When Parliament is in session look for members wearing their traditional powdered wigs, reflecting our adherence to British-style traditions. Bermuda is officially a British overseas territory, but we do enjoy a high degree of self-rule.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, acts as our formal head of state and appoints a Governor - currently George Fergusson - to represent her in Bermuda.
Our Government consists of the Governor, a Premier, a Cabinet, and a Parliament comprised of an appointed Senate and the elected House of Assembly.
The Governor is The Queen's appointed representative, the Governor appoints the Premier on the advice of members of the House of Assembly and is responsible for defence, police, internal security and external affairs.
The Premier acts as the head of Government who nominates the Cabinet and is the leader of the majority party or majority coalition in the House of Assembly. Our Premier is currently The Hon. Craig Cannonier, JP, MP.
House of Assembly
The House of Assembly is comprised of 36 members elected by eligible voters in a general election held every four or five years. The largest minority political party becomes the Opposition with its own Leader and Shadow Cabinet.
The Senate is comprised of 11 members, five of whom are appointed by the Governor on advice of the Premier, three by the Leader of the Opposition, three directly by the Governor. To become law, legislation must be passed by the House of Assembly and approved by both the Senate and the Governor.
Major Political Parties
The two major political parties are the Progressive Labour Party (PLP) and the One Bermuda Alliance (OBA). The OBA won the most recent election held in December 2012. Our Premier, The Hon. Craig Cannonier, JP, MP and our Minister of Tourism Development and Transport, The Hon. Shawn Crockwell, JP, MP are both members of the OBA.
The Bermudian Flag
Our flag showcases the United Kingdom's emblem in the upper left. Below is the Bermudian coat of arms. It shows a lion holding a shield that depicts the sinking of the Sea Venture in 1609. It was this fateful event that brought our first settlers.