will close with this, something I have said before, whiel I support independence I respect the fact that the majority of the population, from all polls taken show that there is no wish for independence. I also agree that the government shoul dnot pursue the matter at this time because it has so little support that it becomes a wasted effort. There are many issues that Bermuda has to deal with and at this time independence does not and should not take center stage. I would agree that polls should still be taken periodically but until a significant percentage of the population show support for it the time is better served on other matters.

Does this ring a bell?

You obviously have no Idea what a corrupt goverment looks like - trust me, if you are saying that we have one you may want to take a trip to Jamaica or a few European countries, better yet hop on a Plane to Washington D.C.

Posted by Amin Swan on 31.05.06 at 15:32

I'm not familiar enough with Jamaica to comment, but I've spent most of my life studying the systems of government in both the US and EU.

You are way off base in your broad characterizations of either as "corrupt" and clearly don't apply the same standards here at home.

Posted by silencedogood on 31.05.06 at 17:03

um um........ what about Russia post USSR meltdown? Not to mention a few of the Italian governments over the years. They change so much I can't keep up .......and then what about Berlusconi?

Mike Taylor,

Where exactly is the property you are referring to. Maybe I would be interested in buying it from you.

Let's look at one development underway in Eleuthera (an island to the north east of Nassau, 100 miles long and 1 mile wide and a population of about 14,000) Cotton Bay, the development, is scheduled to have roughly 1,200 high end (1.5 million +) private homes built on it, along with a hotel and a Jack Nicklas golf course. Each lot is currently selling (yes, selling, not just for sale) at more than $1 million each.

There is another development on Eleuthera to have some 45+ homes and each home will be pre-sold at more than $1 million. There is a development that has been going on for a number of years in Exuma, February Point (www.februarypoint.com) and each home is in excess of $1 million. Then there is Emerald Bay in Exuma, which is tied into the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton. There is currently a $20+ million home in Exuma being constructed on private property, among other multi-million dollar homes.

There is a huge private home development going on in Rum Cay that is to be comprised of 1,000s of home and a new airport.

There is the Ocean Club Estate on Paradise Island, were properties, generally a 1/2 acre were sold at a starting price of $750,000 and with a minimum of 5,500 sq. ft. that must be built at an average cost of $330 per sq. ft.

Many of these homes are owned by Bahamians and most of the contractors are Bahamian with Bahamian labour.

Then there is the Cable Beach Strip, here in Nassau where a heads of agreement has been signed for a $1.7 billion project that will be managed by Starwood Hotels. This will create some 7,000 jobs, which includes the roughly 2,000 currently employed on the properties.

There are 1,000s of private homes under construction each year. There is a major boom in the construction industry and it will continue to the foreseeable future. Surely it is understood that as construction booms so to do property prices.

My home, now 8 years old had more than tripled in value as at the last apparaisal, 2 years ago.

So Mike, if you want to sell me that property, let's talk.

So..since Amin Swan cant give us any reasons...can any other pro-independence person give us the 'five tangible benefits' sandgrownan asked for? Amin Swan cops out like a baby when he says 'I have my other reasons why I'm a supporter, but I am not feeling like a back and forth debate' wtf??? make a list..u kno, 1) blah blah blah 2) yadda yadda ya 3)...and so forth not difficult to do but i have yet so see anyone do it. No excuses...put up or shut up.

Adios

Yo Mike, I'll double his offer.
Guilden - make room - I'm coming to town!

Mike,

On another note, I do not disagree that the property values could have fallen through the floor upon independence because the government, led by Sir Lynden Pindling, at the time took a very bold step in revoking work permits of foreigners and have non-belongers leave the country. This created much instability.

However, the basis of the bold measure of Sir Lynden and his government can be seen today in that Bahamians have full participation in their own country, which they did not have pre-independence.

Guilden,

I don't doubt that property values are going way up and life is rosy in many places at all. At the same time, I am told that my propery value is certainly not. It's in Freeport and has no address because the road from the highway never got built. The developers pulled up stakes after independance or so I am told. It took them two days just to find it. At the risk of getting whacked for solicitation on Limey's site, please contact me if you are interested at tips.mike@gmail.com. You too SG.

I am still genuinely interested in knowing why this happened to our land (assuming it really is worthless)if the reason was not independence as I have been told. Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Mike/Guilden - Can you take your discussion offline, please? Thanks.

Whenever somebody wants to convince some hapless fool of something, he tells the hapless fool to look at statistics. Every smart person knows that statistics reflect nothing. Take a class you dummies.

Further, if they did mean something: how do you account for such a huge disparity between the White and Black opinion on independence. It seems significant.

Why does 80+% of Whites oppose independence, yet the numbers are so much lower on the Black side?

Independence isn't a racial issue, is it? LOL

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