Monday, April 22, 2024

What crisis?

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Laws are made to achieve particular objectives. For example, the laws regulating the use of cellphones on our roads. Those laws were presumably enacted to promote road safety.

Two senior police officials gave their interpretation to the public which was seemingly at odds with the intent of the law as verbally enunciated by the authors of those laws soon after widespread public protest. We were made to understand that the officers were not officially disciplined, but they were nevertheless soon reassigned to other duties.

The Constitution of Barbados is an edict which, in its preamble, acknowledges the supremacy of God. It seems to provide the opportunity for Government to commence its otherwise five-year term up to six months before a new Parliament is convened (subject to the Governor General). Following this five-year parliamentary period, whatever the circumstances, a further period of up to 90 days can be capriciously added with no logic other than the law so provides.

Within that additional period, serious economic decisions can be made in the absence of communication with or input from the citizens who would have, de facto, been deprived of representation in Parliament as a consequence of its dissolution. Within the latter period of up to 90 days, these economic decisions can over the long term have the potential to compromise the functioning of any succeeding Government.

There is no crisis, no conflict – so let us continue to institutionalise the arrangements that any successor Government of Barbados may have its term extended to about five years and nine months. The letter of the law says so. Amen.

– PAT S.R. CALLENDER 

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