Letters & Opinion

You Can Change the System

Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Image of Kensley Peter Charlemange
Independent Eye by Kensley Peter Charlemange

DISCUSSING the last article ‘Blame it on the System’ on the radio talk show HIGHLIGHTS last week Monday on Liberty FM, a listener commented that we need to change the laws to change the system – but, I figured, “Not really!”

Of course, I outlined the ills of the bicameral system that we practice here in Saint Lucia and advanced a different model of government called, consensus government — a term I don’t really like, as I find it a bit misleading.

Last week, I opined that politicians will not change the system and the change has to be led by the mass population and the evidence is there to prove my assertion.

We know of the extensive work of the Constitution Review Commission, led by the late judge, Madame Suzie D’auvergne, a work that spanned a whole decade only to be shot down by our Parliament when it eventually got to the House.

One of the advocacies of the consensus government model is that you separate the Executive arm of government from the Legislature. But ‘The Independent Model’ holds that no Parliamentary Representative should be appointed a minister of government.

Do you need to change the laws for that to happen? No you don’t! We just need the population to vote in 17 prudent independents.

The Independent Model forwards that all ministers are fielded from the public service or private sector. Do you need to change the law to do that? No you don’t. There is the mechanism of the public service commission that can take that role. The installment of the chosen as ministers can be done by electing them into the upper house.

In the Independent Model, all parliamentarians sit as equals, all get the same salary and one can’t lord it over the other because he is a minister of government and the other is not. Therein, no one would not want to be appointed a Deputy Speaker for fear of a lesser salary. Do you need to change the law for that to happen? No you don’t!

Your body of ministers are installed as senators and they provide direction to their respective ministries. Not only that, but they are qualified in their respective fields.

Bills come to the house for debate and we would expect that it will be a more wholesome debate since representatives are not bonded to fulfill party interests. What they are there to do is to communicate the desires of their constituents. The ‘ayes’ will not always have it. Do you need to change the law for that to happen? I don’t think so.

The onus is on the general populace to get the right people in office; men and women who are righteous, prudent and of good will. Do you need to change the law for that to happen? No you don’t.

The system is a set of reactions that are the result of human decisions.

I do not know about you but I am tired of the gamble that we take every five years. Our advancement as Saint Lucians should not be dictated by which party is in power. The ability to change the system is in our hands.

The Independent Model, I have made it known, is not etched in stone. While there are some things therein that will demand a change in the Constitution, a lot can happen without that change.

Only you, my reader, can change the system. The politicians will not change it for you.

Remember: you are part of the system. We can influence the resultant effects by the decisions we make.

And finally, also remember that more of the same is not change.

Now let the hacks speak.

Over to you…

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