Nation e-Edition

Government by the people

By – LEONARD ST HIL

| Wed, March 27, 2013 - 12:01 AM

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IT HAS TAKEN the haruspicating political diviners in Barbados by surprise that the electorate is no longer responding to partisan political hype since improvements in information transfer technology make it possible for closer instantaneous examination of individual candidates credentials for expression of personal preference in selection of holders of public political office.

The political party package is no longer being bought wholesale as sold: although the brand will influence the selection of the Chief Executive.

In effect, the personal popularity of each candidate will determine the result of an election for a representative of a constituency to serve as a member in the House of Assembly as the Legislature. In that sense, all candidates appear to the electorate as independent. The residual influence of party politics will be applied to the selection of Prime Minister.

As sole executor of the expressed resolutions of the legislature, the Prime Minister appoints and  disappoints ministers as his assistants in the exercise of his duties.

Given the diversity of a legislature of independent representatives elected on the basis of their personal appeal, there is now a clearer demand for direct popular election of Prime Minister instead of the indirect method in use as adoption of the partisan political choice of leader.

There is patent evidence of the requirement for a practical separation by method and exercise of the powers of the legislature and executive in government by the people.

This requirement might be observed for the time being when, at the initial meeting of elected members of the legislature, a secret ballot is held of all members to determine the person to be appointed Prime Minister commanding the support of the absolute majority of the House of Assembly.

In this fashion henceforth, back stabbing done. The politics of inclusion begun. Names and sects and parties fail. Elected members respond to the people’s call. Government of the people by the people is effected.

To complete this idealization of a representative parliamentary democracy, the Speaker of the House is not an elected member, but appointment of a retired Justice of the Supreme Court as superintendent of the legislature deemed the “highest court” of the land

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