How the Government of Bermuda works

It’s not always easy to understand how a government functions.

Bermuda’s system of government is based on the Westminster Model of parliamentary democracy, as in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This system relies heavily upon the existence of organized political parties, each laying policies before the electorate for approval in a general election.

In Bermuda, the government comprises:

  1. The Governor, who is appointed by the Queen
  2. The Deputy Governor, who is appointed by the Governor
  3. The Premier, who is the majority leader in the House of Assembly
  4. The Cabinet, who are appointed by the Premier
  5. The Legislature, made up of:
    1. The House of Assembly, comprising 36 elected members from around Bermuda;
    2. The Senate, comprised of 11 members appointed by the Governor (five from the governing party at the recommendation of the Premier, three from the official opposition at the recommendation of the leader of the opposition, and three as independents, chosen by the Governor)

Bermuda is divided into 36 constituencies, each represented by one member in the House of Assembly.

The party who wins the most seats in a general election—or who has the support of a majority of members in the House of Assembly—forms the government. The largest minority party becomes the official opposition.