The people are finally waking up to the reality that those in authority are bent on pushing forward with the planned October 27 Referendum on Constitutional Reform in the Spice Isle.
With each and every passing day, more and more people are expressing their views about the Referendum, which is less than five weeks away.
The signs are clear that the authorities intend to carry out the exercise despite calls in many quarters for the date to be pushed back because many of our people are totally ignorant about the issues to be placed on the ballot paper.
It is very unfortunate that Grenadians are being asked to vote for constitutional reform when thousands of them have never seen or read anything in the document.
Our leaders – those present and past – have failed the people on Constitutional Reform.
The 1979-83 People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG) of late Marxist leader, Maurice Bishop had announced plans to scrap the 1974 independence constitution order that Grenada got when it broke ties with Britain.
The revolutionary leaders had appointed a Senior Counsel from neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago, Allan Alexander as the Chairman of a committee that was set up to come up with a new Constitution for the island.
The intention of the PRG leaders was to set up a constitution more in keeping with their beliefs in the Marxist-Leninist teachings, principles and theory.
Bishop had repeatedly stated that he did not support a democracy in which the people had power for only five seconds every five years when they got the chance to go into a polling station and cast a vote for a particular candidate.
He was firm that the Grenada Constitution, which was actually suspended in the four-and-a-half years of Revolutionary rule would not be coming back in the same form and fashion.
The attempt at constitutional changes by the PRG came to naught as the Bloody Events of October 1983 at Fort George brought an end to Grenada’s experiment with Marxist ideology.
The current political leaders in the country have spent the past 31 years wasting time on meaningful people’s participation in the process of Constitutional Reform if indeed it was really needed.
Not one of the governments since the return to democratic rule of law in December 1984 saw it fitting to include the subject of Constitutional Reform on the School Curriculum.
If they had done it, most Grenadians could not claim in this modern times that they do not know the constitution.
Every American at some stage in their life is exposed to their Constitution and the rights therein for them.
Several of our own people who change allegiance over the years are required to have some intimate knowledge of the U.S Constitution if they hope to become an American citizen.
The thinking of the ordinary man on the street is best expressed by a letter, which appears in this week’s issue of THE NEW TODAY by a regular contributor who is from the Belmont area.
Here is what the gentleman wrote: “The constitution is a legal document, and is best understood by lawyers of which the majority of Grenadians aren’t. For example under the Bill (Rights and Freedoms) at page 6 under alterations of the constitution it is proposed that the heading “Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms” where it appears in the constitution be substituted for the word foundational.
“In the English Language does the word foundational mean Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms? Not at all. However, it will be given that new meaning in our proposed reformed constitution – laughable only in Grenada.
“Better they had called it modernal. I am not a lawyer so I am just writing about things I read in this proposed bill and how it came across to me.
“Is this constitution reform truly Grenadian? When I read the proposed bill and in particular the one referring to “Rights and Freedoms”, I read statements like Grenada have acceded to certain international human rights treaties and conventions and therefore we have to frame our reform constitution with those to adhere to.
“This makes me wonder and concludes that we in Grenada will never see a true reform Grenada constitution by Grenadians for Grenadians ever.
So this whole exercise is futile but if it was to pass, our leaders will run with it. Shame.
“We are getting a constitution that is influenced by the international community in this evil hour. So the people need to know that it’s not only their will and voices but also foreign ones”.
THE NEW TODAY ask the questions – Is it any wonder that there is so much indifference in the country to the ongoing process which is due to culminate with the Referendum Vote on October 27.