Wednesday, April 24, 2024

EDITORIAL: A change of mind vs of things


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OPPOSITION MP MIA?MOTTLEY is right. She has been on quite a few things these past several weeks.
Our party political system needs to be reviewed: how parties function as the Government and in Opposition. The adversarial nature of Westminster is simply not appropriate in every instance of matters of state.
A rubbing of heads and a gelling of minds on issues of utmost national importance will be essential when our political stability and continued development of our people are at stake.
We proffer, as Ms Mottley has declared herself to believe, that our political leaders and hopefuls cannot continue to do business as usual, with no clear philosophical vision, yet hoping to dissipate the cynicism among our young electors in particular.
We don’t think the latest in hip hop, rap and party music – revelry – will make our youth any more seriously interested in politics and governance than they now are. Maybe, a change in the conduct of politicians and a semblance of greater genuineness in statements boldly made in Parliament would.
Take the debate on the amendment to the Supreme Court of Judicature Act. The facts are that the change is being pursued to accommodate law supremo Marston Gibson as the new Chief Justice of Barbados.
As the act stood before Saturday morning, Mr Gibson couldn’t be Chief Justice because he had not practised in a Commonwealth country in the last 15 years. Work in the United States didn’t count.
Opposition MPs were mostly against the amendment because they saw it as a change for one man – not the soundest of arguments, since the change bodes well for any other outstanding Barbadian brain working outside the Commonwealth now or in years to come when some of us in the current brouhaha won’t be around.
The fact is the change would have come through Mr Gibson.
Ms Mottley’s contribution in the amendment debate is instructive. When late Prime Minister David Thompson consulted with her on Mr Gibson, she offered no objections. Admittedly, she was unaware of the legal hurdles pertaining to the appointment.
It is a bit shocking though that these hurdles were not common knowledge among the legal luminaries in the House of Assembly.
Well, the die has been cast; the opening for Mr Gibson almost assuredly secured. But Ms Mottley has lamented the “invidious position” in which Mr Gibson has now been placed and wonders about the environment in which he will be asked to rule.
Mr Gibson sees no difficulty, given his conquests in America: been there, done that.
Still, the small voice of William Duguid squeaks in the halls of comment: allegiance!
Shall it be Queen or Eagle? The amendments may not be over.


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