In the ping-pong process of political maturing, Bermuda’s general electorate may be on the way to developing more political maturity.

In this upcoming by-election, service — the next strike — falls to the voters in Constituency 26, and there will be a chance to show a new level of political maturity.

Three parties are vying for one seat. Only one can win but whichever does, there will be no net change in the overall balance of parliamentary power.

So, at first glance, it would appear the by-election is a fundamental waste. That is how an immature and unsophisticated voter would see it. Basically, why bother?

But there is another perspective. One that says that while the balance of power will not change, the individual voter can tell the three political parties that he or she wants change.

For the national moment, the PLP holds sway. The UBP are in disarray. The BDA are in fresh array.

A vote for the PLP’s Marc Bean changes nothing but it suggests that all is well or near perfect and change is not desired or needed.

A vote for the UBP’s Devrae Noel-Simmons changes nothing but suggests that the only alternative is a tired, bedraggled mob from the past.

A vote for the BDA’s Sylvan Richards suggests there is unhappiness with existing processes and that there is a desire for change.

Typically, voters in Bermuda have voted with an eye on personality and politicians have learned to play on human idiosyncracies and foibles when they are on the voter’s doorstep.

Back in the old days, when Bermuda was a close-knit community with Bermudians at centre stage and tourism as king, that was a great political tactic.

Now, with Bermudians pushed away from centre stage and with international business as the new king, Bermudians need to come to terms with a Bermuda that has evolved and now requires a different kind and style of management.

Not the old palsy-walsy management epitomized by the UBP in its heyday that has actually been carried on — exactly — by the PLP, but a new kind and style. 

A management that sees Bermuda of 2010 as it actually is and that sees into the future with a vision of Bermuda as Bermuda is likely to be. That vision has to make certain that the best long-term interests of Bermudians are safeguarded and not jeopardized or thrown aside.

On December 15, the voters of Constituency 26 will have a chance to show leadership as well as flex their political muscles.

They will have a chance to make and take a decision that will demonstrate that they are forward thinking, not stuck in a ‘plantation past’, not hamstrung by old racial or political hang-ups, and are capable of deep thought and forceful action.

The voters of Constituency 26 have a special opportunity to make a special shot — a political slam-dunk — that will reverberate through every corner of this tight little island.

If the voters in 26 reject both the PLP and UBP candidates and elect the BDA candidate, they will send a powerful message — a message that will have the same explosive power as an atomic bomb.

It will be that the old ways must change, that Bermuda needs to forge ahead without too much time spent looking back and that it is the voter, not the politician, who really holds the real power.

A December 15 win for the BDA will be a shout from Bermuda’s too-often ignored voter that says: “Hey bye, listen to me!”