Consider voting for those who understand their role as legislator

Consider voting for those who understand their role as legislator

By Bennette Roach

Back in 2001 there was an article captioned ‘All Should Run As Independents’, with the writer suggesting at the time that “organizing political parties with less than two months to an election is ‘not going to work towards Montserrat’s long-term benefit. What candidates should be doing in order to prepare is to run as independents.”

In this by-election, since it is only one seat available, there are only two party candidates (one each party) with five independents. In 2014 with nine seats available there were 18 party candidates (nine each) and 13 independents. No independents were elected.

This time at the by-election with one seat available and one member in the house an independent with one MCAP and six PDM members, it is good probability that an independent may win that seat.

It should be noted that one of the independents was relegated at the selection for the MCAP representative in Dr. Samuel Joseph, preferred over Jermaine Wade who was an incumbent in the 2014 election. Emile Duberry runs for the PDM party.

Let’s mention that there are sounds, maybe just rumour, that one or more candidate is being supported by not so secret threatening coup groups (involving MCAP, the stories go) to force a change in administration, if elected.

The writer of the article mentioned, said. “If the Montserrat political establishment would be able to put personal ambitions and differences aside, then a political coalition of independent candidates may even strengthen the country at a time of severe economic uncertainty.”

He noted briefly: “Just look at countries such as Germany and Canada. Granted they are much bigger nations, but they are also successful because they tend to be governed by political coalitions. The traditional two-party confrontation model is not going to work in Montserrat today. That model is outdated and we should stop thinking along those lines.”

We will say more about that article in another environment. But mention is made above because anyone thinking seriously and hearing the campaigning and the rhetoric that have been postulated, we would have some things to tell the electorate. How can any of these candidates, except perhaps one, be telling them about these grand ideas and plans, some of which they promise to “see to it become reality”? You will find, It is a rare one among them there is anyone who has shown any semblance of understanding their prime role and responsibility as a legislator, which, except one, is likely to be come.  Those who use the word agitate or similar should stick to that getting closer to their duty as a legislator.

Their prime role is 1. To represent the people, having being elected by the people. 2. To legislate, make laws by considering bills. 3. To approve the Government’s request for money – One of their fundamental roles is to consent to the appropriation of monies. The Government must initiate any legislation appropriating money for expenses such as the annual Budget, or legislation imposing new taxes or levies, in the Legislative Assembly. 4. It is their role and duty to scrutinise the activity of the Government and keep it accountable to the people, and advising Government on public policy.

All of these should encompass and in addition to the following: Debating of bills and motions; Asking questions; Moving motions raising concerns or expressing opinions; Raising matters of public importance; Establishing parliamentary committees to inquire into and report on matters; Lodging petitions; and Requiring reports to be presented, such as annual reports of Government departments and agencies.

Any of these by-election candidates who addressed how they will perform these duties are the ones who deserve consideration. And finally, woe betide us the day when we wait only for those with degrees and doctorates to represent the people. Experience must be the greatest teacher. In fact experience, will show that it is those who genuinely represent, love and care for people rather than technicians who make good politicians and legislators.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Bennette Roach

Back in 2001 there was an article captioned ‘All Should Run As Independents’, with the writer suggesting at the time that “organizing political parties with less than two months to an election is ‘not going to work towards Montserrat’s long-term benefit. What candidates should be doing in order to prepare is to run as independents.”

In this by-election, since it is only one seat available, there are only two party candidates (one each party) with five independents. In 2014 with nine seats available there were 18 party candidates (nine each) and 13 independents. No independents were elected.

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This time at the by-election with one seat available and one member in the house an independent with one MCAP and six PDM members, it is good probability that an independent may win that seat.

It should be noted that one of the independents was relegated at the selection for the MCAP representative in Dr. Samuel Joseph, preferred over Jermaine Wade who was an incumbent in the 2014 election. Emile Duberry runs for the PDM party.

Let’s mention that there are sounds, maybe just rumour, that one or more candidate is being supported by not so secret threatening coup groups (involving MCAP, the stories go) to force a change in administration, if elected.

The writer of the article mentioned, said. “If the Montserrat political establishment would be able to put personal ambitions and differences aside, then a political coalition of independent candidates may even strengthen the country at a time of severe economic uncertainty.”

He noted briefly: “Just look at countries such as Germany and Canada. Granted they are much bigger nations, but they are also successful because they tend to be governed by political coalitions. The traditional two-party confrontation model is not going to work in Montserrat today. That model is outdated and we should stop thinking along those lines.”

We will say more about that article in another environment. But mention is made above because anyone thinking seriously and hearing the campaigning and the rhetoric that have been postulated, we would have some things to tell the electorate. How can any of these candidates, except perhaps one, be telling them about these grand ideas and plans, some of which they promise to “see to it become reality”? You will find, It is a rare one among them there is anyone who has shown any semblance of understanding their prime role and responsibility as a legislator, which, except one, is likely to be come.  Those who use the word agitate or similar should stick to that getting closer to their duty as a legislator.

Their prime role is 1. To represent the people, having being elected by the people. 2. To legislate, make laws by considering bills. 3. To approve the Government’s request for money – One of their fundamental roles is to consent to the appropriation of monies. The Government must initiate any legislation appropriating money for expenses such as the annual Budget, or legislation imposing new taxes or levies, in the Legislative Assembly. 4. It is their role and duty to scrutinise the activity of the Government and keep it accountable to the people, and advising Government on public policy.

All of these should encompass and in addition to the following: Debating of bills and motions; Asking questions; Moving motions raising concerns or expressing opinions; Raising matters of public importance; Establishing parliamentary committees to inquire into and report on matters; Lodging petitions; and Requiring reports to be presented, such as annual reports of Government departments and agencies.

Any of these by-election candidates who addressed how they will perform these duties are the ones who deserve consideration. And finally, woe betide us the day when we wait only for those with degrees and doctorates to represent the people. Experience must be the greatest teacher. In fact experience, will show that it is those who genuinely represent, love and care for people rather than technicians who make good politicians and legislators.