Archive | May, 2010

A Fresh Look at Voting Divisions

24 May

A future PDC Government shall make sure that all CONSTITUENCIES and electoral (polling) districts are renamed in this country.

Thus, that there shall no longer be the St Michael South CONSTITUENCY, the St. George North CONSTITUENCY, the St. John CONSTITUENCY, the St. Lucy CONSTITUENCY, Christ Church East CONSTITUENCY, the St. James Central CONSTITUENCY, the St. Philip West CONSTITUENCY, etc.

Thus, there shall no longer be electoral ( polling ) districts DA 1, DA 2, DA 3, and all the others within the national CONSTITUENCY ( the total number of CONSTITUENCIES in the country).

Such a policy shall also apply to any future CONSTITUENCIES and future electoral ( polling) districts that ( in regard of CONSTITUENCIES ) are created and that are so named on the basis of the parishes in which they fall ( exclusively or substantially ), and that (in regard of electoral ( polling ) districts) are created in any of the CONSTITUENCIES and that carry such nondescript meaningless titles, in between the time now and whenever we become at the helm of government in this country

These CONSTITUENCIES and districts shall be so named after prominent Barbadians who either in the past or in the present ( at the same time ) would have done great and extraordinary service to the particular CONSTITUENCIES, or would have been outstanding in whatever fields in life and would have arisen from or resided in those particular CONSTITUENCIES and electoral districts or would have been for whatever reasons established for a good deal of time in them.

Hence, we strongly believe in the following and more –

1) that CONSTITUENCIES must as much as possible be seen by many Barbadians as being different from the entire colonial names and other colonial and post colonial human made things that are politically governmentally characteristic of the parishes in this country;

2) that CONSTITUENCIES for purely electoral political purposes must as much as possible have their own identities;

3) that such identities must center around paying homage and respect to the personalities that would have rendered – that would have been rendering outstanding meritorious service in whatever regards in those CONSTITUENCIES;

4) that those present and past personalities by being granted such recognition would bring a greater sense of local history and culture to many others of the real meaning and importance of CONSTITUENTS/CONSTITUENCIES;

5) that by granting such recognition would also entail the beginning of a substantial redefinition in the political language and behaviour associated with the theoretical CONSTITUENCY away from the primary operating variables – voting – party – Representation of the People’s Act – House of Assembly seats – to where it ( definitional language ) rightfully “modernistically” belong – CONSTITUENCY BUILDING – the CONSTITUENT – a CONSTITUENTS Bill of Rights – CONSTITUENCY ASSEMBLIES – WHERE CONSTITUENTS will initiate and debate and pass the laws of this country

6) that with the establishment of such features ( in 5 ), and other relevant features, the further development of the nation building process shall be guaranteed away from, and as a partial substitute for – the excessive party based governmental politics that is too much corrupting and dividing our country.

and

7) that electoral ( polling) districts – being themselves constituent parts of CONSTITUENCIES – must actually reflect all the above and more considerations – (1 to 6 ).

So, there you go.

VOTE PDC for real and substantial change for the better in Barbados.

PDC

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Barbadian Taxpayers foot Corruption Bill

17 May

This news first emerged earlier this month, but it must be repeated. The hope is that we stop paying attention, that these matters become so “everyday” so “run of the mill” that we start to believe that things can not change. We are referring to the Auditor General’s report that highlights the depth to which corruption has reached in Barbados. The focus on corruption has traditionally been on the political leaders in the country.

The Auditor General of Barbados Mr. Leigh Trotman has turned the glare of his spotlight on some staffers of the Electrical Engineering Department who in his view claimed “exorbitant” over time rates when compared with the usual overtime rates in Government. In his 2009 report he indicated that some staffers claimed as much as $1, 800 and others $2,500 per night during the last election, bringing the total claim to some $48, 500.

Mr. Trotman said that he also wanted a thorough investigation into how several imported vehicles were able to leave the Port without paying the duties necessary. The duties amount to some half a million dollars.

Somehow Barbadians do not seem to get it that the taxpayers foot the bill for this corruption and if the Government coffers run low because of this leakage it will ultimately result in higher taxes.

The list keeps getting longer and longer of the Government agencies where it has become quite the norm for individuals to pay officials something extra for doing their job or where they allow Barbadians to escape paying the taxes that are due under the law.

Tory-LibDem LoveFest

15 May

The question on everyone’s lips must be “how long will the love fest last?”. Well the Liberal Democrats have glued themselves to the hip of the Conservatives and so far everything is fine. David Cameron is the new British Prime Minister and Nick Clegg his Deputy. The two make a very vibrant looking team and must make the British feel that they can take on the world. They have already agreed to a 5% cut in salaries.

Political reform is one of the items on the Lib-Dem agenda on which the Conservatives were prepared to make a compromise. The UK may not need very much convincing about changing to proportional representation. There certainly will not be an outcry if there is reform in the House of Lords. Well these are the easy bits, its going to be a long hard slog to get that crippling deficit down to manageable proportions.

The following sets out the proposed political reform:

May 11, 2010

The parties agree to the establishment of five year fixed-term parliaments. A Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will put a binding motion before the House of Commons in the first days following this agreement stating that the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Following this motion, legislation will be brought forward to make provision for fixed term parliaments of five years. This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour.

The parties will bring forward a Referendum Bill on electoral reform, which includes provision for the introduction of the Alternative Vote in the event of a positive result in the referendum, as well as for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies. Both parties will whip their Parliamentary Parties in both Houses to support a simple majority referendum on the Alternative Vote, without prejudice to the positions parties will take during such a referendum.
The parties will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP was found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.

We agree to establish a committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected upper chamber on the basis of proportional representation. The committee will come forward with a draft motions by December 2010. It is likely that this bill will advocate single long terms of office. It is also likely there will be a grandfathering system for current Peers. In the interim, Lords appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election.

The parties will bring forward the proposals of the Wright Committee for reform to the House of Commons in full – starting with the proposed committee for management of programmed business and including government business within its scope by the third year of the Parliament.

The parties agree to reduce electoral fraud by speeding up the implementation of individual voter registration.
We have agreed to establish a commission to consider the ‘West Lothian question’.

The parties agree to the implementation of the Calman Commission proposals and the offer of a referendum on further Welsh devolution.

The parties will tackle lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists. We also agree to pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics.

The parties will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups. This will include a full review of local government finance.

Another Look at Agriculture

13 May

No Action Talk Only is all we hearing. So many issues to write on but my limitation is space and frequency. This week I will seek to provide some ideas which I feel can be embraced by the Ministry of Agriculture. Decision makers and politicians must get off their high horses of arrogance and embrace ideas from all and sundry. Barbados with its high food import bill will not survive for more than eight weeks without food imports should their be a global freight problem The below suggestion are being made in the best interest of the country for the two reasons. Potential for earning foreign currency and to ensure our food security. How many of you have heard of the Barbados Acerola Cherry and having the highest Vitamin C content. Is not that a discerning quality? Do you know that Gooseberries are very high in vitamin C and has great potential in the creation of a unique jam or juice. What about creating this as a limited edition product? What about the famous Pomengranate. Why not research our variety for its concentration of antioxidant properties? Did I hear that Aloe Vera and the Barbadian variety is one of the highest grades. Let’s plant some on our rab land specially for Palmolive or Victoria Secrets? I would love to see some cans of canned creole Flying Fish exported. Mr Benn what about pitted dunks under the Barbados Brand.

I am not a martyr, I am not a rebel, I am not a maverick I am but the boy from the village who wore patches,whose heart remains with the villagers. So cuss me as much as you can but very few of you have done more than I for our beloved country.
Lets think Green. Be responsible in your waste disposale. You can make a difference.

Kammie

Any lessons in the UK Elections

7 May

The Fortunes of the Third Party in the Race
Well the expectation that Liberal Democrats under Nick Clegg might have done better in this election did not materialise. In fact they ended up losing seats. There was one woman who said that she usually votes Liberal but did not want to see Labour return to office. There might have also been some Liberal sympathisers who voted Labour. Certainly the fact that the Conservatives did not win by a land slide must say something about a lack of confidence in David Cameron. Labour therefore did better than expected. It certainly does not look as though the people wanted to get rid of Labour entirely.

The Hung Parliament
The United Kingdom therefore ended up with no party having a clear majority. This is one of the outcomes of a three party race. Many argue that it is not a bad outcome and that there are countries that do quite well in such circumstances.

Election Reform
One of the clear issues which the Liberal Democrats have placed on the table is election reform and this might be the right time to exercise some leverage in this area. One of the interesting questions is whether election reform would signal a move to proportional representation and not a “first past the post” system. This would be interesting for all the former British colonies that have adopted the latter system and every now and again flirt with the idea of proportional representation.

Irregularities at the Polls
One of the attributes of people is that they should try to learn from the mistakes of others. As we know the elections in the UK were conducted on May 6, 2010, and one of the outcomes was that thousands of people were turned away without being able to cast their vote. There were a number of issues that came out of this, firstly that they did not anticipate the number of people who would turn out to vote. Even when they realised that they would be under pressure to get through the voting process they did not put on enough staff. Then there was some confusion about the interpretation of the rules as to what amounted to closing the polls.

Usually in societies when things go well for a period of time people become careless. We note the issues that arose in Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda. Let us hope that they do not arise in Trinidad & Tobago or in Barbados.