Surprise! Barbados Constitution to be amended today with zero notice, no debate by news media, public

DLP Thompson Government picks up where BLP left off – ignoring citizens’ right to know

Like the previous BLP Arthur/Mottley government, the current DLP government will be quietly sliding through various changes to our Constitution whenever it strikes their fancy. Appearing on the Order Paper today is the “Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill” that will somehow change the legal foundation upon which our country stands. Will this change impact your rights or obligations? Why is it being done? Will any group or persons receive a special advantage because of this amendment? Why is it necessary?

Perhaps you’ll find the answers in the Bajan news media, but usually you won’t.

As citizens we have a right to expect to be notified IN ADVANCE of ANY and all changes to our Constitution – no matter how “minor” the government says the changes are.

The Arthur/Mottley government must have changed the constitution a half dozen times or more with no notice: once even changing it to allow foreign military on Barbados soil and providing foreign military personnel with power and authority over the actions of citizens. That was during the Cricket World Cup and the government quietly slid it in with no notice and the full cooperation of David Thompson and his DLP.

You can read the bill here, but where is the Barbados news media on this? Where is the reporting, the investigative journalism, the probing questions?

Awwww…. forget it.

Barbados Advocate: Parliament resumes after summer recess

Further Reading

April 13, 2008 – Does Anyone Know Which Barbados Constitution Is Law?

March 12, 2008 – What Went Wrong With The BLP Government – And How The DLP Is Heading The Same Way

March 15, 2007 – Constitutional Amendment 2007 – A Crime In Progress (part 3 of 3)

March 14, 2007 – Constitutional Amendment 2007 – A Crime In Progress (Part 2 of a Series)

March 13, 2007 – Constitutional Amendment 2007: Prime Minister Owen Arthur Engaging In Cover-up Of Immense Financial Scandal

March 10, 2007 – Barbados Dictatorship To Change Constitution With Zero Notice, No Public Debate, No Public Release Of Proposed Changes


Filed under Barbados, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

19 responses to “Surprise! Barbados Constitution to be amended today with zero notice, no debate by news media, public

  1. Hants

    Second Readings of four bills, three standing in the name of the Prime Minister.

    These include the Public Service (Amendment) Bill, the Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, and the Land Development Duty (Amendment) Bill, all for 2009.

    BFP you should have been paying attention to the FIRST reading.
    You wait till SECOND Reading to complain?

  2. BFP

    Hi Hants,

    Second reading? Gosh… I guess that more than proves our point that we are ill-served by our government and our news media.

    Can you kindly direct us to a news story concerning the content of the Constitutional amendment and the reason for it? Perhaps a discussion piece where the issues are aired publicly and debated?

    Perhaps these appear on the DLP website… nope can’t find them there.

    Can you assist us Hants?


  3. Hants

    BFP ask and you shall receive.

    Thanks “Amendment here” for the post.

    You know I ain’t much help. I doan live in Babadus.

  4. BFP

    Hi Hants,

    Isn’t that the great thing about blogs? Citizens can pool their knowledge and resources for the betterment of democracy.

    However, it looks like we’ll have to rely upon the blogs to debate the meaning and necessity for the Constitutional amendment because there is zero in the old news media.

  5. love

    When I read this lead story……I knew my friends at BFP were again misleading its readers.

    This DLP Government under Hon. David Thompson’s leadership is the most transparent within the entire Commonwealth.

    I know that the BFP folks have been so accustomed to the trickery of the BLP…..that it is hard to understand that David Thompson and the DEMS represent real and positive…CHANGE .

  6. Old rooster

    Where is the government and news media on WHY this change to the constitution is happening? Where is the discussion in the news of a change to this important document?

    Don’t talk about transparency without telling us when FOI is coming. Why didn’t Thompson keep his promise to bring FOI and integrity laws by May of 2008?

  7. Paul Barnes

    @ love – “This DLP Government under Hon. David Thompson’s leadership is the most transparent within the entire Commonwealth” is a true statement.

    They are the most transparent pack of jokers I’ve ever seen…

  8. love

    To Paul Barnes….thank you.

    I know you are too shame to recognise how the NON – TRANSPARENT BLP treated you…!

  9. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    If Parliament’s Order Papers are regularly posted on Barbados Parliament website then the government coud argue that is good information. The bill in question refers to its being posted in the Official Gazette in August. In reading the local papers I do not recall seeing regular reference to the contents of the Official Gazette or to the Parliamentary website. Going forward one would hope that will change.

    As for “love” claiming “This DLP Government under Hon. David Thompson’s leadership is the most transparent within the entire Commonwealth”, could a list of the actions behind that claim be provided? It is certainly not true if I look at Britain alone. I think of Canada and Australia being more transparent. Jamaica too is more transparent in broad terms. Let’s all be illuminated.

  10. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    My reading of the Constitutional change suggests that it is more good housekeeping and bringing wording and application up to date.

  11. historical alchemy

    “The European alchemists tried to transmute lead into gold, and, no matter how futile or toxic the element, would continue trying until it was royally outlawed later into the century”

    It is quite evident that, like the BLP, DLP operatives are attempting to transmute words and inaction into gold but are succeeding only in transmuting them into toxic sh__e.

    Please do not insult the intelligence of the Barbadian voter. They know the difference between action and talk.


    its the nature of things

    get used to it.




  14. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    While I wait patiently for “love” to find a way to subtantiate the “most transparent within the entire Commonwealth” claim, a good read from today’s Jamaican papers on how transparency in government is working there. First, the Contracter General’s finding that there is evidence of corruption on the part of MP Patrick Hibbert in his dealings with road contractor Mabey & Johnson, Second, findings of a sizeable fraud in the Ministry of Finance,

    Still a long way to go until justice is done, but the path is being walked.

  15. love

    Dennis Jones,

    It is clear that you have not lived in Barbados between 2000 – 2007 and secondly, you do not understand the meaning of TRANSPARENCY !

    Here is why I have arrived at those conclusions :

    * Which PM in Barbados – between 2000 & 2007 – received a campaign donation cheque from a commercial bank…..kept it secret ( even from his party colleagues ) and DEPOSITED it into his private bank account ???

    Mind you David Thompson had to let Barbadians know about this…..most INTRANSPARENT act !!!

    * Which Deputy PM in Barbados – between 2004 & 2007 – would negotiate a contract to build a prison in BDS $$ – then to cover the trickery – claim the quote was in US$$ ??

    Mind you David Thompson had to let Barbadians know about this …..most INTRANSPARENT act !!!

    Wuhloss….. do not invite me to talk about Mr. Cecil Mcdowall……go back and read his most earth shattering response to the NHC charges…!

    Mr. Mcdowall says he only got work from 2 minstries…Health & Housing !

    How come ?????


    Liz Thompson……( whom I have never met) was the Minister on both occasions.

    Dennis Jones…have a TRANSPARENT dinner….!

  16. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @love, whether I was living in Barbados between 2000-2007 should not matter to your contention that the current government is the most transparent in the Commonwealth. That is or is not a fact, irrespective of where we were living. The anecdotes are nice but they go no where toward supporting your claim.

    Sadly for you, I do know a bit about transparency. That was my field for the past few years before coming to Barbados, in framing international transparency policies so that countries could be assessed on how they were doing in that area.

  17. love

    Hello Dennis,

    I note that you not only had a transparent dinner….but a similar breakfast also !

    Here is the……..clincher !!

    From my previous post… now see how poor the BLP was on the issue of…..TRANSPARENCY !

    It is clear you would have picked this up EARLIER…..had you remained employed with the international TRANSPARENCY agency ( as you claim )…….rather than returning to BARBADOS and ADVISE Owen Arthur and his gov’t to sell GOVERNMENT LAND for a pittance……against a ruling of PARLIAMENT.

    It should be the ” RULE OF LAW “…..not the rule of MEN….!

  18. Dennis Jones (aka Living in Barbados)

    @love, maybe your idea of proving a point is to not deal with it. Your saying anything about what the BLP did says nothing about what the DLP does, and your claim seems to have slipped your memory. It was a pretty wild one. Last time I looked the Commonwealth was a bit bigger than 166 square miles and had a tad more than 280,000. So, with due respect to anyone else following this, I will state that the claim you made really does not stand up to scrutiny.

    Rule of law is always subject to rule of men (or people), and good systems mean that they work irrespective of who is steering them.

    What is interesting is to think about how transparency is better served when something is at stake. I’ve commented before that one reason why some countries do not borrow from the IMF or World Bank (if eligible) or the EU/EC (say for budget support) is that their affairs are then subject to much tougher scrutiny, and books that are closed to the public have to be opened to the lenders.

    Matter closed for me.