Bermuda, or sometimes referred to as the Bermuda Islands, is a British overseas territory in the Atlantic Ocean. Bermuda holds great cultural and historical significance in Great Britain since it is the oldest and largest in terms of population, British overseas territory. Bermuda is mistakenly referred to as a singular island, when in fact Bermuda is actually comprised of over 130 separate islands.
UK Influence on Bermuda Politics
Bermuda politics is based on a constitution adopted in 1968. The monarch of Bermuda is Queen Elizabeth II, since Bermuda is considered an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. Due to the geographical differences, the Queen is unable to reside in Bermuda, therefore a Governor General has to act on her behalf.
The Governor General oversees all political and governmental elements in Bermuda. The Governor is responsible for all external affairs, internal security, defence and police and is advised by his executive council on all other matters. That being said, the true leader of the Bermuda government is the Premier. The Governor General is directed by the Premier and his cabinet. The executive council consists of the Premier, who of course is the leader of the leading party in the House of Assembly and an appointed Senate.
Bermuda Politics and Government
The legislative branch in Bermuda politics is comprised of the House of Assembly and the Senate. There have been several reforms, most recently in 2002 when the House went from a 40 man congregation down to 36. The Senate is currently comprised of 11 people, five appointed by the Governor General based upon advice given by the Premier, three in consultation with the leader of the opposition party and three based upon the discretion of the Governor.
Since Bermuda is tied to Great Britain, there have been several historical events that have taken place there. In the early 20th century, due to Bermuda’s strategic location, the Bermuda Islands served as the winter naval station for both the British North Atlantic and West Indian Squadrons. Then in 1941, at the height of World War II, the islands were leased to the United States of America for naval and air bases for a period of 99 years.
History in Bermuda Politics
Bermuda politics has a political history that is deeply tied within British and American military pasts. Bermuda served as an important country for the Allies during World War II due to it being isolated from the majority of the fighting. The naval bases have led to an excellent source of employment for the people of Bermuda. Ship building and repairing are economic mainstays in this country.
Unlike other tropical islands, Bermuda is an excellent mix of sub-tropical culture and mainland history. Not many countries can say that they served an important role in World War II like Bermuda has. On top of all that, Bermuda is still one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world due to its favourable climate and friendly population.