The word flying around the country at the moment is that plans are afoot by government to increase the amount of constituencies on the island from fifteen to seventeen.
Speculation is rife that two additional constituencies would be created within South St. George and St. David’s.
Opponents of the Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) government have concluded that the move is intended to accommodate the controversial Peter David in the Town of St. George and for the incumbent, Health Minister Nicholas Steele to run in one of the two South seats.
THE NEW TODAY finds it extremely strange that the NNP regime would give support to such a notion, which cuts across the philosophy of Prime Minister Mitchell.
Over the years, Dr. Mitchell has spoken about government being too large and he is all for smaller governments in the country.
This is even more critical in Grenada’s current financial state.
Why would any government seek to burden the taxpayers of the country with more Members of Parliament in the face of the critical debt situation facing the country?
It just doesn’t make much common sense – unless the overriding consideration is based solely on political expediency.
There are presently two Members of Parliament on the Government Side who are getting salaries for doing nothing for the Central Government – Tobias Clement (St. George North-east) and Clifton Paul (St. Patrick East).
The argument might be put forward that MP Paul is the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The position of THE NEW TODAY is that all Parliamentarians – whether serving in the Cabinet of Ministers – ought to be paid a monthly salary.
These people were elected by their respective constituencies to serve their needs first and foremost and not the Cabinet.
It is our view that even 15 MP’s are too much for Grenada given the size of the population.
What is badly needed and more relevant is the establishment of Local Government to empower people at the village level to have a greater say in their own developmental needs.
The major weakness in our democratic system is that too much power lies in the hands of politicians – and the smart ones are often bent on manipulating the system to their own advantages.
The man on the street has the power once in every five years and for only a few seconds when he entered the polling station to cast his one ballot.
There is too much to be done in Grenada at this point in time than to start thinking of increasing on the amount of constituencies.
The NNP might be skillfully seeking to introdce a new debate in the national scheme of things and to take people minds way from issues such as the Camerhogne Park and Constitutional Reform.
Only time will tell as the days, weeks and months are drawing down for the holding of another general election.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to make some passing remarks about the murder of 15-year old Britney Baptiste of Good Hope allegedly at the hands of her brother-in-law.
This was a school child who reached out to the system for protection and was virtually abandoned.
It is well known that she informed the relevant authorities about being sexually abused by a family member.
What did the State do to protect young Britney? There is supposed to be a Child Protection Agency within government? What did it do for young Britney?
Was the Minister of Social Development aware of the case of the young girl? If she knew, what did the minister do or did not do to help the young lady?
If someone is charged for sexual molestation of an under-aged female, the court would normally adopt the position that the offender should keep away from the person by a certain distance, as well as have no communication or contact with the individual.
Was this done in Britney’s case? How come she was allowed to live on the same compound with the alleged perpetrator of the rape who is now charged with her murder?
When poor, you are really exposed.