Created on 13 March 2017 Hits: 288 Written by William Joseph Category: POLITICS
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BEFORE WE VOTE

The Constitution provides for the prorogation of Parliament in given circumstances. It does not provide for pre-empting the voter or pirating the vote in any circumstances! Section 32 of the Constitution provides for a system involving registration, entitlement and the privacy of the voter. Notice the connection to individual expression, freedom of conscience and right to liberty. These arrangements must be followed before and in order that we elect a Parliament and form an Executive. So, before Parliament and before Cabinet, the people must vote.

 

The Executive is given responsibility for "the business of government" and ministers must take the Oath of Office before beginning to function. Nothing contained in that Oath or within the responsibility to run the government gives any minister the right to seek to determine what happens with the registration of voters or any other aspect of the work of the Electoral Office. Where citizens become enraged by what they perceive to be unfair and improper interference in that Office, problems will arise.

For clarity, if one wishes to be in Government, one must fairly contest the General Elections; receive a majority of the votes; enter the Parliament (to pass laws for the peace, order and good government of Grenada); form the Executive (to run the government); take the Oath of Office (to honour, uphold and preserve the Constitution). These are not in fine print!

Actually, there are other 'prints' surrounding the holding of General Elections. Some such prints have no lawful status, but are conceived and pursued by persons in the engine-rooms of political parties, 'slicing and dicing' voters' lists as one set of tactics for winning the elections. This practice which may involve moving voters from one constituency where a party is very strong to another or multiple voting by one person occurs in democratic systems. It is not dissimilar in intention or result to the use of arms to win government under revolutionary systems! Talk about free and fair elections! Wake up folks! Bet you never thought that unlawful means could yield 'lawful' i.e. duly-elected government!

Recently, a number of Registration Officers got something in print! Relatedly, so it seems, the Deputy Supervisor of Elections put her conscience in print to the Governor-General. Then the NDC printed its rushed, pre-mature views on the matter which was followed by unconvincing and poorly-spun words printed by the regime, as proxy for the GG. Although Government, having so positioned itself in the matter, Mr Burke found the time to mis-direct himself, politically, in making enquiries of the Governor-General. After all, the elections contest does not involve the GG.

Resuming, the Supervisor of Elections could be having little sleep trying to decide if he too should put something in print! After all, both Mr Phillip and Ms Holder must have been told the same things. Is it that the latter's conscience was so affected that she opted to resign, but that the former is fully at peace with that information? It is hardly likely that one would choose to forego income based only on empathy towards others. So, a printing opportunity awaits the Supervisor. May the ghost of Albert Abraham, Elections Supervisor, 1976 (detained during the Revolution), not disturb his sleep!

This leaves the issue of 'Silence of the Society' which should not be assumed to mean that judgment would not be pronounced in time. Where are the voices that once shouted at Tillman "Open we Parliament"? Will those same voices shout at Keith, even in jest, "Doh touch we votes"?

We are also left with the conflict in politics between cause and character. Political parties campaign promising many good things, but they sometimes deliver many unworthy things. The Revolution based itself on patriotic causes, until the character of key players abandoned the cause and chose catastrophe! Thirty-four years later, in these fair and spicy isles, character is acting up again hell bent on achieving personal causes. And the ordinary Grenadian pays the price, even before we vote!

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