Independent George Town MLA Winston Connolly clears the air on his departure from his role as Councillor in the PPM government.
Speaking at Thursday night’s public meeting (21 January), the former back-bencher called the move a “numbers game.”
He says his private members motions will stand a better chance from a seat on the other side of the floor.
“It’s a numbers game. The numbers weren’t on my side. This is me evening the odds,” said Mr. Connolly, addressing a small group comprised of politicians, journalists, and members of the media.
Before getting down to the nitty gritty on issues like crime prevention, gas prices, and renewable energy, Mr. Connolly addressed his seemingly abrupt departure from the government bench.
“It was either join them, which I was not prepared to do, or ensure that I remained an independent voice,” he told the audience as part of his 20+ minute explanation of the circumstances behind his decision.
At the heart of the matter, he says, was support – or lack thereof – for his private members motions.
“I’ve had difficulties with the progressives seconding and supporting my motions. Ironically, some of the things I raised as recently as November that were accepted – albeit under protest – are now priorities, but when I said them, they were ant-expat, anti-business,” said Mr. Connolly.
Mr. Connolly lambasted the two party system for creating what he called an adversarial atmosphere within the assembly.
“I don’t participate in the us versus them mentality, or the if you’re not with us you’re against us mentality,” he said.
He denied his actions are part of a play for power in the LA, saying his only aspirations involve representing the people who got him elected.
“I don’t want to be a minister, I don’t want to be the premier. Those are not things that motivate me,” he stressed.
He said he’s open to supporting anyone’s motions brought forward in the house, not strictly along party lines, but on the merits of the ideas themselves.
“If someone has a good idea, accept it,” he said.
Mr. Connolly pledged his support to his fellow independent Tara Rivers.
He said though he and Ms. Rivers will likely sit on opposite sides of the floor when the LA returns on February 17th, he still believes in what they were trying to accomplish.