Randal Robinson: Keep your eyes open

A senior executive member of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Randall Robinson believes that participation by the people in the upcoming National Referendum on Constitutional changes calls for brilliance on their part.

The original date set for the referendum was October 27 but it has been shifted in the past week to November 24.

Attorney General Cajeton Hood and Chairman of the Constitution Reform Advisory Committee (CRAC), Dr. Francis Alexis held an emergency press conference last week to announce the change in the date.

Hood said the postponement was aimed at giving more time for the public education process on the seven Bills that are being put forward in the referendum.

However, political pundits have suggested that the sudden change in the referendum date came as a result of former Attorney General, James Bristol questioning the timing for the referendum

Bristol felt that the date fell short of the law governing the Referendum Act.

Speaking at a public meeting of Congress at Mt. Moritz, St. George’s last week Wednesday night, Robinson who is the Public Relations Officer of the party, encouraged the people to go out and participate in the referendum, and to keep their eyes and ears open, and to ask questions.

“If you don’t know what you’re voting for, all you know what to do,” he told the gathering.
Congress has been under fire in some quarters for not taking a definitive position on the vote.

Former Opposition Leader, Michael Baptiste has warned that NDC should be advocating a clear “No” Vote and not vote on “Conscience” because the last time the public voted on “conscience” they delivered all 15 seats to Dr. Mitchell and NNP in the 2013 national poll.

Robinson said that as more time is taken to study the Bills more things are jumping out.

He believes the move towards constitutional referendum is sinister.

“If at the beginning people had come out and tell us the truth about what they want to put inside the Bills and why they want to do it… but everyday as (we) continue to look at the Bills… more things just jumping out at you,” he said.

“Don’t do us that. We’re not stupid. We’re not foolish,” he added.

The NDC PRO used a parable saying, “what a tangled web we weave, when we set out to deceive.”

The Congress Caretaker for St. George’s South East constituency charged that the principals of the referendum now have the opportunity to put their people in “green jerseys” to go out and encourage everybody to vote “yes” without educating the people.

Groups of young people are seen on a daily basis clad in green t-shirts, visiting homes encouraging people to vote “yes” for the Bills.

Green is the stand out colour of the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.

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