Editorial

CRC Report And The Campaign

POLITICALLY, it’s been an interesting week in St Lucia. The “silly season” took an un-expected turn with both major parties continuing to give the electorate peeks into some of the policies and actions they will adopt should they be returned in the coming general election. The big surprise, however, was their plans for constitutional reform.

It started with a spokesman for the opposition United Workers Party announcing to a public meeting that the party planned to set term limits for the position of Prime Minister, replace the Queen as Head of State and legislate fixed dates for general elections. Two days later at the opening of the new parliament the Governor General announced that the ruling St Lucia Labour Party was also planning fixed election dates. It will be recalled that several weeks ago, the Prime Minister had also indicated that he was warming towards that very idea.

We are heartened by the fact that recommendations in the report of the Constitutional Reform Commission are beginning to enter the national political debate in a very meaningful way. But one hopes that the parties are not merely trying some kind of gimmick with the voters with election season in progress. In fact, we would like to believe that these proposals that have now been widely aired will find their way into the manifestoes of both parties and that they will use the opportunity to elaborate further on their plans as the campaign picks up momentum.

We believe that the voters will want to hear detailed positions of the parties on the whole idea of constitutional reform and the way forward in implementing the recommendations of the Suzie d’Auvergne Commission. Voters will want to be assured that whichever party is returned in these elections, pay heed to their demands for changes in the way in which government works in the country and the way the country is governed.

We remind the parties of the Commission’s conclusion that there was “a real hunger for constitutional change” in St Lucia; that “Saint Lucians yearned to exercise more control over their government and wanted more opportunities for democratic participation”; and “that they regarded government as too powerful and not sufficiently accountable to them”. These quotes come directly from the Commission’s report.

We concede that it will be impossible to implement all the Commission’s recommendations immediately or even within a short timeframe. Consequently, the public should be given an idea of how an incoming government would proceed, taking into consideration the Commission’s view that mere “tweaks” of the present constitution would not get the job done. The bottom line is that the people want the power that the politicians have hoarded for themselves for so long. They are “restless” with this thing called government and discontented with politicians and politics alike. It is our hope that the message is heeded.

In the coming weeks we hope to hear more from the political parties on the Constitutional Reform Commission’s report which deals with a wide range of other issues–not just those with a political flavour–side by side with the bread and butter issues that have become so important to St Lucians at this time.

St. Lucians should have no fears about the end result of the reforms being proposed. Concern about the capacity of our little island to shoulder the responsibilities of constitutional change was also aired when we became an associated state in 1967 and again at independence 12 years later. Neither status has overwhelmed us. Above all, the people will have the opportunity to vote for or against constitutional change at the appropriate time.

2 Comments

  1. It is amazing how many of our politicians are brain dead when it comes to originality. They lack tremendous abilities in that department.
    Many always seem to turn to their Almighty God ” a certain country” to launch an idea that was suggested by that god.
    Term limit for the PM. That individual should be asked to step down by members of his constituents for lack of imagination.
    May the leader with clear visions and imagination by way of thinking continue to rule his people until the last days of their lives, if so desired by their people.
    America who have benefited and would have had a much more viable and stable economy where its citizens would have been much better off had there been no term limits on its presidency.
    Me. Bill Clinton probably would still be president or would have been re-elected president had there been no term limits.
    He proved scholars wrong when he requested that given two terms he would balance the budget. Which had not been done in more than fifty years.
    Many were hasty to claimed it was impossible. Simply because they themselves lack the ability to do so. He proved them wrong in his second term in office and left office due to term limits with the country’s balance in excess of thirteen trillion dollars.
    He was not as brain dead as our present politicians who fail to cone up with solutions to their country’s problems and simply await an opportunist to steal someone else’s idea and present it as a solution irrespective of whether it is beneficial or not to the people of their countries.
    I have a total disdain for shallow thinkers / crammers who long for leadership roles and opportunities when they lack the capacity to lead because they lack the ability of being a problem solver.
    They obtain some piece of paper from cramming and flaunts it to the public in demonstrating their academic success.
    What use is that piece of paper if one is unable to implement those theories learnt into realistic ideas so as to address the problems in today’s society.

  2. Simply put. A crammer with all their credentials can easily be viewed as a scholar. They are simple manipulators of words.
    Someone with similar credentials and who also is a problem solver is called a genius.
    President Bill Clinton is a genius, so is Fidel Castro, likewise was The Honorable Nelson Mandela, Brother George Odlum, Forbes Burnham, Eric Williams, Tom Adams to mention a few. True great world leaders.
    Some of our want to be leaders ought to research the legacies of these individuals so as to gain a few pointers when it comes to true leadership.
    Oops I forgot. They are simple crammers.

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