Barbados Dictatorship To Change Constitution With Zero Notice, No Public Debate, No Public Release Of Proposed Changes

By Not Even Allowing Citizens To See & Debate The Proposed Constitutional Changes Beforehand, The Barbados Government Shows An Elitist & Dangerous Contempt For Citizens & Democracy. Why the Secrecy? Why The Rush?

This Is Democracy?

We are witnessing history in the making. Well, actually, ‘witnessing’ is not the right word because Bajans are not allowed to look. But don’t worry though: our leaders are telling us that it is going to be alright and we know they would never mislead us.

The Nation’s headline yesterday A Free Rein was a dead giveaway. Ain’t nothin be free in this world, with the possible exception of this blog…

It seems that the Government is going to amend our constitution next week. They intend to rush this through by taking the most unusual step of debating and passing the bill on Tuesday and then referring it to the Senate to be passed there on Wednesday. And right after that we will be treated to Owen Arthur’s presentation of the 2007 Financial and Economic Policy Statement. (Is there a coincidence here that we are missing?)

So we decided to take a look at this far reaching bill which will affect government and business affairs far into the future.

Citizens Not Allowed To See Constitutional Changes Beforehand

We went to the Barbados Parliament Web Site where they list “Bills and Resolutions Before the House”. Maybe the government put the proposed constitutional changes up on the web for all to see… Nope: Nothing, zero, no posting. We tried to Google it. Same result. Perhaps the proposed changes were printed in the newspapers… nope. Not there either.

The Government of Barbados put out a press release on a Friday that it intends to ram through a change to the Constitution on Tuesday. And Barbados citizens are not even allowed to see the wording of the amended Constitution prior to the change.

Oh Oh…

We have been treated in the last few days to a heated debate between DLP loyalists and BLP insiders as to whether or not there was a unanimous vote in parliament regarding the CWC security legislation. It seems those who were there, the people who represent us there in parliament, have amnesia. They can’t remember who voted for what. Were any of them there that day? And there is nowhere for us common folk to go to find out the truth.

And folks – that was just about a few cricket matches.

An Elitist and Dangerous Contempt For Citizens & Democracy

So now the same bunch are going to rush ahead and pass a law that is a fundamental change to our constitution, for all time, for our country and the way it operates from now until forever. No public notice, no debate, none of us are even allowed to look at it.

We have seen this before of course last year when the government rushed through the bill to amend the Highway Traffic Act. Our geniuses forgot to put in drunk driving laws, not to mention other oversights that would have been pointed out if only we had seen it beforehand. They quickly pulled it, tried to hide their embarrassment and sloughed it off as ‘just one of those things’. Right!

When a country is making constitutional changes; fundamental changes to our independent country are taking place. Can we not slow this down and let some outsiders such as lawyers and constitutional legal experts, take a long look at it? Something as important as this needs to be put up for debate and all people that are effected need to be heard from. That is the only way to get it right. That is what democracy is all about.

We would like to continue this discussion but, alas, we are prevented from knowing what our politicians are doing, or even if any of them have read it, because they won’t tell us.

This Is Democracy?

No, it is a devious bunch of people who pretend to be our leaders, playing hide and seek with us. I guess they think we are too stupid to think about what might be good for our own country.

For God’s sake, Owen Arthur, put a stop to this insanity. You too David Thompson if you are part of this scandal. If we need fundamental changes to our constitution tell us why, tell us what, and let us maybe point out what you may not have thought of.

What possible harm can come from postponing this process? It can only make you look like leaders who actually believe in democracy and respect the rights of the citizens of Barbados.

nation-news-good-doggy-barbados.jpg

Lapdog Barbados Media Silent On Government’s Abuse Of Democracy

Once again, The Nation News has allowed the government to use them as a press release service. Albert Brandford’s article on the rushed and secret constitutional changes is nothing more or less than a government advertisement. The Barbados Advocate didn’t even bother to mention that, “Oh by the way, Government will be changing the constitution in a few days – but don’t worry about it”

Same with the CBC – no mention that government intends to change the Constitution next Tuesday. No questions. No debate. Nothing.

What a pathetic excuse for journalism. The Barbados media has long forgotten its duty to the country.

Lapdogs who keep silent in exchange for continued government advertising revenues.

34 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

34 responses to “Barbados Dictatorship To Change Constitution With Zero Notice, No Public Debate, No Public Release Of Proposed Changes

  1. Jerome Hinds

    If the article under review is true, then many Barbadians should not be surprise.

    By the way……didn’t Chavez in Venezuela did/or about to change the constitution there…..???

    What is the link you ask…..???

    Notice after the PetroCaribe Bru Hah by this BLP government…Owen is slowly easing his way towards Chavez….for ” assistance “…..???

    It is reported that the Cuban government practises the same…..!!!

    Any surprise Owen was seen in PUBLIC giving the now famous Castro salute…cap on his head and ALL…..!!!

    There is a new meaning to CAC …….Castro, Arthur, Chavez…!!!

    But going way back to the 1999 general election campaign , many would recall the BLP played on their political platforms – what was referred to as the ” Republic Song ” John King sang the song.

    Who did they consult about that….the song was all part of their pledge to take Barbados to a Republican form of government….!!!

    In 1995, Owen declared that there would be NO Referendum on the Republican issue…!!!

    So the signs were long there on the wall with regards to the dismissive nature Owen and his CLUB of BANDITS……treat Barbadians….!!!

    Long Live the Revolution….!!!!

  2. Bajanboy

    The bill is there now on the web page. Either you missed it or they added suddenly after reading this story.

    While the aim of the bill seems noble, the way it is being rushed through is unfortunate. Isn’t it the job of the opposition to keep the ruling party in check?

  3. paul sealy

    wow..can’t wait for the “IMF” to step in and “OWN” us after owen leaves these shores for better waters cause there’s no way we can pay back that debt soooo…….what will our new name be guys??..

  4. John

    At least they are being considerate and preempting coverage of a match so we can watch our guys and gals perform on TV.

    We’ll also get to see if 100.7 also carries the broadcast as well.

    Exactly how are they changing the constitiution? I’ll check out Bajanboy’s advice and see if I can decipher the mumbo jumbo.

  5. Anonymous

    If the bill is on the BLP webpages, I reckon it’ll be available to about 5% of Bajan citizens,
    if they care to go look at it (I don’t).

    Has anyone contacted TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL.org
    about this disturbing subversion of ‘ours’ ??
    Knowledge of this little charade might alter our too-high rating on their Index of Perceived Corruption,
    alter it in a more realistic direction…downwards!

  6. Nomination

    “what will our new name be guys??..”
    I’ve always fancied Barkbados
    for the sheer amount of (nocturnal) dog-noise
    most of it simple nuisance-barking/yelping/whining.
    Yes, Bark-bados would go nicely.

    But that nomen has no economic content to it.
    We need something like United States of Trinidad,
    a collective sovereignty regionally governed from Whitehall,
    including Tobago, Grenada, SVG, Barkbados and St.Lucia,too.
    Dominica will probably fit right in there too.
    God knows we’re all satellites, whether we like it or not.

  7. John

    OK

    Here is the link for a constitutional amendment which appears under the Order Papers for March 13th 2007.

    http://barbadosparliament.com/htmlarea/uploaded/File/Bills/Bill_Amendment_the_constitution_barbados(2007).pdf

    Looks like they want to enhance the powers of the Auditor General.

    There are a couple of questions on the Order Paper by William and Ronald Jones.

    Looks like these are the only two MP’s asking questions on the 13th. The other 28 don’t seem to have any concerns.

    For those who are superstitious or have any pretensions of being a latter day Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March”.

  8. John

    Sorry, the link did not work.

    The constitutional amendment appears under the Order Papers link.

  9. John

    Sorry, Richard Sealy is also asking some questions. He is one of the thre MP’s who asked questions. Looks like the questions these guys asked date back to 2004 and are only now being answered.

    WOW!!

    And here we give William trouble about answering our questions about exactly what happened in Parliament with the divide. He has a tough life, but he still needs to answer else we will look at him in a different light.

    Here is another try at the link to the Constitutional change on the parliament website.

    http://barbadosparliament.com/htmlarea/uploaded/File/Bills/Bill_Amendment_the_constitution_barbados(2007).pdf

  10. John

    So if we want to hear the answers to the questions our representatives asked in Parliament back in 2004, tune in to CBC on the 13th or listen to 100.7 where the answers can be taped.

  11. John

    Rt. Hon. O. S. Arthur: To move the Second Reading of the Constitution
    (Amendment) Bill, 2007.

    Notice of this Bill was given on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill was read a first time on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill first appeared in the Official Gazette on 12th March, 2007.

  12. reality check

    oh I get it!

    a couple of scraps to the auditor general which he should have had years ago

    aren’t we great stewards of transparency and acoountability?

    but don’t take your eye off the ball—thats window dressing—whats in or whats not in the Statement to Parliament about the State of the economy and what election goodies will be dropped in the public’s lap is really what we need to focus on?

    These bandits do not care about due process, constitutional rights and the right to debate important issues.

    Where is Thompson or is he overseeing the new plans for the Trump Barbados casino?

  13. pogo

    Well there you have it: King Arthur and his niteowls of the elliptical table are about to hijack parliament.

    We get it. The Prime Minister is going to favor us with a speech for Wednesday that is going to tell us all how good we are having it in this, an election year. But he knows that the problem is he will be only be speculating because no one, especially him, knows how much all that new CWC debt is going to choke us. (How much do we have to pay back? What are the interest payments each month? How much will taxes be raised and for how long? How many other initiatives have to be postponed and shelved? What are the projections for how much our cost of living will go up? Stuff like that.)

    So to allow himself to avoid all of these embarrassing questions, now and forever, the Prime Minister will precede his self-congratulatory speech by ramming a law through parliament that makes it impossible for us ever to evaluate things for ourselves.

    One wonders if anyone has even read this supposed law that is about to be shoved down our throats?

    A better idea- that would be supported by all of those people you work for i.e. us voters – would be to present a bill in the house on Tuesday that requires that no bill may be presented to parliament unless it has been posted on the parliamentary web site for at least a month.

    This would allow intelligent debate that can only make the final product better.

  14. John

    How could it be the 10th of March 2007 today and the Bill first appeared in the Official Gazette of 12th March, 2007?

    How does this Official Gazette thing work?

  15. John

    Maybe someone should go to the Government Printery Department on the 12th of March, Monday, ask for a copy of the Official Gazette, and see how many hours a citizen would get to read the amendments before Owen appears on TV on Tuesday to move they be adopted.

  16. De Orginal

    Interesting my fellow bloggers you have finally realised that there is no accountability, integrity and transparency in the actions of the Barbados Government. One would have to be blind not to notice that the Auditor General have spoken about full payment to large companies by the Ministry of Public Works but yet the Minister does not feel he has a duty to explain that to the public why this irregularity took place. The Prime Minister is not on record publicly as having said a further investigation will take place. So the way things are done in the house of assembly should not suprise or astound anyone. The people of Barbados must insist on these things being done. we must speak out more as it seems the media is only interested in financial survival. Hence the importance of forums like Barbados Free Press and the call in programmes to a lesser extent.

  17. Wishing in Vain

    So which laws are the short man looking to change?
    Is he about to make biting legal? Homosexality legal? Polticians who steal as if there is no tomorrow legal? Crossdressing Legal? Wilkinson,Nicholls, Cox, Hobson, Banninster and Shorey exempt from legal action for their part in the wholesale raping of this country of millions of taxpayers dollars??????

  18. John

    13
    ORDER PAPER: TUESDAY 13th MARCH, 2007
    NO. 128

    ——————————————————————————–
    17.
    Rt. Hon. O. S. Arthur: To move the Second Reading of the Financial Management and Audit Bill, 2007.

    Notice of this Bill was given on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill was read a first time on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill first appeared in the Official Gazette on 12th March, 2007.
    18.
    Rt. Hon. O. S. Arthur: To move the Second Reading of the Constitution
    (Amendment) Bill, 2007.

    Notice of this Bill was given on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill was read a first time on 6th March, 2007.
    The Bill first appeared in the Official Gazette on 12th March, 2007

    Still can’t figure out the Official Gazette of the 12th of March 2007 being used.

    Maybe the mad rush is to appear to be addressing integrity and transparency, but this Official Gazette thing has really thrown me a curve.

    I just can’t understand how a document in the future could be used to support a notice like this. I mean, suppose a monkey decides on Monday to run up an HT pole and shut down the whole island. Then the Official Gazette might not get printed for the 12th of March 2007.

    Perhaps it is printed already.

  19. Patrick Porter

    I said years ago when Arthur got in that he was a little despot and as time goes on I have been proven right. What is happening to the Barbados that I love and to it’s people, can’t they see what is going on. WAKE UP BARBADOS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    Turf them out and have a chance of the freedoms that the great “Dipper” fought for. He must be turning in his grave

  20. God.

    Turf out who?
    De roads gyne be sweeet, (the sweetest in decades!)
    – and de memories gyne be short!

    Verily I say unto thee
    Gird thy loins
    for we shall have BLP yet again,
    for my man-in-the-street is not on the same intellectual level as you elevated ones,in here.

  21. Patrick Porter

    Yeah Right. Another 4 years of waste and theft. Another 4 years of mismangement. Another 4 years of broken promises. Another 4 years of the BLP stealing the birthrite of the people. Another of 4 years of loving making with the rich. Another 4 years of the Despot telling people how to live. Another 4 years of people feeling unsafe to talk their talk. Another 4 years of ARTHUR. God help us all and save us from the depts that we have sunk, with this Government

  22. Sick and fed up Sylvan

    The dictatorship is upon us. What are you going to do, Barbados? Lie down and allow Owen Arthur and his bunch to trample on your rights. The BLP thinks like Hitler’s Nazi party. They want total power and, makes no bones about, if Bajans do not reject the bunch in the next election, you can look forward to attempts to crush dissenting voices like Barbados Free Press. There must be no criticism of the BLP. Word out of Trinidad is that Roy Boyke, the Trinidadian the BLP brings here every election to fool Bajans, has already designed the campaign plan for the elections. From what is being said, the advice to the BLP is to go for broke. It seems that they are planning to drive fear into Barbadians to get them vote again for the BLP. Owen Arthur badly needs to win a fourth term. It will be his legacy as the first prime minister to do so. It is up to Bajans to decide whether they will allow themselves to be used as the means to this end. That is how the BLP treats Bajans. They are only important as election time approaches because the vote is what the BLP needs to stay in power and power is sweet for them. Save Barbados and your children from a dictatorship. Vote out Owen Arthur and the BLP.

  23. De Orginal

    I agree with Patrick Porter, the work of the Errol Walton Barrow is being eroded. Our people need to awake and fight the under currents which exsist in our society, lobbyists who inform governemnt policy.
    Hence the move to get rid of free education , free health care and other conponents of the social justice programmes put in place and fought for by Errol Walton Barrow.

    We must become aware and becareful of these people who seek to destroy our country for personal gain.

    Definition of lobby
    lobbying

    Any attempt by a group or individual to influence the decisions of government. The term originated in 19th-century efforts to influence the votes of legislators, generally in the lobby outside a legislative chamber. The effort may be a direct appeal to a decision maker in either the executive or legislative branches, or it may be indirect (e.g., through attempts to influence public opinion). It may include oral or written efforts of persuasion, campaign contributions, public-relations campaigns, research supplied to legislative committees, and formal testimony before such committees. A lobbyist may be a member of a special-interest group, a professional willing to represent any group, or a private individual. In the U.S., the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act (1946) requires that lobbyists and the groups they represent register and report contributions and expenditures

  24. pogo

    What a great idea to register lobbyists. Only problem is in Barbados the cabinet Ministers shovel all the good jobs to companies they and/or their cronies own so in fact they are their own lobbyists.

    Here is how it goes when there is lush government contract to award:

    Place: Minister’s bathroom while he or she looks into the mirror.

    Time: before anyone else even knows that there is a government contract to be let.

    Minister: ” Who should we award this profitable job to?”

    Lobbyist: “To the person you are looking at in the mirror, of course.”

    Minister: “Ok you genius, you talked me into it. Decision made. That was easier than tendering it, which is a waste of time and besides the morons, oops I mean voters, that I represent don’t need to know.”

    Lobbyist: “Pop the champagne, the best company got the job.”

    One day, with any luck, the mirror will crack. Conflict of interest and freedom of information is needed to do that so don’t be bettin’ on it happening any time soon, not with the current bunch running things.

  25. Mike

    I remember some years ago when Mr Barrow went about legislating the wages of some workers there was a major song and dance about how criminal it was to have done so seems to me we are not hearing the same level of discussion now that Owing has done exactly the same thing, different standards for the BLP vs the DLP supporters?

  26. Wishing in Vain

    Arthur can be compared to Hitler fed on the need to have power and control, next we will be saluting to Arthur.

  27. Patrick Porter

    Wishing in Vain
    We all have to learn the Nazi salute and we had better do it quickly. We also have to learn how to bow as well. For when His Imperial Highness Owen passes we need to know these things. The Barbados I knew is going thru the eddoes fast enough and the people can’t see it

  28. John

    The one from “Allo Allo” will do fine.

  29. Wishing in Vain

    Here is a novel idea you think we could persuade this gang of thieves to refund to the treasury some of the monies that they have stolen in view of the fact that things are getting worst than ever around here maybe in the goodwill spirit no not the ESAF spirit Owing maybe willing to return some of the millions to the treasury seeing how religious he has supposely become this would be a step in the right direction.

  30. John

    Did anyone get the Official Gazette dated yesterday and notice if the notice of the constitutional reform was available, or was the whole thing just not worth noticing?

    It’s like the refrain, “If you notice this notice then you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing”.

  31. Patrick Porter

    Hey John
    I can’t get it up here in Canada so can you if you have the time give me a quick run down of the contents, I would appreciate that

  32. Inkwell

    Sick and fed up Sylvan says….in part

    “From what is being said, the advice to the BLP is to go for broke. It seems that they are planning to drive fear into Barbadians to get them vote again for the BLP.

    Not even die hard anti BLP ranters and ravers can take this seriously.

    Sylvan is clearly too sick too see the idiocy of this last sentence. Driving fear into voters would do exactly the opposite in a democracy. Or is any and every misrepresentation and innuendo permissible, no matter how idiotic.

  33. Patrick Porter

    Inkwell
    It worked in Canada over the last two elections. The Liberals drove the fear into the public about the Conservatives, as a result we got a party in power for 13 years that did as they wanted and stole 120 miilion of the peoples purse and probally a lot more that we don’t know about.
    So fear tatics do work

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