STICKING A PIN ON…POWER VS. POWER AND FUN VS. FUNDS!
Written by William Joseph on November 30, 2017
The Electricity Supply Act, 2016, demonstrated Parliament’s will to deal a telling blow against GRENLEC while introducing arrangements to facilitate a newly-found foreign darling! Supposedly, ‘Charles Liu Power’ was to be made happy according to the ‘power’ of his deal.
There is absolutely no doubt that Grenadians live under a dictatorship of the political parties, as fashioned by the Constitution and practiced by successive governments. When the Constitution provides for “the business of government”, the citizen is often not aware that what makes that happen is called power and authority. So the citizen is allowed rights, but the government is given power! Therefore, the set-up is stacked against the citizen, whether natural or corporate.
The power to pass laws may be abused. Abuse of power, like abusive conduct, may be rejected by people.
Since Independence, regimes have used several methods to protect their power and authority. Under Eric Gairy and the Revolution, we saw the use of human rights violations, violence, intimidation, taking of property, crony appointments and victimization. While the NNP has not applied violence, it has used all other methods, plus conscription (2013…Pedro, Chess and others). In all of those circumstances, the people have suffered badly. Curiously, the NDC regimes of Brathwaite and Tillman cannot be said to have used such measures to protect themselves! Some may describe that as political suicide!
The most recent amendment to the Electricity Supply Act, 2016, is plainly an abuse of the legislative power of the Government. That amendment does not create any condition to benefit the people; it does not give the people something they did not enjoy before; it does not fix a problem affecting the people; it does not introduce a rational system for managing resources or provide a review mechanism for the aggrieved. Its spirit says, “The praise and glory belong to me”! Is that the proper role for Government?
Interestingly, Government has the Consolidated Fund, Lotto Fund, Special Projects Fund, SEED Fund, Basic Needs Funds, ALBA Funds, IMF/World Bank Funds, Citizenship by Investment Fund and many, many more ‘Funds’ that it manages at will.
Why does Government need to create a ‘Social Fund’ for GRENLEC resources which have been used openly for the benefit of institutions and just causes in Grenada since 1994?
The simple answer is that it is a short-sighted political desire to erode public goodwill towards GRENLEC, on account of projects funded under their Community Partnership Programme. It is also an expression of the Government’s wish to be the sole provider on whom all Grenadians must depend. That is wrong and bad!
The people don’t need this particular ‘Social Fund’ and the Minister does not need to be powered- up any further!
The amendment leaves voters with fear of the punishing reach of a ‘democratic’ Government. It plainly shows unreasonable, discriminatory treatment of an investor.
While MPs may have fun, Parliament should not be used for fun!
And, talking about ‘Fun and Funds’ hurry and give us an ‘Education Fund’, by legislation, taking monies from Sir Royston’s Scholarship Program and the Keith Mitchell Foundation!
Better to have specified the broad areas in which the funds may be used, than to take control of the machinery in such an obscene manner. The amendment may even have compelled the Minister’s presence for the ‘photo ops’ when grants are being presented!
All governments should be unmindful that the people can use their power to reset power on grounds of abusive conduct. In that case, all fun will come to an end and the power is gone!