By Lloyd Noel
We are moving speedily towards the two years dateline, since the government in total control of the nation’s affairs gained power – and the question posed above is crying out for an answer.
Despite the many promises, and projects, and development schemes that were put out to the electorate – to convince them that the best team for the way forward, was the winners of all the seats in February last year – the only activity that is now a certainty come March, 2015, is the Reformation of the 1974 Constitution – to enable the NNP Government to go its own way and join Forces with whoever it feels like.
That is of course, on the assumption that a (2/3) two-thirds majority of the registered voters – do in fact vote in favour of the proposals that are being put forward by the government.
Those proposals were from the recommendations of a selected committee headed by Dr Francis Alexis – but it seems that the said committee is in the process of holding further public discussions, with the intention of making additional proposals to those already recommended.
Whatever maybe added or subtracted from the proposals – the corner-stone and basic intention of the controllers now in power, is to break away from the Commonwealth and the Privy Council in London – and become a Republican state with our own President for life, and join the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as our final Court of Appeal.
To do the above – the Referendum must get a two-thirds majority of the votes that will be cast on the date in question. And if that happens, then Grenadians will deserve whatever they get under the new system, in the months and years down the road. And whatever those may be, one thing is very certain and that is we as an Independent State cannot return to the Commonwealth, nor the systems we will be giving up.
Should our people fall for the ole talk – and glib promises that will be handed down in the coming months ahead to persuade them to go down that dangerous road – then we all who live on these isles will have to pay the price and suffer the consequences.
It seems that there has been some concerns expressed in certain quarters – that the initial proposals handed down by the committee have not gone far enough – and that is why it was decided to hold further public discussions, so as to get some deeper or broader issues to make the Constitution Reformation more meaningful and attractive.
Whatever other issues maybe added, will make no difference to the fundamental principles we are being asked to abolish – so as to give the controllers a free hand to do as they very well please – and leave us as an abandoned people in the political wilderness. And that is why I am very concerned, that we are not hearing anything from the other political parties, nor other organisations and institutions like the religious bodies for example.
These groups have a duty and serious responsibility in my view – to advise and guide their members, on such an important and fundamental matter as the Reformation of our Constitution, and even more especially, because once we go down that political road we will be standing on our own, with no facility for returning to what we will be abandoning in the process.
In these circumstances therefore, whatever those in control maybe thinking – and have up their sleeves should the people by a two-thirds majority go along with them – our people and their advisors have a very, very serious duty and responsibility, to think and think again before voting in favour.
The existing Constitution has been in existence for just over forty years, and goodness knows that we have had our ups and downs and political upheavals during those years – but we have survived.
The current controllers of our affairs, have been in the seats of power as a party for over half of that period – and in the process of campaigning for the last elections, they made all sorts of grand promises of how and what they intended upon winning that election. Reforming the Constitution and going down the political road they are now advocating – were not among the promises.
Should our people fall for the new measures now being promoted – and vote in favour by a two-thirds majority come next March – they will have to live with that result without limit.