The Leader of the Opposition in a recent television interview stated that all parliamentarians are equal. I think that is wishful thinking. Only in the Independent Model, where no Member of Parliament is appointed a minister and where there is no governing side and opposing side, is equality possible. That is the ideal.
It does not occur in our present parliamentary system and Mr. Philip J Pierre can attest to that. It is because there is no quality that Mr. Shawn Edward has to beg government to give priority to fixing a health centre in his constituency, destroyed about two years ago.
There is a reason why no one wants to be a Deputy Speaker of the House. It’s called inequality. To be appointed a Deputy Speaker is a demotion and it will be a shame to any constituency which has to face that ordeal. So unless the opposition appoints one from among themselves, I see us spending the entire five-year term without a Deputy Speaker.
I can do little but laugh at the comedy that passes for government. I shake my head at the stupidity that we continue to embrace. Tell me, Mr. Opposition Leader, of what effect is walking out of the House each time. What have you changed? What will you change with that kind of behaviour? I put it to you: absolutely nothing. Only an educated people can force any change but right now a whole lot of us are dependent on government for our daily bread.
Our parliamentarians do not think for themselves. They are following the leader. The Opposition Leader walks out, all opposite walk out. Those on the government side have nothing dissenting to say about the Budget presented. Their loyalty is to party not to country and certainly not to the people they represent.
Under the Independent Model, all parliamentarians will be given an allocation which they will manage together with their development foundations. They will have a lot more autonomy than is present right now under the conventions of this present system. Central government will be responsible for capital works, such as road rehabilitation and upgrades, healthcare and the like.
But to move a people to that stage will take gross discontent with the present system, which will not be the best situation to bring this about. The other is to have a population that is more educated in the aspects and benefits of a better system. Our people presently do not understand the intricacies of governance. We do not teach our students our constitution in our schools. So we leave them stupid so that they can be controlled. When will we wake up, Saint Lucia? When?