It seems from all appearances – that the Government in control of the nation’s affairs, is more concerned with holding power than upholding principle.
It has been very well said and fully documented – that the way to preserve the democracy that we cherish, is the way of dialogue and frankness.
If control and discipline are not to be commanded by force, then they can only be drawn out by involvement.
Our current state of affairs, pertaining to the politics and parliamentary process now confronting us as a people, are creating serious causes for concern, and grave disappointment for our people across the political spectrum.
If we are to view the role of the political party – as the means to which dialogue is maintained between Government and the people, and the institution through which the Leaders organise the aspirations of the people – then those Leaders have to be much more open and upfront about the people’s business, and how the same is affecting the lives and living conditions of the people.
A reader of this column confronted me about my statement a week or so ago – that the people would not get the chance to choose the next Government before about April next year – according to the grapevine news from inside the inner circle.
And he wanted to know where such power or authority is provided for – to enable those in control to be doing their own thing as it were, and just ignoring the very people whose business they are supposed to be managing.
So I had to go back to our Constitution, which came into operation in Grenada on the 7th February, 1974, to find the answer.
Section 51 (2) thereof lays down – “There shall be a session of Parliament once at least in every year, so that a period of six months shall not intervene between the last sitting of Parliament in one session, and the first sitting thereof in the next session”.
The last sitting of Parliament was in July sometime, so that Six Months will expire in January next year (2013), and another session must be held in that month.
If the No-Confidence Motion brought by M.P. Karl Hood, is heard and upheld – Parliament will have to be dissolved, and General Elections must be held within three months after such dissolution.
It is in that order of one issue following immediately after the foregoing action, that the required Ninety days after the dissolution to hold General Elections, will come into play in the month of April, or soon thereafter.
It seems, therefore, that the dates and the order of things to take place were carefully worked out. But how that scenario will assist or hinder those in control – only time and the unfolding events will tell.
In the meantime, however, the people struggling to make economic ends meet, will continue to struggle.
The problems facing the “Gravel and Concrete and Emulsion Plant” workers, seem to be floating in mid-air.
The Prime Minister’s assurance that Cabinet had appointed a Board of Directors, only a couple days before he met with the Union’s Representative on behalf of the workers – that was a mistake; and the Letters of Dismissals to Fifty odd workers were proposals, not final decisions – so these have been cancelled.
In the meantime a group of Student Nurses, who had completed a section of their stipulated courses, but received no increased payments for so doing – they took to the streets in demonstration against the unfair treatment meted out to them – because the initial stipends they were receiving were causing serious embarrassment in trying to make ends meet.
And what is even more unfair, according to their Union officials, is that they are doing the work of Registered Nurses (R.N’s) at the General Hospital, and not receiving the rates of pay for same.
But while we are going through all sorts of ups and downs in these Isles, as far as our politics are concerned – the people of the U.S.A. went to the Polls to choose a President and my hopeful prediction was fullfilled and President Barack Obama continues with his family to occupy the White House for another four years.
With the chaos and destruction on the U.S East Coast causing untold hardships, more bad weather is forecast for the same areas and the Winter Season is also in full swing.
Our prayers and best wishes go out to them all, and to the second term President for the next Four years – as he leads the free world in these troubling times and natural disasters.
The morning after the results in the U.S. were announced, a reader of this column who had seen my prediction – stopped me on my way to work, to enquire whether I can make a similar forecast for our Prime minister and his new group in the forthcoming Elections, whenever that maybe.
I had to tell him quite frankly – that the conditions and circumstances, leading up to where the current controllers are now struggling to keep the ship of state afloat, were part and parcel of their own making, without listening to or taking serious notice of outsiders opinions.
And as far as I can attempt to resolve the existing differences, that will more than likely hamper their chances in the coming months – I must also say quite frankly, that the continuing standstill of the Government activities, as far as our Parliamentary business, and their inability to get any of the pending projects started up and running – these are making the bad matters even more intolerable.
And the apparent intention to remain in control of the ship of state – although it is very clear that the course being followed is not leading our people on the right road towards better days ahead – that state of affairs is not helping or reducing the pressure on the people.
One ray of hope on the Investment and Job Creation front, is now centered on the change of ownership of the La Source Hotel Establishment to the Sandals Hotel Group.
The new owners will be interviewing all the former employees for re-employment, and the apparent plan is to buy some adjoining lands to increase the Hotel capacity and employ more staff when fully operational.
No clear statement of exactly when the new hotel will be opening, but the workers who were sent home by La Source now have some hope of regaining employment.
Like the workers of Gravel and Concrete, whose proposed dismissals were cancelled – at least both lots can look forward to better days for Christmas and the New Year.
The same cannot be said about the thousands of other unemployed able-bodied men and women – who have been looking for, or waiting on projects so long promised to come on stream, that they can earn a living wage.
It is accepted that there are no simple answers to unemployment – but on the other hand, the unemployed is a man to whom freedom is not even a word, certainly not an idea, and at best a sordid joke.
And in conditions like the existing wide scale unemployment – men and women will seek the means to survival where they can find them, or surrender to despair.
And that is precisely why the powers-that-be must take very urgent action – to bring those promised jobs on stream without further delay.
The economic hardships and the silence surrounding those projects are becoming unbearable, and time is not on the side of the controllers.