On Thursday 24th November, Grenada voted on (7) seven bills tabled to reform our 43 year old constitution.
The electorate, a shadow of itself, only 22,000 of 71,000 possible electors voted NO to all (7) seven bills. I am personally disappointed at the result, because constitution reform should not be about politics, or viewed with a sense of apathy.
The Grenadian people had no direct input into the original constitution template handed down to us by Britain in 1973. This would have been our first opportunity as individuals to be part of and or make a meaningful impact on the most important law of the land.
I stated before in a previous letter to the press, that it would be improper for any side or any individual in a position of authority or influence to state or intimate publicly that anyone should vote YES or NO to any bill.
For the vote to be genuinely representative of the people, it had to be left to each and every one of us to decide as we saw fit. Personally, I voted Yes five times, and No twice.
Now that it has been decided, although I disagree with the outcome, I accept the results because it was a democratically held process. If the vote reflects the will of the people, then so be it. If I had to Monday morning quarterback the rational for the across the board No vote I would put it down to a combination of factors.
People not fully understanding, and somewhat not feeling the urgency, the necessity, or the importance of the presented bills to their everyday lives. Political persuasion/influence. And the fact that a constitution reform vote is generally an uninspiring exercise that does not generate the hype or attraction of a general election.
Sadly, I believe that for constitution reform, that this is it for us in Grenada, no matter whosoever forms a Government administration in the near future.
Commandante Fidel Castro Ruiz has passed away at the age of 90. May he RIP. To me, Castro was undoubtedly one of the most venerable leaders of the century he lived in, a man amongst minnows. I am aware though that as many people hate him as love him. But Fidel would have had it no other way.
I understand the emotions expressed by the Cuban exile community in Miami who are avidly celebrating his death. For most of them, their families fled a Cuba that was a playground for the rich and the mafia under Fulgencio Batista. A country where 2% of the population owned everything, and the rest had only the prospects of perpetually labouring in cane fields to look forward to. This was before Castro.
After the arrival of Castro, Cuba enjoyed some of the highest levels of education and medical field successes in the world. And under Castro that country has, until recently, with the Ebola crisis in Africa, helped many a poor and struggling third world country in Africa, Latin America and our own Grenada.
Sending a plane to Grenada to take poor people back to Cuba for eye care treatment is only one e.g of Cuba’s assistance to developing nations. In Grenada’s case, Cuba also constructed our gateway to the world, The Maurice Bishop International airport.
I met Fidel personally on a trip to Cuba with Maurice Bishop in 1982, when I was the Government’s pilot. I had a short conversation with him that I will never forget. Fidel made mistakes and did some bad things to his opponents during his reign. He was no saint.
The mightiest western power in the world has openly admitted to the fact that they attempted to kill him over six hundred times. I suppose he had to kill to stay alive. But before his critics start to condemn him too much, they should be aware of other world leaders who did bad things as well, that should be also recorded in their bad columns, some who are still around.
None of them possess nearly as an impressive an Internationally acclaimed do well column as the one Fidel could have boasted of having.
Prince Harry the representative of Elizabeth Regina, Queen of England, paid a visit to Grenada on Monday 28th Novmber. Welcome Harry. Although I am not a supporter of Royalty, I also do not prescribe to the sins of the fathers theory.
I believe that Harry is a genuine ambassador who generally likes people, especially youth. He also served in his country’s armed forces when he was given the opportunity, unlike the draft dodger Donald Trump, and I respect him for this. Nice having you visit Harry, feel free to come again anytime.